Eat Some Turnips — and Their Greens!

turnips nutrition
Dr. Lindsey Mcilvena, MD

In her day job, treating patients living with chronic disease, nutrition and lifestyle are not after-thoughts, they’re central to helping her patients get well. She’s also our go-to expert on plant-based diets.

The turnip is an under-recognized root in the brassica family — and that’s a shame. Here’s why we think you should eat some turnips:

Turnips are naturally low in calories and fat, but they do contain a bit of protein and fiber. One cup of cooked turnips has 1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Sure, these aren’t huge amounts, but every little bit adds up to stellar nutrition.

Turnips are high in vitamin C, and have smaller amounts of potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamin B6.

Have you noticed in the grocery store that some turnips are sold with their green leafy tops still attached, while others have had the tops removed? Try buying the turnips with the green intact—you get more nutritional bang for your buck when you eat those pungent greens. In fact, turnip greens are high in vitamin A and also lutein, a phytonutrient important for eye health.

One cup of turnip greens has 2 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber—now we’re talkin! Additionally, turnip greens are loaded (and we mean LOADED) with folate, vitamin K, calcium, copper, vitamin C, and potassium.

Try sautéing chopped greens with onions and garlic, for a nutrient-rich side dish. You can also pair them with roasted turnip root. Roasting really brings out the inherent sweetness in the turnip, especially when they’re nice and caramelized.

Turnips definitely have a place in your diet, and don’t forget the greens!

Turnips Nutrition Source: USDA

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