What Is A Turnip And Is It Nutritious?

Vegetables are good for you. This is simply hard to dispute considering all the overwhelming evidence that supports the idea that your plate should be as colorful as possible in order for you to reap the maximum health benefits. When it comes to vegetables, it's a good idea to remember that you shouldn't feel restricted to a couple of popular choices. Don't be afraid to experiment. Think about root veggies such as turnips and potatoes, for example. As per Healthline, turnips belong to the cruciferous family that includes other vegetables such as bok choy and kale. 

According to the The Spruce Eats, turnips are believed to have first been spotted somewhere in east Asia, but are now enjoyed around the globe. Also, while it's easy to find them through different seasons, the best varieties are usually spotted in the fall. They taste delicious when paired with other ingredients in comforting dishes such as soups. Also, if you're feeling up for it, you definitely can feast on turnips on their own. 

They're super healthy

Turnips are definitely a healthy food item to add to your diet. They're usually pretty distinctive in terms of appearance and have a "white-fleshed bulb" coupled with leaves and roots, all of which are edible (via Healthline.) They're very good for you in terms of health benefits. Eating a cup of turnips provides you with lots of vitamin C, a definite plus for your immunity. Also, the leaves are high in essential nutrients like vitamin K, folate, and provitamin A.

Turnips are believed to have several health benefits, including possibly protecting you from illnesses such as cancer due to their content of glucosinolates, which work as antioxidants. They can also help keep your bones strong, and studies on rats have suggested they might be helpful in controlling blood sugar levels, which is important if you have diabetes and need to regulate your blood sugar levels at regular intervals. Other possible health benefits include protecting your body from inflammation caused by chronic ailments and fighting harmful bacteria. Also, they're very low in calories. A cup of turnips just has 36 calories, eight grams of carbs, two grams of fiber, and one gram of protein. 

They're underrated

A Redditor once made a great point about turnips when they said that they're pretty cost-effective and satisfying to eat, especially if you're trying to keep yourself full on a strict budget. They wrote, "...They [turnips] are slightly sweet, sort of between a carrot and a sweet potato. With a little butter and salt, or roasted with some other winter root vegetables, plus broccoli and cauliflower, they are good." 

Another turnip fan on the thread pointed out that it's really easy to grow them in your own backyard, saying that they're pretty resilient against pests, and can be harvested in the winter season too. And if that's not your cup of tea, you can always pop into the nearest supermarket and get yourself a bag of turnips. Another home chef mentioned that they enjoy consuming turnips so much that they even end up using them instead of potatoes with beef dishes. Another fan mentioned that they're so fond of turnips that they like eating them raw after peeling them. Who would've guessed?

Your options are endless

As outlined by The Spruce Eats, you can treat yourself to a quick and nutritious snack by eating turnips with a tasty dip. Or toss them into a refreshing salad with other nutritious vegetables. If you don't mind prepping a little, you can also roast turnips, bake them, mash them, or use them to make your favorite soup or stew more filling. 

Curious about how they taste? The best way to describe turnips is to compare them to a spicy potato, with the heat of horseradish. And yes, you're in for a treat if you like stronger flavors, and you can even combine turnips with other ingredients such as ginger for a surprise. As per Taste of Home, if you're craving fries but don't want to eat junk food, try an easy hack and cook turnip fries by baking them until they've achieved the right consistency. Also, peeling turnips isn't mandatory, but you'll probably enjoy the flavor a lot more if you include that extra step and take a few minutes to prep them before cooking.