Health Benefits of Turnips for Babies and Diabetics

Turnips

Turnips-via Wikimedia, Public Domain

The health benefits of turnips for babies and diabetics make this vegetable popular in European and Asian cuisine.

Like kale, turnips are rich in glucosinolates, phytonutrients which help to prevent certain types of cancer. They are also a good source of folates, which makes them useful in the diet of women who are expecting.

Turnips are non-starchy vegetables. Along with radishes, tomatoes, okra, kale and cucumbers, they make good additions to a vegetarian or diabetic diet. Since they have a very low Glycemic Index value, turnips are good for people who have problems with regulating their blood sugar.

Turnips are tasty and they don’t take long to cook. You can enjoy them in stews or in other dishes. Young turnips can be sliced and added to salads with kale and tomatoes. I usually eat the root but the top greens can also be consumed. In fact, these are more nutritious than the root. They provide minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that babies need, without putting too many calories in the meals of a person who is on a low calorie or low sugar diet.

Turnip roots and greens are rich in the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Carotenoids
  • Xanthins
  • Lutein
  • Vitamin K
  • Folates

If you are giving turnips to babies you can mash them and add carrots or other vegetables. Children and adults with diabetes can have them as a part of their regular diet to help control blood glucose levels. The vegetable has been used in traditional medicine for this purpose. A study done at the Islamic Azan University showed that boiled turnip reduced blood glucose and lipid levels in diabetic rats.

Sources:

  1. Diabetes.org, “Non Starchy Vegetables”, http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/non-starchy-vegetables.html
  2. Iranian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, “Effect of Turnip on Glucose and Lipid Profiles of Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Rats”, http://ijem.sbmu.ac.ir/browse.php?a_id=1337&sid=1&slc_lang=en