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Health Benefits of Turnip Greens

Updated on February 22, 2018
Ladymermaid profile image

Mother of 2 daughters and grandmother of 6 I strive daily to achieve an optimum level of health and happiness. It is all about balance.


Don't Throw Away Those Turnip Tops

Don't throw away those turnip tops they are good for you. It is sad to think that one of our most nutritious dark green leafy vegetables sources is generally just thrown out with the trash. It is turnip greens.

Turnip greens are generally chucked out in the trash rather than eaten as a side dish at supper. The top leafy portion of the turnip plant tends to be very misjudged as to its importance as a food source. I am hoping to help stop this practice.

Turnip greens provide high levels of antioxidants and they are indeed proving themselves to be a vegetable that is very beneficial in the fight against heart disease, lung diseases such as emphysema, as well as many forms of cancer and arthritis.

Turnip greens may be of special benefit to those who suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis as it has high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Calcium and Copper which all have been proven beneficial in the fight against Rheumatoid arthritis.

Diets high in antioxidants are proving to have a great contribution in the fight against a number of illnesses. Cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease and arthritis are just a few of the many illnesses that can have their symptoms reduced simply through the consumption of a diet rich in antioxidants.

Do you eat the turnip and throw out the green?

Do you eat the turnip greens?

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Such a Waste of Valuable Nutrients People Often Keep the Root but Chuck the Greens of Root Vegetables


Low in Calories Yet high In Vitamin K and A

Most people know that the turnip root is edible but a great many individuals have no knowledge what-so-ever about the top leafy portion of the turnip plant so they wrongfully presume that it is indigestible. It often winds up in garbage cans or compost piles all across the country and we lose a very valuable source of nutrition.

A single one cup serving of turnip greens will contain a mere twenty-eight calories but will supply a multitude of vitamins and minerals within it.

Ranked in order of their prominence within the greens are the nutrients Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Tryptrophan, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin B2, Phosphorus, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, Omega-3 fatty acids, Protein and Vitamin B3.

Traditional Southern Style Turnip Greens Recipe

Delicious and Nutritious Turnip Greens - Add Them To Your Meals Today!

So please don't throw them away. The greens are easily steamed or boiled so they can then be served up as a tasty side dish with your meal.

Simply serve the cooked Turnip Greens with melted butter and season to taste with salt and pepper and you have a nutritious vegetable dish. They can be also be used as an "add in" to almost any casserole, vegetable, or rice dish, and serve to add a little spark of color in addition to their nutritional boost to the meal.

If saving the greens for future use it only takes a two minutes boiling time to blanch then pop them into a bag and into the freezer so they are available for future meals. They freeze well for several months.

When a food is this healthy it really is a crime to waste it. Make sure your turnip plants gets used to it's full potential, from its root to its top, enjoy.

Eat healthy. Live Well.

They are Highly Nutritious but Many People are Unaware They are Edible

Were You Aware that the Tops are Edible?

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A Food This Nutritiously Good Should be Consumed.

Cow pulling up a turnip to eat.
Cow pulling up a turnip to eat.

Most Leafy Green Vegetables are Very Healthy

We seem to naturally know that if it is a leafy green vegetable that it must be healthy for us but somehow when it comes to root vegetables we seem unsure as to whether the tops are edible or not.

Both beet and turnip have this problem. The roots are generally used for meals but often the greens are trashed in the preparation process. Don't do it.

Give those greens a try either raw in a salad or cooked just as you would swiss chard. The burst of flavor and nutrition in these tops will have you saving them in the future.

© 2008 Lorelei Cohen

Do You Throw Away Your Turnip Tops?

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    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      3 months ago from Beautiful South

      What! Are you serious? Some people actually throw away turnip greens! No self-respectin' Southerner would do that. My daddy used to raise the most beautiful patches of turnip greens. So pretty that people would stop and offer to pay him to let them pick a mess. He always refused...their money. "Go pick yourself a mess, no charge," he'd say. Today in the South communities are setting up community gardens so low-income families can always have something nutritious to eat.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I've never eaten turnips greens bet I bet they are good. Thanks for the info!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      We love Turnip Greens and Turnips and eat them quite often. We usually grow our own and freeze them so we can have them year round. We actually don't add much seasoning at all to ours so found this very interesting.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Turnip Green Burritos! Heat some salsa in a pot, add the greens, salt, pepper, cumin and cook about 20 minutes. Roll into tortilla with some refried beans and hot sauce. Yum!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I have to find creative ideas for the greens to get my husband to indulge. Thanks for making it easy and delicious sounding.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Are can turnip greens as healthy? They are sooo good!

