Turnip is a root vegetable of the cabbage family, white underneath with a slight purple blush from the sun. Northern Europe is considered its homeland, but in ancient Greece and Rome it was a staple food. The Roman writer and philosopher Pliny the Elder described the turnip as “one of the most important vegetables” of his time. And in Rus’, before the advent of potatoes, turnips were at a premium.
Like other root crops, turnips keep well until frost. When buying, it is better to choose root crops with tops – this way you can easily determine their freshness. In addition, these tops are edible and even more nutritious than the “roots”, they are full of vitamins and antioxidants. The taste of turnip is something in between, between potatoes and carrots. It is added raw to salads, snacks are made, stewed with stews.
Useful properties of turnip
Turnip is a low-calorie product – there are only 100 calories in 28 g, but there are a lot of minerals and fiber. Surprisingly, the same 100 g contains a third of the daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, as well as for cleansing the body of free radicals. The tops are even more valuable, they are rich in carotenoids, xanthine and lutein. Turnip leaves contain vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, which act as building blocks for the body’s anti-inflammatory molecules.
Turnip contains B vitamins, calcium, copper, manganese, and iron, as well as phytonutrients like quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol, and hydroxycinnamic acid, which reduce the risk of oxidative stress.
Scientific research about turnips
Turnips contain many plant substances that improve health. One example is brassinin, a type of indole compound that reduces the risk of colorectal and lung cancers. According to a study published in the International Journal of Oncology in March 2012, brassinine kills colon cancer. This was the first study on the anti-cancer properties of turnips.
Glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds found in turnips, may have antifungal, antiparasitic, and antibacterial properties. According to their content, turnip is in second place after white mustard sprouts.
Interesting Turnip Facts
Did you know that turnips can become a hygiene product? In fact, turnip juice rids the body of bad breath. Grate the root crop, squeeze out the juice and lubricate the armpits with it.
Turnip also helps with cracked heels. You need to cook at least 12 turnips with tops and soak your feet in this broth overnight for 10 minutes. You can simply rub the turnip on the soles for three days, and the skin will become soft and smooth.
Don’t throw out the tops of the turnip – add it to your diet. The turnip remains as important a vegetable today as it was two thousand years ago. Turnip diversifies your favorite dishes with its delicate aroma, the main thing is not to overcook it. And it’s true that there is nothing simpler than a steamed turnip.