Vegetables and Vegetables

Benefits of Turnip for Health

Native to Europe and Central Asia, the turnip is a cruciferous herbaceous plant, in the same family as cabbage and related to broccoli, and its consumption dates back to Antiquity.

Brought to Brazil by the Portuguese at the time of colonization, it appears in the list of vegetables that have edible roots (tubers).

Scientific name Brassica rapa subsp. rapa , turnip is characterized by a very peculiar flavor, spicy and at the same time slightly sweet. In the past, it was even used to sweeten food, before the advent of sugar cane.

Although it is not unanimous among consumers, when combined with the right foods and seasonings, turnip results in very tasty and nutritious dishes, being used in cooking in several countries, especially in oriental cuisine.

Let’s get to know the properties of turnip and find out why it can make a difference in our menu and in our lives.


Similar in appearance to carrots and radishes, the turnip has leaves in shades of medium to dark green and flowers in yellowish tones. But what defines it are its roots – the tubers, which are white or purplish in color and can be long, round or flat.

According to quality, the best turnip varieties are:

– Purple top – Root of purple color, globular shape, is considered the king of turnips.

– Snowball – Snowball – Root of white color, round, smooth skin and smooth flavor. It is cultivated year round.

– Purple turnip – Purple root, globular shape, smooth skin and well preserved after harvest.

– English long turnip – White, cylindrical and purplish on top. It has the tasty pulp used in Portuguese cuisine.


To talk about the properties of this vegetable, it is necessary to separate its parts, as everything is used from the turnip – from the root and leaves to the stalk. And all have a high nutritional level.

Root – It has minerals in its composition, such as sulfur, zinc, sodium, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus, in addition to vitamins A, B, C and vitamin P (which helps in the absorption of vitamin C).

The turnip root tea prevents chronic intestinal inflammation and the turnip-sliced ​​syrup is great for treating bronchitis, coughs and asthma.

look and stalks – The turnip’s main source of nutrients, the leaves have a flavor similar to that of mustard. In addition to beta-carotene, they contain a high level of fiber, which is beneficial for regulating bowel function. They also have significant amounts of vitamin K, C, E and A, folates, manganese, calcium and Omega 3.

Cooked turnip leaves help fight arthritis and chronic inflammation and are an effective natural laxative.


According to nutritionists, turnip should be on our menu at least once or twice a week.

Its caloric content is low (100 grams of turnip = only 30 calories), but it is rich in minerals and vitamins that help prevent many health problems.

Below are some reasons for you to include turnip in your eating habits:

– High content of Vitamin A, Complex B and Vitamin C.

– Activates the metabolism and our brain functions, in addition to being an excellent invigorating.

– Good source of soluble fiber – helps control blood cholesterol levels and prevents heart disease.

– Diuretic properties – prevents and helps to eliminate gallstones and kidney stones.

– Blood purifier – have phytonutrients and glucosinolate, which together help the liver to eliminate toxins, inhibiting the growth of tumors in the body.

– Rich in fiber, it helps the digestive system function properly and maintains colon health.


Among the various applications you use the turnip as:

Expectorant syrup  – Turnip in the form of juice, syrup or plaster (on the chest) is excellent for treating bronchitis and asthma, pain relieving cough and sore throat.

Anti-inflammatory  – Fights chilblains and inflammation by using hot compresses on the affected area.

Mild laxative  – Turnip leaf juice helps improve bowel function.

Natural antacid  – Mixed with celery and carrots, the juice from the leaves and stalks of turnip helps correct stomach acidity. White turnip juice is also indicated to fight gallstones.


The turnip and the radish are very similar and it is common to be confused with each other. Both are part of the cruciferous family and are a source of glucosinolates, antioxidant substances that have a very beneficial action in fighting cancer.

While 100 g of radish is equivalent to 14 calories, the same amount of turnip is 18 calories. In terms of carbohydrates and calcium, the turnip beats the radish. In the potassium index, the winner is the radish (328 mg). In terms of fibers, 100 g of turnip has 2.6 g for 2.2 grams of fiber in radish. Similar in appearance, taste and benefits, the two deserve a place on your menu.


