Studies suggest that eating more plant foods, such as turnip greens, decreases the risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and overall mortality. Here Virgilio Marin, Veggie.news, reflects on reasons to eat more turnip greens, a lesser known nutritional powerhouse:
“Turnip greens are cruciferous vegetables that belong to the same family as kale and broccoli. Turnip greens refer to the dark leafy green tops of turnips which are often discarded. However, they are completely edible and, in fact, are among the healthiest vegetables you can eat.
In terms of the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI), which is a measure of the vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient density of foods relative to their calorie content, turnip greens are among the highest-ranking foods, together with some of other cruciferous vegetables. This means that turnip greens are packed with powerful nutrients but are low in calories.
A one-cup serving (55 grams) of raw turnip greens provides the following:
- 33 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
- 105 micrograms (mcg) of folate
- 318 mcg of vitamin A
- 138 mcg of vitamin K
According to experts, adult men should consume 120 mcg of vitamin K daily, while women should consume 90 mcg. Adult men should also get 900 mcg of vitamin A from their diet, while women should get 700 mcg daily. A one-cup serving of turnip greens provides more than the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin K and one-third of the RDI of vitamin A.
6 Health benefits of turnip greens
Turnip greens offer several health benefits. Here are six of the most notable ones:
1. Reduce the risk of anemia
Anemia is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to organs and tissues. One of its leading causes is iron deficiency.
Turnip greens are rich in iron and vitamin C. The combination of these two nutrients can help the body absorb iron better, decreasing the risk of anemia.
2. Protect against cancer
Cruciferous vegetables like turnip greens are rich in anti-cancer compounds. Sulforaphane, for example, offers protection against cancer. This compound is responsible for the bitter taste of cruciferous vegetables. Research shows that sulforaphane inhibits the enzyme histone deacetylase, which is known to play a role in cancer progression.”
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