Turnips are some of the common vegetables people eat today. With the scientific name Brassica rapa, turnip is a root vegetable that grows in temperate climates and is known for its bulbous taproot. The vegetable has a mild flavor and can be eaten raw in salads, just like radishes. The following are the health benefits of turnips, along with a sample recipe.
As a vegetable, one health benefit of turnips includes fiber. Fiber is a substance that acts as a sweep that helps the body eliminate harmful substances like toxins and free radicals, which usually cause diseases like heart disease and cancer. Fiber also lowers blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels in the body, which prevents risks of becoming obese or developing metabolic and cardiovascular conditions like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and stroke. Moreover, fiber promotes digestion and metabolism, preventing digestive problems like hemorrhoids, constipation, and diverticulitis.
Another health benefit of turnips is vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in strengthening the body’s defenses against infection. Also, the vitamin promotes the function of collagen, a substance that acts as cement and binds loosely connected cells and tissues; this mechanism makes collagen a useful agent when it comes to delaying the signs of aging, which includes fine lines and wrinkles. According to the Nutrition and You, 100 grams of fresh turnip root gives about 21 mg or 35 percent of the vitamin’s daily recommended allowance. The publication added that the vitamin also helps prevent inflammation.
Eating turnips also helps promote the health of the heart and the blood vessels. According to Organic Facts, turnips also contain potassium, aside from fiber. Potassium is a mineral, which is vital for various bodily functions like the sodium and potassium pump. The relationship between sodium and potassium affects body fluid levels. For instance, sodium retains water in the body; thus, increasing fluid volume and blood pressure. On the other hand, potassium counters the actions of sodium; hence, it reduces blood volume and blood pressure. Moreover, potassium has vasodilating effects; so, it widens the blood vessels, reducing blood pressure. This mechanism prevents heart conditions like hypertension, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and stroke.
One recipe that has turnips as its ingredients is Glazed Hakurei Turnips. According to Bon Appetit, the ingredients include baby hakurei turnips, baby turnips, red radishes, unsalted butter, sugar, and Kosher salt.
To prepare, as per the publication, the turnips are placed in a large skillet. Next, water is added to cover the turnips halfway. After that, butter, sugar, and salt are added and brought to a boil. Then, the ingredients are cooked and stirred occasionally for about 15 minutes, until the liquid becomes thick and the turnips become tender. As per the publication, a slotted spoon is used to transfer the turnips to a plate if they are tender before the liquid has reduced; the liquid is reduced until it becomes thick. Once done, the turnips are returned to the pan and stirred to coat well; the dish is allowed to stand at room temperature and rewarmed before proceeding. Then, the turnip greens are added to the skillet and cooked over medium heat and stirred occasionally for two to three minutes until wilted. Finally, the dish is seasoned with salt.