Turnips are an incredibly nutritious root vegetable that have been overlooked for far too long. With a slightly sweet and earthy flavor, turnips are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. Not only are they full of essential vitamins and minerals, but they can also be enjoyed both raw and cooked.
From roasted turnips to boiled turnips and turnip fries, there are so many delicious ways to enjoy this overlooked root vegetable. Keep reading to learn more about turnips and why you should be incorporating them into your diet.
What are turnips?
Turnips are a root vegetable native to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. They are often white-fleshed, with a round shape and purple or green tops. They have a sweet, slightly peppery flavor and crunchy texture. Turnips can be enjoyed raw or cooked, depending on the variety. The nutritional benefits of turnips are plentiful, making them a great addition to any meal.
Turnips are part of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and kale. They are high in vitamin C, fiber and B vitamins, as well as manganese, calcium, magnesium and potassium. As with most vegetables, they contain very few calories and almost no fat or cholesterol.
Turnips are very versatile in terms of cooking; they can be boiled, steamed, mashed, roasted or used in soups and stews. Turnips also make a great addition to salads or stir-fries. Try topping them with butter or olive oil for a flavorful side dish.
Types of turnips:
Turnips come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Common varieties include purple-top turnips, yellow turnips, and white turnips. Purple-top turnips have a purple top and white bottom, while yellow turnips have yellow skin and white flesh. White turnips have white skin and white flesh. Other less common varieties include flat white turnips, long white turnips, and red-fleshed turnips.
Purple-top turnips are the most common type of turnip and are considered the best tasting. These turnips tend to be larger and sweeter than other varieties. Yellow turnips are also sweet but tend to be slightly more bitter. White turnips are milder in flavor and are often preferred for salads.
Flat white turnips are unique in that they are flat and oval shaped. They are slightly smaller than other varieties of turnip and tend to be sweeter and more tender. Long white turnips are cylindrical in shape and tend to be slightly firmer. Red-fleshed turnips have red or pink flesh that is firmer than other varieties.
Turnip nutrition value:
Per ounce serving of raw turnips contain:
- Calories: 7.8
- Carbohydrates 1.8 g (1% DV)
- Dietary fiber: 0.5 g (2% DV)
- Proteins: 0.3 g (1% DV)
- Vitamin C: 5.9 mg (10% DV)
- Folate: 4.2 mcg (1% DV)
- Calcium: 8.4 mg (1% DV)
- Iron: 0.1 mg (0% DV)
- Magnesium: 3.1 mg (1% DV)
- Phosphorus: 7.6 mg (1% DV)
- Potassium: 53.5 mg (2% DV)
- Sodium: 18.8 mg (1% DV)
- Zinc: 0.1 mg (1% DV)
- Water: 25.7 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg (0% DV)
- Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 11.2 mg
- Total Omega-6 fatty acids: 3.4 mg
*DV stands for daily value.
Are turnips good for you?
Yes, turnips are a nutritious root vegetable that offers a number of health benefits. They are low in calories but high in essential vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent addition to any diet.
Turnips are a great source of dietary fiber, which can help keep your digestive system healthy and regular. They are also high in vitamin C, which is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and fighting off illnesses.
Additionally, turnips are high in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and keep your heart healthy. They contain calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth, as well as iron, which helps keep your energy levels up.
Lastly, turnips contain folate, which is important for pregnant women and can help reduce the risk of birth defects. All in all, turnips are a nutritious and versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes.
What are the health benefits of turnips?
Turnips are often overlooked as a superfood, but they are in fact packed with health benefits! Not only are they an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, but turnips also contain powerful antioxidants and offer plenty of other health benefits. In this section, we’ll explore 10 of the most surprising health benefits of turnips:
1. Turnips are low in calories:
Turnips are a great vegetable to incorporate into any diet as they are low in calories. One cup of cooked turnips contains just 37 calories, making them an ideal snack for those looking to watch their weight or lower their calorie intake.
The low-calorie content makes them an excellent addition to salads, soups, and stews. Additionally, the fiber content in turnips helps keep you feeling fuller longer, making them a great choice for those who need a snack that won’t pack on the pounds.
2. Turnips are a good source of fiber:
Turnips are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Eating turnips can help you meet your daily fiber needs. One cup of cooked turnips contains 3.5 grams of fiber, which is about 14% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
Fiber helps keep your digestive system functioning properly and can help prevent constipation, bloating and other digestive issues. Eating enough fiber can also help reduce your risk of developing certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes.
Additionally, fiber helps slow down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream which can help to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
3. Turnips are high in vitamins and minerals:
Turnips are an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals. They are packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium. Vitamin C helps keep your skin looking young and healthy. It also helps boost your immune system.
