Turnips (Shalgam): Uses, Health Benefits, & Side Effects

What are Turnips (Shalgam)?     

The root vegetable known as a turnip (shalgam) has been a favorite in soups and salads since it was first cultivated. But many people have never stopped to wonder where turnips (shalgam) come from. They may not realize turnips are a winter staple and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Let’s go beyond turnip tops and look at the whole vegetable.

Turnip (also known as a white turnip) is a plant of the Brassicaceae family. Its scientific name is Brassica rapa.

Its root is lumpy, from which vegetable is made. Some consider it to be of Russia and some consider it a native of Northern Europe. Now it is grown around all parts of the earth.

Turnip is a root vegetable that is related to the broccoli and cabbage family. It is a hardy vegetable that can be grown in cool climates and is available year-round.

The turnip’s edible root is cylindrical and typically white or purple. The greens, which are also edible, are dark green and have a bitter taste.

It is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked and is often used in salads, soups, and stews. It is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber.

Turnips are also relatively low in calories, making them a good choice for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

What are The Nutrition Facts (Value) of Turnips (Shalgam)?

nutrition value of turnips (shalgam)
Turnips Nutrition

Nutritional Facts of Turnips (raw) are as under:

Nutritional Value per 100 gram of Turnips, raw (1)
Energy28 Kcal
Water 91.9 g
Carbohydrates6.43 g
  Sugars3.8 g
  Dietary fiber1.8 g
Protein0.9 g
Fat0.1 g
  Sodium67 mg
  Calcium30 mg
  Potassium191 mg
  Copper0.085 mg
  Iron0.3 mg
  Magnesium11 mg
  Phosphorus27 mg
  Zinc0.27 mg
  Manganese0.134 mg
  Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.04 mg
  Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.03 mg
  Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.4 mg
  Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.2 mg
  Folate15 mcg
  Vitamin C21 mg
  Vitamin E0.03 mg
  Vitamin K0.1 mcg
Nutrition Value of Turnips

Turnip (shalgam) is a root vegetable that is related to kale, cabbage, and broccoli.

It is a nutrition-rich vegetable that has been a part of the human diet for thousands of years. It contains a number of important nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.

One cup of boiled turnip (shalgam) contains only 28 calories, making it a great weight-loss food. It also has a lot of water, which can help you stay hydrated.

This vegetable has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer. It is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help fight against the effects of aging.

Turnip is not only a great source of nutrition but also has amazing health benefits. It can help to improve blood circulation, digestion, and liver function. Its nutrition is extremely important for anyone who wants to live a healthy life.

It is high in vitamin C, which helps your body to fight off colds and viruses. It also has a lot of fiber, helping to keep your digestive system running smoothly by giving it more bulk and support.

The turnip is also known to be high in potassium which helps control blood pressure levels.

This vegetable is low in calories and provides only about half the amount of carbohydrates found in other root vegetables such as potatoes or carrots.

What Are The Uses And Health Benefits Of Turnips (Shalgam)?

health benefits of turnips (shalgam)
Uses & Benefits of Turnips

Turnip is a root vegetable that is high in vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. And it is also a good source of folate and magnesium.

Below here I am explaining to you the 12 uses and health benefits of turnips (shalgam):

1) Turnips Strengthen the Immune System

Strong immune systems are essential for a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, turnips can be included in immune-boosting foods to keep the immune system strong. Actually, in scientific research, there is mention of immunological effect in turnip, which can be helpful in increasing immunity. Also, vitamin C is found in it and this vitamin can help increase immunity. At the moment, more research needs to be done about how the benefits of turnips work to strengthen the immune system

2) Turnips May Help To Control Blood Sugar Levels

A blood sugar level is the amount of sugar in a blood sample. Blood sugar levels indicate how much glucose (sugar) your body is using as energy. If you have diabetes, it’s important to keep blood sugar levels under control since having too high or low levels can cause long-term health problems such as nerve damage and vision loss.