Rich in mineral salts, turnip has aromatic acids that result in a strong and somewhat spicy flavor.

Both the leaves and the stalks are used in salads, broths, soups, stews, sautes, and also as a filling. But before inserting them in the recipes, it is necessary to be careful from the purchase.

  1. Choose fresh, firm turnips with bright green leaves, as when they are not tender, they turn bitter.
  2. Cut the stalks with a sharp knife.
  3. Then wash the turnips in cold water or soak for a few minutes to eliminate dirt and bacteria.
  4. Peel the turnips, removing the outer layers to expose the new ones, the same way you peel an onion.
  5. With the turnips clean, they can be used in salads, stir-fries and other dishes.


Although it’s not one of the most popular vegetables on the Brazilian table, you’ll be surprised to see how turnip can “make” as an ingredient in many recipes. We’ve selected two for you.



  • 04 cups (of tea) of well-washed, chopped and cooked turnip husks
  • 02 tablespoons of grated cheese
  • 01 cup (of tea) of stale bread, soaked in milk
  • 01 small chopped onion
  • 01 tablespoon of oil
  • 02 beaten eggs
  • Green smell and salt to taste

How to make:

  1. Blend the cooked peels in a blender.
  2. Place the mixture obtained in a container and add the remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Grease a pan with oil (or butter), pour in the dough and then bake until golden.
  5. Serve it hot.


Turnip is a healthy and refreshing food, so it goes very well with different types of salads. This is one of them, which besides being delicious, is rich in vitamins.


  • 01 medium turnip
  • 01 big carrot
  • 01 reineta apple
  • Lettuce leaves
  • juice of a lemon
  • juice of an orange
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

How to make:

  1. Peel the turnip, carrot and apple, grate them into thin strips and mix in a bowl.
  2. Wash the lettuce leaves well and drain them.
  3. Prepare the sauce with oil, lemon and orange juices and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover the bottom of the salad bowl with the lettuce leaves and place the grated turnip, carrot and apple on top.
  5. Complete with the sauce.


Turnip is a very suitable vegetable for those who want to be at peace with the scales.

It is included in the group of negative calorie foods, meaning foods that help the body burn more calories than it consumes.

With a low caloric index, 100 g of turnip represents only 35 calories.

In addition, because it contains fiber, it helps to reduce the fat that accumulates in the body, making it a great diuretic and blood purifier.


Great choice for home gardens, the most recommended time for planting turnip is from February to July, however, it can be grown all year round.

Before planting, follow these tips:

– Climate and soil – Turnip does best at temperatures between 14°C and 22°C and prefers porous, fresh, well-drained soils with medium fertility and low acidity.

–  Sun and water – This vegetable likes the sun, but also with half shade. During budding it needs more water, but during growth it should be sparingly watered – every 3 days.

– Planting – After fertilizing the land, distribute the seeds in the bed, keeping a space of 5 cm to 15 cm between the seedlings.

– Harvest – In two months the harvest can be done. It is recommended to harvest before its full development to obtain very tender turnips.

– Pests – The turnip is very resistant, but to avoid attacks from fungi, aphids and caterpillars, it is recommended to spray with nicotine sulfate or other commercial insecticides.

The planting of the turnip can be done in rotation with the cultivation of peas, pumpkin or carrots.


Among the uses of the turnip is its use as an organic green manure and cattle feed. The fodder turnip is a type of red turnip used by producers, both to cover the soil in no-till, incorporating organic matter into the land, and to feed cattle in the pasture. Widely used in crop rotation, the planting of fodder radish helps fight pest infestation, preparing the land for the next planting. In this way, expenses with herbicides are saved.

Related articles:

Benefits and Properties of Cauliflower

Benefits and Properties of Cabbage

Benefits and Properties of Beetroot

Benefits and Properties of Radish

Benefits and Properties of Leek

Benefits and Properties of Asparagus

Benefits and Properties of Brussels Sprouts

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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