Turnip greens, the leafy, green tops of turnips, are considered a delicacy in the South and have grown in popularity across the rest of the United States thanks to their assertive flavor and hearty nutritional profile. When you're buying turnip greens, choose ones with consistent color, crisp leaves and slender stems.
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One cup of cooked turnip greens has 1.2g of protein, 4.4g of carbohydrates and 3.5g of dietary fiber. A cup of turnip greens also has 27mg of vitamin C, 118mcg of folate, 203mg of potassium and 137mg of calcium. In 1 cup of turnip greens, you'll get about 20 calories.
Fresh turnip greens are available from October to March, but canned and frozen turnip greens can be found year-round and have the same nutritional benefits. Check the package to be sure you're buying greens that are packed in water or flash frozen to maximize nutritional benefits.
Turnip greens are a good addition to a healthy diet because they are low in calories, cholesterol, fat and sodium. They can be prepared in a variety of ways, including steaming, blanching and sauteing and used in salads, stews, casseroles or served on their own.
Turnip greens contain many nutrients that benefit overall health. Vitamin C in turnip greens helps protect cells in the body from damage by free radicals. Folate helps with the production of new cells and strengthens bones. Potassium helps your body maintain normal kidney function and plays a role in conducting nerve information through the body. Calcium helps strengthen bones and teeth.
Turnip greens contain calcium oxalates, which can cause health problems if they accumulate and crystallize in the body. If you have a history of gall bladder problems or kidney stones, you may want to avoid turnip greens because of their high oxalate content.