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7 Health Benefits Of Turnips

Last updated April 29, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

The turnip or white turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Turnips are often confused with rutabagas despite the noticeable differences.


The turnip or white turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Turnips are often confused with rutabagas despite the noticeable differences. Turnips are white with a purple-red top and a peppery taste. On the other hand, rutabagas are larger, part white and part purple, with creamy orange flesh and ribs near the stem, and with a sweet flavor when roasted.

Here are the 7 health benefits of turnips.

1.     Turnips can help keep healthy eyes.

Turnips are prosperous in vitamin A with 220 percent of the recommended need per serving. Vitamin A is known for improving one’s eyesight and preventing night blindness from developing as we age.

2.     Turnips can help fight cancer when taken with treatment.

The beta-carotene found in turnips has been associated with reduced risk of several cancers. Researchers have suggested that increasing beta-carotene consumption from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams per day reduced lung cancer risk by more than 40 percent. Turnips also contain the sulfur-containing antioxidant glucosinolates, which has shown to decrease the growth of cancerous tumors. Also, turnips contain carotenoids and vitamin C to fight free radicals that prevent the mutation of healthy cells.

3.     Turnips can help improve bone health.

Turnips have high calcium content. One cup of turnips contains 20 percent of calcium. Turnips are also an excellent source of vitamin K, which functions in retaining calcium in the bone matrix. Sufficient vitamin K consumption may also reduce urinary excretion of calcium. One serving of turnips has 662 percent of vitamin K.

4.     Turnips can also improve on your nervous system.

Folate may play a critical function in the regulation of specific amino acids that the nervous system requires. Studies have shown that a deficient amount of dietary folate can increase the homocysteine levels, which can be a dangerous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

5.     Turnips are helpful for pregnant women and their babies.

Turnips are an excellent source of B-vitamin complex like folate. Folate has shown to help in neural tube formation and red blood cell formation in prenatal babies. A deficiency of folate in pregnant women can lead to the birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects in newborns. One cup of lima beans contains 42 percent of the daily recommended value of folate.

6.      Turnips can help in weight loss.

Low calorie, nutrient-rich foods like turnips are efficient weight loss diet plans. High-fiber foods also offer the metabolism and assist manage body weight. One cup of turnips contains only 29 calories.

7.     Turnips can help improve digestive health.

The turnip contains a significant amount of fiber. A one-cup serving of turnips contains 5 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Fiber may help prevent constipation, making one’s bowel movement more regular.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Aug. 10, 2014
Last updated: April 29, 2018