A study conducted on type 2 diabetic mice has revealed that turnip root extracts have antidiabetic effects. This study also reported that its root extracts can aid control glucose levels by increasing the insulin/glucagon ratio (2).

Another 28-day study conducted on rats with diabetes detected that those fed a daily dose of 200–400 mg of aqueous extract of turnip leaf per kg body weight experienced considerably decreased blood sugar, as well as lower total and LDL cholesterol levels (3).

Though these studies have only tested different types of extracts on mice/rats, it’s unclear whether fresh turnip and turnip greens have parallel effects in humans.  

3) Turnips May Protect You against Harmful Bacteria

Turnips’ glucosinolates break down into isothiocyanates, which are a group of compounds that inhibit microbial and bacterial growth (8), (4).

Studies have established that isothiocyanates fight common disease-causing bacteria, like S. aureus and E. coli (5).

One in-vitro study revealed that isothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetables had an 87% antibacterial effect against antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus (6).

Also, due to the recent rise in cases of bacterial resistance, researchers have conducted in-vitro and animal studies to estimate the possible effect of combining standard antibiotics with isothiocyanates. And the results recommended that by combining them together, they may have a more noteworthy effect in controlling bacterial growth (5, 7).

4) Turnips May Provide Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Inflammation is linked with many chronic illnesses, like cancer, arthritis, and high blood pressure (hypertension) caused by the hardening of the arteries.

Glucosinolates in turnips break down into isothiocyanates and indoles, both of these are bioactive byproducts having anti-inflammatory properties (8), (9).

Studies suggest that Arvelexin, a specific kind of indole present in turnips, inhibits pro-inflammatory compounds, like nitric oxide, a type of free radical involved in the inflammation process (10), (11).

In vitro and animal studies have also shown that arvelexin significantly diminished inflammation and injury in human colon cells and the colons of mice by inhibiting an inflammatory pathway (12).

5) Turnips May Promote Bone Health

Turnips are very helpful in promoting bone health. They’re rich in bone-building nutrients, including zinc and vitamin K.

A study conducted in 2015 suggests that glucosinolates from turnip root may positively affect bone formation in rats (13).

This vegetable also contains vitamin K, which helps in promoting calcium absorption, increasing bone density, and lowering the risk of fractures (14).

6) Turnips May Promote Eye Health

Turnip can also be used to keep the eyes healthy.

Research related to this shows that two compounds called lutein and zeaxanthin are present in the green leaves of turnip, which can help in keeping the eyes healthy (15). In addition, these two compounds may also help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (an eye disease that can lead to blindness).

On this basis, it can be said that the benefits of turnip for eye health can be seen.

7) Turnips May Help To lower Blood Pressure

An increase in blood pressure increases the risk of many diseases, which also include diseases related to the heart.

Consuming turnips can help reduce the risk of increasing blood pressure, because of the amount of potassium found in them. This nutrient can reduce blood pressure by releasing sodium from the body and helping arteries dilate.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, foods like turnips and collard greens having dietary nitrates may offer multiple benefits for the wellbeing of the blood vessels (16).

Lowering blood pressure and preventing the sticking together of platelets in the blood are some of these benefits.

Although, the long-term dangers of a high nitrate diet and its effect on cardiovascular health are still unclear.

Generally, vegetable and fruit-rich diets have positive effects on blood pressure. They play an important role in the Dash diet by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which medical experts suggest to bring down blood pressure (17).

But also keep in mind that in case of increased blood pressure, you must consult a doctor.

8) Turnips May Relieve Intestinal Problems

Consuming 1 cup of raw turnips (about 130 grams) provides you approximately 2.34 grams of fiber (1). And fiber helps in reducing inflammation and pressure in the colon.

Adding this vegetable to your diet would help in promoting gut health and may also provide relief from stomach issues like gas, bloating, and constipation.

Also, diets rich in fiber are linked with a decreased risk of intestinal problems, like diverticulitis.

