Turnips are arguably one of the most underrated and underappreciated root vegetables, especially in comparison to its cousins – kale, cauliflower, and arugula. They have numerous health benefits and would make a great addition to any healthy meal.
Read on to learn more about this yummy root veggie, its impressive nutrient profile, and our favorite turnip recipes (that may even make an excellent addition to your Thanksgiving and holiday spreads!).
Helps prevent diabetes
Turnips have surprising benefits in diabetes. Turnip greens are high in fiber, providing 5 grams per cup. Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels, making turnips an excellent option for those with or at risk for this chronic illness.
In addition, turnip greens also contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes.
They may contain anti-cancer properties
Turnips contain several beneficial plant compounds associated with cancer-fighting properties, such as vitamin C and glucosinolates.
In case you’re unfamiliar, glucosinolates are a group of bioactive plant compounds that also provide antioxidant activity, meaning they mitigate the cancer-promoting effects of oxidative stress. In fact, numerous studies have linked higher intakes of glucosinolates with a reduced risk of certain types of cancer, including lung, colon, and rectal cancers.
Contain tons of potassium
One medium-sized turnip contains about 233 mg of potassium. Your body utilizes potassium for nearly everything, including helping your nerves send signals to different parts of your body as well as keeping your muscles and heart in good working shape. Risks that can come with potassium deficiencies include high blood pressure, stroke, kidney stones, brittle bones, and high blood sugar.
But be aware…
Individuals with certain health conditions should know about some potential health effects of eating too many turnips. The individuals that should heed this friendly warning are people whose blood clots too quickly and people who have kidney conditions. For the former, note that turnips are high in vitamin K, which can cause your blood to clot faster than average. As for the latter, know that our kidneys remove extra potassium from your body. For those with kidney disease, they may collect too much potassium in the system, causing a rapid heartbeat and muscle issues like weakness, cramps, or stiffness. We recommend speaking to your dietitian about a healthy diet if you have either one of these conditions.
Explore all the ways this trendy root veggie can be prepared and take a peek at the Snap meals that feature turnips if you don’t have the time to experiment in the kitchen yourself.
Crispy Turnip Fries
Add this scrumptious recipe to your weeknight side dish rotation. These crispy turnip fries are perfect to pair with some lettuce-wrapped burgers, and the whole table will be delighted with this low carb, tasty fry alternative!
Roasted Chicken with Winter Vegetables
Is there anything more comforting than a roasted chicken? This recipe features one whole, cost-effective chicken and seasonal veggies – including turnips. And don’t be intimidated by roasting the whole bird – it only requires 15 minutes of prep and all the magic happens for one hour in the oven.
Turnip and Kale Gratin
This recipe takes turnips and its favorite cousin, kale, and combines them for a mouthwatering dish that’s sure to make even the pickiest of eaters dive in for a second helping. Pro-tip: If you come across turnips with good-looking greens still attached, use them in place of the kale.
Snap Kitchen Meals x Turnips
Turnips are one of our favorite ingredients here at Snap when crafting delectable comfort-food meals. Our favorite way to use them is to combine them with potatoes for a lower-carb, more nutritious side dish. See the meals that feature our delicious potato-turnip mash below!
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Potato-Turnip Mash and Gravy
We upgraded these Thanksgiving classics with our juicy and herb-roasted turkey breast, lower carb potato-turnip mash, and savory caramelized onion gravy, all served with our Snap-famous garlic green beans.
Chicken Tenders with Potato-Turnip Mash
We’re giving this classic a healthy twist with our customer favorite grain-free chicken tenders, the ever-popular turnip mash, and house-made BBQ sauce.
Turkey Meatloaf with Potato-Turnip Mash & Green Beans
This is not your mama’s meatloaf! Our grain-free spin on the comfort food classic is Whole30-approved and filled with the good stuff – like turnips (wink, wink).
Turnips can be easily incorporated into plenty of the foods you already eat regularly – so don’t be afraid to get creative with your recipes! Whether you’re adding turnips to your mashed potato recipe (a Snap kitchen fav), roasting them up with some of your other yummy veggies, or enjoying them as a side dish to your favorite protein, turnips can provide you with a multitude of health benefits – so don’t miss out!
And if cooking in the kitchen isn’t in your wheelhouse, consider trying out one or two of Snap Kitchen’s meals that include the root veggie of the day (turnips, obviously!). Which one will you try next?