Vitamin A is important for eye health and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin K helps keep bones strong and healthy, while magnesium helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, while iron helps the body make red blood cells. Finally, calcium helps keep bones strong and healthy. All of these vitamins and minerals can be found in turnips, making them a great choice for anyone looking to get more nutrients into their diet.
4. Turnips can help improve digestion:
Turnips are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion. Fiber helps to add bulk to your stool, making it easier to pass and reducing the risk of constipation.
It also helps feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, promoting a healthy balance of microorganisms. Additionally, turnips contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that can help improve gut motility. Pectin has been found to reduce the symptoms of diarrhea and decrease constipation, making it a great addition to any diet.
Furthermore, turnips are rich in prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your digestive system, allowing them to flourish and helping promote overall digestive health.
5. Turnips can help regulate blood sugar levels:
Turnips are a great way to naturally regulate blood sugar levels. Studies have found that turnips contain a compound called allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), which has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. AITC is also thought to increase insulin sensitivity, which can help prevent type-2 diabetes.
Eating turnips can also help stabilize blood sugar levels in healthy individuals, as they contain a good amount of fiber, which helps slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
Additionally, turnips are low in carbohydrates and do not cause spikes in blood sugar like some other starchy vegetables. So, if you’re looking for an easy and natural way to regulate your blood sugar levels, turnips could be the perfect addition to your diet.
6. Turnips can help boost the immune system:
Turnips are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is essential for a strong immune system. Vitamin C helps protect our bodies from disease-causing bacteria and viruses, and it also plays a role in helping our bodies fight off infection.
It also boosts the production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off infections. Additionally, turnips are packed with antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and protect our cells from damage. Eating turnips regularly can help strengthen your immune system, making it easier to fight off illnesses.
7. Turnips can help reduce inflammation:
Turnips are a great source of dietary fiber, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that consuming turnips regularly can reduce inflammation and improve overall health. Dietary fiber helps absorb excess fluid in the body, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation.
In addition, turnips contain high levels of vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy tissue growth. Vitamin C also helps boost the immune system, protecting against infection and disease.
Finally, turnips contain a compound called quercetin, which is known to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. All these factors make turnips a great food for reducing inflammation and promoting better health.
8. Turnips can help protect against cancer:
Turnips are high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can lead to cell damage, which can cause cancer.
Studies have shown that compounds found in turnips can help protect against some types of cancer. Turnip extract has been found to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells in laboratory studies.
Turnips are also a good source of glucosinolates, which are compounds that have anti-cancer properties. Glucosinolates have been found to reduce the risk of some types of cancer, such as colorectal and bladder cancer. They may also help protect against lung and prostate cancer.
In addition, turnips contain vitamin C, which is important for supporting the immune system and helping to fight off infections and diseases, including cancer. Studies suggest that people with higher levels of vitamin C may be at a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Eating turnips regularly may help protect against cancer and reduce your risk of developing the disease. Make sure to include them in your diet to get all the benefits they offer!
9. Turnips can help improve heart health:
Turnips are a great addition to any diet if you are looking to maintain and improve heart health. They contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid, which can all help to reduce cholesterol levels and protect against stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
Potassium is also an important nutrient for managing high blood pressure. Turnips are also a great source of magnesium, which helps relax the muscles in the body, including those in the heart and blood vessels.
Additionally, turnips contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help keep your arteries healthy and improve circulation. Eating a few servings of turnips a week can help boost your overall heart health.
10. Turnips can help promote weight loss:
Turnips are a great food for weight loss. The vegetable is naturally low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great choice for those looking to lose weight. Eating turnips can help fill you up without adding a lot of calories to your diet.
Additionally, the high fiber content helps to keep you full for longer, helping to reduce cravings and prevent overeating. Turnips also contain a range of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and potassium, which can help support your overall health and wellbeing.
Eating turnips regularly can help you feel fuller and satisfied while on a calorie-restricted diet. Furthermore, the antioxidants present in turnips can help reduce inflammation and boost your metabolism, both of which are key components of successful weight loss.
What do turnips taste like?
Turnips are a root vegetable with a mild and sweet taste, similar to a potato but slightly more bitter. Depending on the variety, some may have a bit of a spicy flavor as well. Many describe them as having a delicate and earthy flavor with a hint of peppery spice.
When cooked, turnips become softer and sweeter, almost like carrots. If you’re wondering what do turnips taste like, the answer is a subtle sweetness that is both refreshing and earthy.
How to eat turnips?
