Eating turnips has been regarded by ancient people as low and demeaning. And even if they do eat them, they throw away the turnip greens to the slaves not knowing they are throwing away the most nutritious portion of this humble tuber.
The slaves didn’t know it, too. But they have learned to adopt the tops in their diet. If the slave owners were alive today, they would have been aghast to know that people, whether rich or poor, eat turnip greens.
Without the influence of any unfair misjudgment, turnip is a healthy source of so many vitamins and nutrients. But the greens – the leafy tops most people disregard because of lack of knowledge – are where the nutrients are concentrated.
Yes, the greens are more nutrient-dense compared to the roots. It’s an excellent source of vitamins like vitamins A, C, E, B6, K, folic acid, calcium and many more.
And because it’s loaded with nutrients, minerals and phytochemicals, eating turnip greens can definitely enhance good health and even provide remedy to certain ailments.
Studies show that greens lower the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, lung diseases, colon, rectal and other cancers. Hemorrhoids are relieved as well as rheumatoid arthritis. And because of the lutein the greens contain, cataracts and cardiovascular diseases can very well be prevented.
Smaller than the leaves of collards, turnip greens are tender and delicious, too. They are cooked the way we usually cook spinach. They can also be used as an add-on ingredient in stews, soups and salads.
The produce section of local supermarkets usually has turnip greens, or you may find turnip roots with the tops still attached to it. Choose greens that are crisp with a dark green color. Instead of cutting the greens off and dumping them in the trash, you can quickly blanch and store them in the freezer for future use.