Boosting Life Choices: Turnips



When I was a kid my mom had only one rule when it came to eating vegetables. I only had to try it once and if I didn’t like it I didn’t have to eat it. Of course, like any child I loved this rule. One I regret to this day, because you see, my family (including my children) eat all kinds of vegetables and I usually stick to the peas, corn, lettuce, cucumbers and the occasional carrots in my pea soup. So, of course when I came across turnips in a friend’s soup a few years back I was reluctant to trying it. To my amazement it was actually pretty good.

Turnip is a vegetable that is in the cabbage family. Turnip is considered a fighter against cancer and heart disease. It contains very high levels of antioxidants used in juicing. Turnips have been cultivated for more than 4 thousand years.

Turnips are a great source of vitamins; vitamin A, B6, C, K, folate, calcium, potassium, sulfur, and copper. It’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This wonder vegetable is also effective in treating anemia and purifies the blood. The darker leaves of the turnips used in salads are recommended for people with hypothyroidism due to its higher level of iodine.  People that suffer from hypothyroidism; a condition of low thyroid hormones that slow down the body functions, symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, hair loss and menstrual irregularities in women.

It is believed there are other healing powers of this marvelous vegetable:

  • Helps lower lipid levels and fight infectious diseases
  • Vitamins A, B & C help equalize the nervous system
  • Helps strengthen bones
  • Increases visual keenness and used to treat night blindness
  • Increases appetite
  • Turnip extract – renal stones, and other urinary diseases
  • Respiratory ailment
  • Relives coughs, hoarseness, sore throats & bronchitis
  • Extract- is known to help treat diabetes
  • Applying topically can help with skin inflammations, acne, itching & abscesses

Having some of the above mentioned ailments in our family, I am currently looking to in add turnips into our daily dietary supplement. There are some really good recipes out there that include turnips…some I hope my children will, unlike myself at their age, like!

As with anything, please consult with your physician before including anything in your diet.  One thing to note is that Turnip greens contain oxalates, a natural substance found in plants, animals, and humans. Oxalates can cause health problems when they become too concentrated and crystalize. Because of this people with kidney or gallbladder problems may want to stay away from eating turnip greens.  So please, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, talk to your doctor first.

turnip smoothie

Turnip Green Smoothie


  • 1 bunch turnip greens, raw, stems and all.
  • 1 cup tofu, silken or firm
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange peeled and split into segments
  • soy milk or orange juice depending on how sweet you want it.
  • Ice


Combine all ingredients, blend on high until smooth.


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