High fiber foods like turnips can help to lower the occurrence of diverticulitis flares by absorbing water in the colon and thus making bowel movements easier. But keep in mind that doctors do not always suggest a high fiber diet for people with diverticulitis. So, you should consult a doctor before consuming high-fiber foods.

A study suggests that eating higher quantities of dietary fiber may lower the risk of diverticular disease due to its help in bowel movement (18).

Another study conducted in 2012 found that eating high fiber did not change a person’s risk of asymptomatic diverticulitis (19).

More research in this regard will help clarify the advantages of fiber for preventing diverticulitis.

Thus, people must speak to their doctor before considerably increasing their fiber consumption.

9) Turnips May Reduce The Risk of cancer

High consumption of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and turnips, is associated with a lower risk of cancer.

Also, turnips contain numerous beneficial plant compounds that are linked with cancer-fighting properties.

These vegetables have various compounds like 3,3′-diindolylmethane, which may have protective effects against certain cancers (20).

Foods that contain sulforaphane (a compound) could also possibly play an important part in cancer treatment.  And cruciferous vegetables like turnips contain high levels of this compound.

A study conducted in 2015 found that sulforaphane may interfere with the function of an enzyme called histone deacetylase, which plays a role in the progression of cancer cells (21).

Besides having high vitamin C content, which may help in preventing the growth and spread of cancer cells, turnips are also high in glucosinolates (22).

Various studies have associated higher consumption of glucosinolates with a lower risk of different types of cancer, like colon, lung, and rectal cancers (23, 24, and 25).

Also, turnips are rich in flavonoids mainly anthocyanins, which is another type of antioxidant with proven anticancer effects (26).

10) Turnips May Protect The Liver

Turnips’ content of sulfur compounds (like glucosinolates) and anthocyanins have been shown to exert liver-protecting effects in rats with liver toxicity (8).

11) Turnips Benefits for Skin

The medicinal properties of turnips may also work for good skin health.

Turnips are rich in vitamin C and are also a great source of this powerful antioxidant, which can help fight free radicals. Vitamin C can help in making your skin glow.

Not only this, but vitamin C can also be helpful in preventing the effects of aging on the skin before time. Apart from this, vitamin C can also play an important role in revitalizing the skin and removing blemishes from the skin. For this, turnip can be used in the form of juice.

12) Turnips Benefits for Hair

Consuming turnips in the diet can help with hair care.

Zinc, magnesium, and iron are found in turnips, and these nutrients can play an important role in hair growth.

Iron plays an important role in the melanin production in hair (27). Iron deficiency is reported to cause premature hair graying and hair loss (27). Consuming iron-rich foods raw like turnip greens may help reduce hair loss.

What are the 5 Side Effects of Turnip (Shalgam)?

turnip vegetable side effects
Side Effects of Turnips

As I have mentioned in this article that turnip is rich in nutrients, but along with its health benefits, its disadvantages cannot be ignored. Know below the 5 disadvantages (side effects) of turnips:

1) Allergic To Turnips

Some Individuals Might Be allergic to cruciferous vegetables like turnips, broccoli, etc., in that case, it’s better to avoid turnips.

Some of the allergic reactions that may arise after eating this vegetable are watery eyes, runny nose, cough, sore eyes, breathing problems, redness around the lips, and lip swelling.

2) Eating Too Much Dietary Fiber Is Bad For Stomach

Turnips are rich in dietary fiber and thus they improve bowel movement, relieve constipation, and give relief from gastrointestinal difficulties such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence, etc.

But eating an excessive amount of dietary fibers may cause decreased absorption of nutrients and also increase the risk of diarrhea, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, etc.

People having a sensitive digestive system may suffer from abdominal pain and gas even after eating a small portion of the fiber.

Thus, to be on the safer side, eat turnips in a moderate amount.

You can eat a small portion of this vegetable, and let your digestive system adjust gradually.

3) May Drop Blood Pressure Levels Below Normal

Millions of people around the world are suffering from high blood pressure, which is a major cause of cardiovascular and other health problems.

