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Health Benefits of Turnips, Uses And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Aug 21, 2020

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Consumption of turnips help to regulate metabolism, improve blood circulation and digestion and also helps to reduce inflammation. They also help to strengthen your bones, protect your cardiovascular health, prevent certain types of cancer and even strengthen your immune system.


Turnip is a round, apple-sized root vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family. When the plant is exposed to sunlight, a light purple blush appears around the top. The sprouts and leaves of this vegetable are edible and are widely used in European, Asian and Eastern American cuisines.

The inner flesh of turnip is white with purplish, reddish or pinkish tinges and the vegetable is generally conical in shape. The greens of this vegetable are used in soups and stews while its bulbous roots are often diced or chopped and pickled. They are commonly grown in temperate regions all over the world and are used for their ample nutritional benefits.

Nutritional Value of Turnips

Turnips contain a number of essential nutrients that help our body to function properly and even protect us from the harmful effects of different harmful microbes. They are a low-calorie vegetable, but contain ample quantities of minerals, anti-oxidants and dietary fiber.

Turnips contain anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, carotenoids, xanthin and lutein. The leaves of turnips are rich in Vitamin K and omega-3 acids like alpha linolenic acid. Turnips vegetable also contains B complex vitamins, minerals like copper, iron, calcium and manganese and a number of phytonutrients.

Nutritional facts Per 100 Grams

0.1 g
Total Fat
67 mg
191 mg
6 g
Total Carbohydrate
0.9 g

Vitamins and Minerals

35 %
Vitamin C
1 %
5 %
Vitamin B-6
2 %

Health Benefits of Turnips

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After getting turnip nutritional benefits, let discuss the best health benefits of eating turnips. You can find this amazing vegetable in your local market. Let discuss side effects of turnip and cultivation details of this vegetable.

Turnip good for heart health

Turnip contain potassium which is a vasodilator. Potassium acts to reduce strains on blood vessels and arteries by lowering blood pressure. This helps to prevent problems like atherosclerosis and also reduces the risks of heart attacks and strokes. This vegetable also contains dietary fiber which removes excess cholesterol from the heart and eliminates it and thus keeps your heart in good shape.

Turnip good for digestive problems

Turnip contains high content of dietary fiber, which add bulk to stool and facilitates its easy movement through our digestive system. Stool is thus eliminated in a hassle free manner and this eliminates various digestion-related problems like constipation, diarrhea, bloating and cramping as well as other gastric issues.

Turnip helps to fight cancer

Turnips contain a number of anti-oxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, manganese, and beta-carotene all of which help to prevent the harmful effects of free radicals in our body.

Turnip, being a cruciferous vegetable, contains the sulforaphane compound that has anti-cancer properties. Incorporating turnip into your diet can help to prevent different forms of cancer like melanoma and esophageal, prostate and pancreatic cancers.

Turnip helps in fight against inflammation

Leaves of turnip are beneficial for people suffering from gout, arthritis or chronic pain. This is because turnip leaves contain omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin K which help to lower inflammation and lowers cholesterol levels. By helping to reduce pressure and inflammation in the colon, turnips help to reduce the chances of flare-up of diverticulitis.

Turnip good for your bones

The presence of calcium and potassium ensures that consuming turnips will keep your bones healthy. Turnips are rich in calcium which supports the body’s production of connective tissues. Thus incorporating turnips in your diet helps to reduce joint damage and even prevents osteoporosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Turnip Improves metabolism

Turnips contain vitamin B complex, which helps to regulate the hormonal and enzymatic processes of our body and makes sure that our body functions properly.

Proper functioning of our organs is necessary for us to survive and lead a healthy life. Start eating turnip for good metabolism ensures and that our body is able to absorb and utilize all the nutrients that it gets from food.

Turnip good for your lungs and also treats common ailments

Turnips help to overcome the deficiency of Vitamin A in smokers which are caused by the carcinogens of cigarettes. Thus it helps prevent serious conditions like lung inflammation, emphysema and other lung problems.

Again, regular consumption of turnip helps to prevent common ailments like lack of hunger and hemorrhoids.

Turnip strengthens body immunity

Turnips have Vitamin C and ascorbic acid which are powerful anti-oxidants and protect the body against the harmful effects of foreign microbes. Vitamin C also stimulates the formation of white blood cells, which is our body’s primary line of defense.

Turnip benefits for weight loss

Turnips have high content of dietary fiber that helps to regulate bowel movements and facilitates the absorption of nutrients by our body. It makes us feel fuller and prevents us from overeating and thereby aids in weight loss.

Turnip prevents body odour and is also good for the eyes

Drinking turnip juice helps to prevent body odour. Turnips also help to keep your eyes healthy due to the presence of lutein. This carotenoid helps to prevent ocular diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.

Uses of Turnips

Turnips contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and copper that helps to keep your skin in good health. It helps to keep your skin healthy and radiant and also has anti-aging effects. This vegetable also helps to make your hair healthy and strong. Turnips can be cooked in a variety of ways and is good to add to soups, salads and other recipes.


Side-Effects & Allergies of Turnips

If you are suffering from thyroid disorders, it is best to avoid eating turnips as this vegetable contains certain compounds that may affect the thyroid gland and interfere in the functioning of the hormone. If you are on nitrate drugs, it is again advisable to abstain from consuming this vegetable as it contains high content of nitrate.

Cultivation of Turnips

Turnips have been used by early Europeans and settlers about 4000 years ago. Yet surprisingly, this vegetable was used by Romans to throw at unpopular people. This was maybe due to the fact that this vegetable was the primary food of poor people in ancient Greece and Rome.

From Europe, turnips were introduced to America by the new settlers and the early European colonists. With time, several varieties of turnips have been developed and they are often used for a variety of purposes.

Turnips are cool weather vegetables and they can be grown both in autumn and in spring. However, they can also grow in moderate summer temperatures. It requires a temperature range of 10-16 degrees centigrade for its optimum growth. Short day lengths and cool climate are essential for the plant to grow properly.

Although turnips can be cultivated in a wide range of soils, it grows best in well-drained sandy loamy soil which is high in humus content. Turnips plants are propagated through seeds.


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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
    Reviewed By
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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