Benefits of Turnips
Turnips and all members of the cabbage family contain a compound that can interfere with the thyroid gland, causing low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism. Excessive consumption of glucosinolates in turnips results in production of a compound called goitrin, which inhibits thyroid hormone production. High levels of indole glucosinolates break down into compounds that compete with iodine for absorption. If you have a hypothyroid condition, talk with your doctor about including turnips in your diet.
32. Low in Calories
Although a cup of cooked turnip is rich in essential nutrients, it contains only 30 calories and 4 grams of sugar, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also has no fat, sodium or cholesterol, making it a hearthealthy food. If you are on a calorierestricted diet, turnips are a better choice than most other root vegetables. The same serving size of beets or rutabaga contain 70 calories, while parsnips have 120, and both contain more sugar than the turnip.
33. Vitamin C
Turnips and other root vegetables are rich in vitamin C, an important antioxidant that can optimize your immune system and help your body absorb iron. Each cup of cooked turnip gives you 18 grams of vitamin C, about 30 percent of your recommended daily intake. The same serving size of the root of rutabaga, a close cousin of the turnip, provides you with 50 percent of the vitamin C you need each day. If you do not eat much fruit, adding root vegetables such as turnip to your diet can help you get an adequate amount of this nutrient.
34. Other minerals
The turnip also provides you with small amounts of other nutrients your body needs, making it a valuable supplement to your diet. A cup of cooked turnip contains small amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, thiamin and riboflavin. It also gives you about 4 grams of dietary fiber, approximately 16 percent of the amount you need each day. Raw turnip is slightly higher in fiber, providing you with about 5 grams per serving.
35. Turnip Greens
Ed Bender, a professor at the University of California at San Diego, lists turnip greens as a rich source of lutein, a carotenoid that helps prevent ocular diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. An adequate intake of lutein may also inhibit some forms of cancer and prevent the development of clogged arteries and osteoarthritis. Turnip greens also give you a high amount of vitamin A. Men and women need 625 and 500 milligrams, respectively, of vitamin A each day; a cup of raw turnip greens provides you more than twice that amount, according to the North Carolina State University Extension.
36. WHFoods Recommendations
Youll want to include turnip greens as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 23 times per week, and make the serving size at least 11/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy turnip greens and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 45 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.
37. Health Benefits
Unlike some of their fellow cruciferous vegetables, turnip greens have not been the direct focus of most healthoriented research studies. However, turnip greens have sometimes been included in a longer list of cruciferous vegetables that have been lumped together and studied to determine potential types of health benefits. Based upon several dozen studies involving cruciferous vegetables as a group (and including turnip greens on the list of vegetables studied), cancer prevention appears to be a standout area for turnip greens when summarizing health benefits.
38. Cardiovascular Support
Researchers have looked at a variety of cardiovascular problemsincluding heart attack, ischemic heart disease, and atherosclerosisand found preliminary evidence of an ability on the part of cruciferous vegetables to lower our risk of these health problems. Yet regardless of the specific cardiovascular problem, it is one particular type of cardiovascular benefit that has most interested researchers, and that benefit is the antiinflammatory nature of turnip greens and their fellow cruciferous vegetables. Scientists have not always viewed cardiovascular problems as having a central inflammatory component, but the role of unwanted inflammation in creating problems for our blood vessels and circulation has become increasingly fundamental to an understanding of cardiovascular diseases. While glucoraphanin (a glucosinolate found in many cruciferous vegetables, and the precursor for sulforaphane, an isothiocyanate with important antiinflammatory properties) does not appear to be present in turnip greens in significant amounts, other glucosinolates present in turnip greens may provide important antiinflammatory benefits and are the subject of current research.
39. Detox Support
The detox support provided by turnip greens includes antioxidant nutrients to boost Phase 1 detoxification activities and sulfurcontaining nutrients to boost Phase 2 activities. Turnip greens also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates that can help activate detoxification enzymes and regulate their activity. Two key glucosinolates that have been clearly identified in turnip greens in significant amounts are gluconasturtiian and glucotropaeolin. If we fail to give our bodys detox system adequate nutritional support, yet continue to expose ourselves to unwanted toxins through our lifestyle and our dietary choices, we can place our bodies at increased risk of toxinrelated damage that can eventually increase our cells risk of becoming cancerous. Thats one of the reasons its so important to bring turnip greens and other cruciferous vegetables into our diet on a regular basis.
40. Antioxidant Benefits
As an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, betacarotene, and manganese, turnip greens provide highest level support for four conventional antioxidant nutrients. But the antioxidant support provided by turnip greens extends far beyond these conventional nutrients and into the realm of phytonutrients. Hydroxycinnamic acid, quercetin, myricetin, isorhamnetin, and kaempferol are among the key antioxidant phytonutrients provided by turnip greens. This broad spectrum antioxidant support helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells. Chronic oxidative stressmeaning chronic presence over overly reactive oxygencontaining molecules and cumulative damage to our cells by these moleculesis a risk factor for development of most cancer types. By providing us with a diverse array of antioxidant nutrients, turnip greens help lower our cancer risk by helping us avoid chronic and unwanted oxidative stress.
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