Turnips are rich in potassium, which is a natural vasodilator (28) and relaxes blood vessels, and in turn, provide relief from high blood pressure. This mineral also helps in improving cardiovascular health and maintaining electrolyte balance.

But, excessive consumption of turnips may decrease our blood pressure below the normal range and cause fainting, dizziness, trouble breathing, irregular heartbeat, nausea, dehydration, etc.

Thus, if you are on antihypertensive medication then you should eat turnips only after consulting the doctor to avoid the chance of interference.

4) Not So Good For Diabetic Patients

A value is given to foods based on how rapidly and how high those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels is called the Glycemic index.

Turnips have a glycemic index of 62 which is a considerably moderate index. Thus, when this vegetable is consumed in a moderate amount, it tends to release glucose slowly and steadily into the bloodstream and prevents a sudden rise in blood sugar levels. This is helpful in managing diabetes.

Combining turnip consumption with a high protein diet further lowers its glycemic properties.

But, consuming turnips in excess amount may drop blood sugar below the healthy range and cause excessive hunger, dizziness, confusion, and profuse sweating.

If you are a diabetic patient and taking anti-diabetic medication, then you should eat turnips only after consulting with a doctor to avoid any food-drug interference.

5) Hyperkalemia

Apart from this, potassium is also found in abundance in turnip.

Eating this vegetable in large amounts can increase the potassium content in your diet. And consumption of potassium in excess can cause hyperkalemia (the amount of potassium in the blood is higher than normal).

Because of this, the heart rate can be skyrocketing. In addition, kidney function may also deteriorate.

Some Interesting Information About Turnips (Shalgam)


Here is some important knowledge that you want to know and you must know if you are a turnip lover.

How to Find Different Turnip Seeds?

It is a plant that has been around for centuries and has many benefits. Today, it is grown all over the world and can be found in almost any grocery store.

There are different types of turnip seeds, so it can be a little tricky to find the right one for you. When looking for its seeds, it’s important to consider your climate and the type of turnip you want to grow.

For example, if you’re in a warm climate, you’ll want to choose a turnip seed that’s resistant to heat and pests. If you’re looking for a specific type of this vegetable, you must do your research to find the best seed for you.

How Do You Grow Turnips (Shalgam)?

How to grow turnips is a question many people have. Well, it’s not difficult at all. In fact, it’s one of the easiest vegetables to grow.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Choose a sunny spot in your garden or backyard.

2. Till the soil and add some compost or manure to improve fertility.

3. Sow the seeds 1 inch deep and spaced 2-3 inches apart.

4.  Give the Water regularly and keep the soil moist.

5. Thin out the seedlings when they are a couple of inches tall.

6. Harvest the turnips when they are around 2-3 inches in diameter.

You can either eat them fresh or store them in the fridge.

What Does Turnip Taste Like?

Some say turnip tastes like a cross between a potato and a carrot, while others find it to have a slight bitterness to it. It all depends on the variety you choose.

Golden turnips tend to be sweeter than the purple or white ones, so if you’re not sure what to expect, start with those.

A Roasting or sautéing turnip brings out their natural sweetness and enhances their flavor.

No matter how you choose to eat them, I guarantee you’ll love their unique taste!

How is Turnip Prepared?

The most popular way to prepare a turnip is to roast it.

Cut this vegetable into wedges, toss with olive oil and sea salt, then roast in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes.

You can also boil or steam turnip. Boiling this vegetable takes about 10 minutes, while steaming takes about 5 minutes.

How to Revive Turnip Greens?

If you’ve ever brought home a bunch of turnips, only to find that the greens have already gone bad, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

There’s a quick and easy way to revive those wilted greens and make them delicious again.

All you need is a pot of water and a little salt. Bring the pot of water to a boil, and then add the turnip greens. Let them cook for about 2 minutes, then drain the water and add salt. Toss them around a little bit to coat them in the salt, and then enjoy!