    • profile image

      don in piljerk 

      6 years ago


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love them I knew that they were healthy, but I just eat them because they are so good , with cornbread and sweet potatoes.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I absolutely love turnip greens, the root and the leafy part I could eat them ever day and I do ever chance I get

      and a lot of my friends at work like me to cook them so they can enjoy

    • profile image

      Albert Jefferson 

      7 years ago

      I'm a regular produce aficionado and TURNIP GREENS have proven to be a favorite with me. I'm particularly impressed with their nutritional signature and switch often between TURNIP GREENS and COLLARD GREENS for the vegetable kick to my meals which always include some variety of bean plant. Prince Albert.

    • profile image

      doctor relm 

      8 years ago

      turnip greTurnip greens are full of vitamin A, C, E, B6, folate copper, calcium, antioxidants and dietary fiber. In one cup of these greens is only 35 calories, nearly nothing compared to all the health benefits the consumer is gaining.If you are not eating need to start. Even if it means buying them in a can...Allens has a delicious seasoned can version.

    • profile image

      dei xhrist 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the recipes - I steamed and then (overcooked) my latest batch, with garlic and a topping of tahini. The result is very bitter - the turnips are 6" across and I'm wondering how much of the bitterness is due to the advanced age of the plant. Next time, I'll introduce some oil and almonds; could definitely use some sort of fat. Oh, and the dog loves 'em.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Just made some soup loaded with turnip greens.. Yummy and healthy.

    • profile image

      Bridgette HOward 

      8 years ago

      I have made turnip greens the last two weeks and they are awesome. I bowl a piece of smoke jowl and ham hock for 30 minutes. After I have cleaned my greens I add them to the pot with 1/4 salt, minced garlic, a whole onion cut up, some red pepper. You can taste as the greens are getting done how the flavor is and add whatever more that suits you. MMMM MMMM YYUUMM YYUUMM, make corn bread

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My nieghbor actually introduced me to turnip greens. I loved them so much I asked how she made them. She said a bit of bacon, and bacon grease, (not much) and onion and garlic, sauted, and whalah!.. I tried making them myself and wow! I love them. I eat them every chance I get. I tried to get my older brother who's 50 to eat them and my niece who's 17 to eat them, and they tuned their noses up at them.. What a disappointment. They are so used to fast food it's pathetic, and they don't eat healthy.... However I love them and will continue to push them or oresent them to friends and famiuly every chance I get.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I think turnip greens ar best cooked with a little fat back grease, eaten with pintos, which is very good for you, mashed potatoes, and corn bread. Try it, you will be pleasently surprised, and it is a very healthy meal.

    • profile image


      9 years ago


    • Tpri profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for doing the research - I know no one else would have bothered. Sounds healthy to me and with a little spicing up could turn out rather tasty I guess :) 

    • Ladymermaid profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorelei Cohen 

      9 years ago from Canada

      I went and did some more research to see if I could find any health hazards related to eating turnip greens but all I found was good healthy nutritional stuff.

      So then I scooted over to take a peek at Mr. Gott's diet and it is a "NO FLOUR-NO SUGAR DIET", I typed turnip greens into the search box, and got nothing on it there. Soooooooooooo.....I think you may have something confused there.


    • profile image

      robert davis 

      9 years ago

      I cooked turnip greens for a good ole country dinner for a party. A friend of mine informed me Dr. Gott that answers health questions advised against eat them due to they somehow destroy the heart this true?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I love turnip greens, I usually cook it with shrimp. I dice up onions and red onion, saute' it in olive oil, throw in the shrimp, add sesame oil, oyster sauce, lemon juice, and ginger. I add in the greens to absorbe the flavor and juice. Tastes real good. I think turnip greens goes well with almost anything, nd it's good for you :D


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