Turnips are incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Here’s how can you incorporate turnips into your diet:
- The most popular way to enjoy turnips is to boil or steam them until tender, then mash or puree them for a side dish or soup.
- Roasting, grilling, and baking are also great ways to prepare turnips.
- Try adding them to stir-fries, roasted vegetables, salads, and stews.
- You can even make turnip fries by cutting the turnip into thin strips and roasting them in the oven until crispy.
- Turnip greens can also be eaten raw or cooked, making them a delicious addition to salads and smoothies.
However you choose to enjoy them, turnips are sure to add flavor and nutrition to any meal!
Are there any potential risks associated with eating turnips?
While turnips are generally considered to be a healthy food choice, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with eating turnips.
The biggest risk associated with consuming turnips is if they are eaten raw. Uncooked turnips contain a compound known as goitrogens, which can disrupt the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. This can lead to symptoms such as:
- increased sensitivity to cold;
- dry skin; and
- changes in weight or appetite.
To reduce the risk of consuming too much goitrogens, it is best to steam or boil turnips before consuming them. Additionally, those who have pre-existing thyroid conditions should consult their doctor before including turnips in their diet.
It is also important to store turnips properly so as to avoid contamination with bacteria and mold. If any signs of spoilage are present, discard the turnips immediately.
How to store turnips?
Turnips are a root vegetable that can last for several weeks if stored properly. To store turnips, wrap them in a paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. Keep the bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer and they should stay fresh for up to three weeks.
Alternatively, you can store turnips in a cool and dark spot in your pantry. Make sure to check them every few days as they can spoil quickly in the wrong environment. If you notice any soft spots or discoloration on the outside of the turnip, it is best to discard it.
Additionally, if you’re planning on storing turnips for longer than a few weeks, it’s best to blanch them first by boiling them for a few minutes before freezing them in an airtight container. This will help keep their flavor and texture intact over time.
How to cook turnips?
Turnips are a versatile root vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Roasting, boiling, and sautéing are all great options for cooking turnips.
- Roasting: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and place the turnips on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until they become tender and golden brown.
- Boiling: Boiling is a great way to bring out the flavor of turnips. Peel the turnips, then cut them into cubes. Place them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the turnips are tender. Drain, season as desired, and serve.
- Sautéing: Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Peel and dice the turnips, then add them to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the turnips are tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.
- Turnips can also be steamed, grilled, mashed, or added to soups and stews for added flavor and nutrition. No matter how you choose to cook them, turnips are sure to make a delicious addition to your meal!
Can you eat turnips raw?
Yes, you can eat turnips raw!
This is actually a great way to enjoy the full flavor of turnips and get the most out of their nutritional benefits. They can be enjoyed sliced into salads, diced into cold soups, or even grated into slaws.
When eating raw turnips, it’s best to remove the skin first as this can be tough to digest. Turnips are also sweet and crunchy when eaten raw so they make a great addition to any salad or sandwich.
It’s important to note that raw turnips have an extremely strong flavor, so you may want to add other ingredients to help balance out the intensity. Additionally, some people find that eating raw turnips can cause them to experience digestive issues such as gas, bloating, and nausea. If you do choose to eat them raw, it’s best to start off with a small amount to see how your body responds.
Roasted turnips recipe:
Roasted turnips make a delicious side dish for just about any meal. They are easy to prepare, and with some simple seasoning, you can really bring out their amazing flavor.
One of the most popular recipes is roasted turnip wedges. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the turnips and cut them into wedges, like you would with potatoes. Toss them in a bowl with some olive oil and seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper. Spread the wedges out on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Another tasty roasted turnip recipe is garlic-roasted turnips. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and cube the turnips, then toss them in a bowl with olive oil, minced garlic, and some seasonings such as dried thyme, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Spread the turnips onto the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown and crisp.
For something a bit more unique, try making honey-roasted turnips. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and cube the turnips, then toss them in a bowl with olive oil, honey, minced garlic, and seasonings such as dried rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper. Spread the turnips onto the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.
These roasted turnip recipes will have you wanting to eat your veggies every day!
Turnips are incredibly nutrient-dense and provide many essential vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamins A, C, K, and B6, as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Turnips are also high in dietary fiber, which is important for digestion, heart health, and weight management.
Turnips are a good source of antioxidants, which help protect the body from free radical damage. They also contain compounds that may help reduce inflammation and prevent certain chronic diseases. Additionally, turnips are low in calories and fat, making them an ideal choice for those trying to maintain a healthy weight.
Overall, turnips are a nutritious root vegetable that can be incorporated into a healthy diet. The vitamins and minerals found in turnips can help promote overall wellness and provide numerous health benefits.