How to Use Turnips (Shalgam) for Weight Loss?

Eating turnips is one of the most effective and most common ways to lose weight. Although this vegetable can help you lose weight by improving your intestinal system and digestion.

It also helps with emotional and psychological problems. With its ability to help the body lose weight quickly while giving the body vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a variety of other health benefits, you should try this product if you want to lose weight easily and quickly.

The vegetable is loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help you look as good as you feel! Keep fit and stay healthy!

Turnips help to maintain a healthy weight. These are an excellent source of manganese, which is necessary for a healthy immune system and strong bones.

This vegetable also aids in the conversion of tryptophan into niacin, which aids in weight loss.

Turnips are a great source of Vitamin K, an important nutrient for bone health. These also contain dietary fiber and vitamin C, which support the formation of healthy blood cells and lung tissue.

Also for weight loss, turnips are rich in the phytonutrient betaine, which the body converts to trimethylglycine (TMG), which reduces fat.


Turnips (shalgams) are cruciferous vegetables with many uses and health benefits.

They boast an exciting nutritional profile, and their bioactive compounds, like glucosinolates, may protect against harmful bacteria, help in blood sugar control, and provide anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. Both roots and vegetables of turnips are edible and nutritious, making them a valuable addition to a healthy diet.





2) Effects of the ethanol extract of the roots of Brassica rapa on glucose and lipid metabolism in C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice


3) Effects of aqueous extract of turnip leaf (Brassica rapa) in alloxan-induced diabetic rats


4) The antibacterial properties of isothiocyanates


5) Antimicrobial activity of phenolics and glucosinolate hydrolysis products and their synergy with streptomycin against pathogenic bacteria


6) Antimicrobial activity of isothiocyanates from cruciferous plants against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)


7) The First study on antimicrobial activity and synergy between isothiocyanates and antibiotics against selected Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogenic bacteria from a clinical and animal source


8) Phytochemical and Health-Beneficial Progress of Turnip (Brassica rapa)


9) Indole-containing fractions of Brassica rapa inhibit inducible nitric oxide synthase and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression by inactivating nuclear factor-κB


10) Arvelexin from Brassica rapa suppresses NF-κB-regulated pro-inflammatory gene expression by inhibiting activation of IκB kinase


11) Nitric oxide and superoxide in inflammation and immune regulation


12) Arvelexin inhibits colonic inflammation by suppression of NF-κB activation in dextran sulfate sodium-induced mice and TNF-α-induced colonic epithelial cells


13) Effects of Glucosinolates from Turnip (Brassica rapa L.) Root on Bone Formation by Human Osteoblast-Like MG-63 Cells and in Normal Young Rats


14) Vitamin K and bone health


15) Look to Fruits and Vegetables for Good Eye Health


16) Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway


17) Your Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure


18) Source of dietary fiber and diverticular disease incidence: a prospective study of UK women


19) A High-Fiber Diet Does Not Protect Against Asymptomatic Diverticulosis


20) Chemopreventive properties of 3,3′-diindolylmethane in breast cancer: evidence from experimental and human studies


21) Dietary Sulforaphane in Cancer Chemoprevention: The Role of Epigenetic Regulation and HDAC Inhibition


22) Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview


23) Glucosinolates in Brassica vegetables: the influence of the food supply chain on intake, bioavailability and human health


24) Apoptosis as a Mechanism of the Cancer Chemopreventive Activity of Glucosinolates: a Review


25) Anti-Carcinogenic Glucosinolates in Cruciferous Vegetables and Their Antagonistic Effects on Prevention of Cancers


26) Flavonoids, flavonoid subclasses and breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies


27) Premature Graying of Hair: Review with Updates


28) The pulmonary vasodilator properties of a potassium channel opening drugs



Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. Any information associated with this article should not be considered as a substitute for prescriptions suggested by local health care professionals.


Recommended Articles:

1) Beetroot (Beets): Uses, Health Benefits, & Side Effects


Share This:

Leave a Comment