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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Vegetables >>  Turnip Greens

Turnip Greens

Turnip greens refer to the green leaves of the turnip plant and often referred as tasty root. Turnips belong to the cruciferous family scientifically and are cousins to other health protective foods like broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards. Turnip leaves are tender and small with a slight bitter flavor that is masked when cooked.

Health and turnip greens

  1. Turnip greens are charged with a variety of nutrients that help to prevent or heal a wide range of disease condition. Turnip greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and vitamin C.
    It is also a very good source of copper, calcium, folate, vitamin B6 and fiber.
  2. The vitamin A in turnip greens helps to maintain healthy membranes especially synovial membrane that lines the joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. All the three antioxidant vitamins work synergistically to quench the free radicals and decrease the oxidative stress in the body which can otherwise exacerbate joint pain and damage. Calcium from turnip greens also decreases the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis which is common in rheumatoid arthritis. Copper which is essential for the production of connective tissue is often compromised in autoimmune conditions, turnip greens is a good source of copper which further adds to the benefits of rheumatoid arthritis patients.
  3. Along with decreasing the oxidative stress in the body vitamin C and other antioxidants also play a major role in maintaining the immune function. Some studies indicate that vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A and calcium from turnip greens may promote colon health by decreasing the risk of getting colon cancers.
  4. The antioxidant nutrients in turnip greens minimize platelet clumping and LDL cholesterol oxidation by quenching the free radicals, both of which are important in minimizing the risk of atherosclerosis. Paraoxonase, a compound associated with vitamin C and vitamin E is also believed to inhibit LDL and HDL oxidation. Also folate and vitamin B6 helps to keep the levels of homocysteine (increased levels can cause damage to the blood vessel walls) in tract and prevent atherosclerosis.
  5. Vitamin A in turnip greens promotes lung health and prevents lung inflammation, emphysema and other lung diseases.
  6. Vitamin E present in turnip greens is also important in maintaining mental health; it helps to slow the loss of mental function.
Usually turnip greens are available with their roots attached. Select fresh, dark green, crisp and unblemished leaves. They can be added to rice, soups, salads and vegetables to enhance its taste. Take care of the oxalates present in greens, as they come under the small amount of food that contains measurable oxalates. Especially for people suffering from calcium oxalate stones in the body as oxalates when combined with calcium have a tendency to crystallize and cause health problems. Turnip greens also contains goitrogens that interferes with the thyroid gland functioning, thus it should be consumed wisely in people with pre-existing or untreated thyroid problems.
Submitted on January 16, 2014