Amazing Benefits of Turnip Greens You Never Knew About

Amazing Benefits of Turnip Greens You Never Knew About
Main Name: Turnip Greens
Biological Name: Brassica rapa
None of us are ignorant of the white, bulbous taproot called turnip that we often use in our daily preparations. After all, the high nutrients and low calorie content makes it essential to fit this vegetable into our daily diet menu, particularly for those who are weight and figure conscious. While the white flesh and skin, with a purple-tinged heads of turnips are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals, the turnip greens increase the intake of these vitamins and minerals required for good health. Popular as a traditional Southern dish, turnip greens flawlessly bind into salads or as healthy accompaniments to pasta dishes or grilled meats. Turnip greens are the leaves of the turnip plant, scientifically known as Brassica rapa, and a member of the Cruciferae family, which also includes kale, collards, cabbage and broccoli. Compared to collards, turnip greens are smaller and tenderer, with a slightly bitter flavor. Apart from incorporating these green leafy vegetables into your appetizers, they offer more for your overall well being and long life. Just knowing what healthy advantages turnip greens have will induce you to give them a try and if satisfied, tempt you to include them in to your regular diet. Take a look.
Although the exact origin of turnips is not known, they are believed to have been cultivated in Hellenistic and Roman times, about 4,000 years ago. The vegetable was famous and hence, saw development of new varieties over the centuries. However, historians state that turnip was initially a vegetable of Asia and was later introduced to Ancient Greece, Rome and Northern European nations. Wild forms of the hot turnip and its relatives, mustard and radish, have been found all over West Asia and Europe, which gives sufficient evidence of the vegetable being indigenous to those areas. With favorable climatic conditions across Europe, it became popular there. The early European settlers and colonists introduced turnips to North America, which soon became a known food in the local cuisines. The leaves of the turnips, better known as turnips greens, were initially a food of the slaves, as the slave owners would reserve the roots for themselves and leave the leaves for the slaves. Gradually, the green leaves became a part of African-American cuisines, with the Western Africans incorporating them largely into their kitchens.


Health Benefits of Turnip Greens

  1. Turnip greens are an excellent source of vitamin K which is essential for forming proper blood clotting and processing calcium and artery health. This healthy vitamin is believed to prevent the arteries from hardening.
  2. Vitamin A is required for the immune system to function properly and prevent the growth of cancer cells. Turnips greens are loaded with this nutrient which also helps in improving eyesight and night vision.
  3. Enriched with folic acid, these greens contribute to healthy cellular production and prevent anemia, in turn. Besides, this vitamin has been proved to prevent certain birth defects and help in the processing of homocysteine, a kind of amino acid.
  4. Turnip greens provide high amounts of antioxidants which are beneficial for fighting against heart disease, lung diseases like emphysema, arthritis and various forms of cancer. A diet rich in antioxidants can reduce the symptoms of these illnesses.
  5. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely benefited with turnip greens as they are enriched with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium and copper which are necessary for battling this type of arthritis.
  6. Iron is required for the formation and development of healthy red blood cells, ensuring the supply of oxygen throughout the body. Turnip greens are loaded with iron, thereby preventing anemia, which can otherwise lead to fatigue, pale skin and breathlessness.
  7. Turnip greens provide a sufficient amount of calcium, beneficial for the health of bones and teeth. Studies have proved that a deficiency of calcium can cause softening of bones, bone fractures and osteoporosis. Thus, add loads of turnip greens into your diet for healthy and strong bones.
  8. They are high in both magnesium and potassium, which are necessary for keeping the blood pressure at a normal rate. Not only does it maintain the normal electrolyte balance of circulating ions, sodium, potassium and calcium, it also prevents the blood pressure from shooting up, in cases of low potassium levels.
  9. Apart from the above health benefits, turnip greens are also associated with treating asthma, bladder disorders, bronchitis, cough, gout, liver disorders, obesity and tuberculosis.
Turnip Greens Nutrition FactsAmount: 1 cup
Total Weight: 55 g


Nutrients Amount
Basic Components  
Protein 825 mg
Water 49.3 g
Ash 0.8 g
Phytosterols 6.6 mg
Total Calories 18
Calories From Carbohydrate 14
Calories From Fat 1.4
Calories From Protein 2
Total Carbohydrates 3.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Sugar 446 g
Fats & Fatty Acids  
Total Fat 165 mg
Saturated Fat 39 mg
Monounsaturated Fat 11 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat 66 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 46 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 20 mg
Vitamin A 6373 IU
Vitamin C 33 mg
Vitamin E 1.6 mg
Vitamin K 138 mcg
Thiamin 39 mcg
Riboflavin 55 mcg
Niacin 330 mcg
Vitamin B6 145 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 209 mcg
Folate 107 mcg
Calcium 105 mg
Iron 605 mcg
Magnesium 17 mg
Phosphorus 23 mg
Potassium 163 mg
Sodium 22 mg
Zinc 105 mcg
Copper 193 mcg
Manganese 256 mcg
Selenium 0.66 mcg


How many calories in turnip greens (per 100 gm)
Turnip greens have about 32 calories per 100 gm of weight.
How to Buy Turnip Greens
  • In case the greens are attached to the turnips, select those that look fresh, dark green and crisp. They look similar to spinach leaves.
  • However, it is advised that you purchase turnip greens that are sold separately. While the big roots will have bitter leaves, the smaller ones will have nicer leaves, perfect for consuming.
  • Avoid turnip greens that are yellow or wilted as they are an indication of older stock. Also, do not purchase greens that have blemishes and are limp.
Turnip Greens Storage Tips
  • In case you have purchased greens with their roots attached, separate them from the roots.
  • Wrap the greens in a damp towel and place them in a plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag and keep them in the coldest part of the refrigerator where they will last for up to four days.
  • Never store turnips and turnip greens together.
  • For best taste and flavor, consume the greens as soon as possible as they tend to lose their nutrients quickly.