Published:  12:00 AM, 30 November 2016

kohlrabi

A disease-fighting, phytochemical powerhouse


Kohlrabi health benefits are derived when it is consumed as a vegetable. This vegetable has a bulb at the base while the leaves are narrow. It belongs to the class of broccoli and cauliflower belonging to the family of cabbages.

 It originated from Germany and Australia but now it is being grown in most parts of the world. It's an annual variety of cabbage vegetable. Kohlrabi is a very commonly eaten vegetable in German-speaking countries and northern India. It's known as 'Olkopi' in Bengali, scientific name Brassica oleracea. Somewhere it's called German turnip or turnip cabbage.

This vegetable requires enough rainfall and fertile soil to grow hence use of organic manure to enrich the soil is highly recommended. It can be eaten raw as well as cooked. When prepared the outer two fibrous layers are peeled before being used in salads and slaws. This vegetable retains a green color all through its life span.

Here are some health benefits of kohlrabi-

Kohlrabi is low in calories: Kohlrabi is a great vegetable to help weight loss because it is low in calories, high in fiber, and nutritionally dense. Dietary fiber is filling and helps individuals eat less food than if they were to eat a low-fiber diet. A substance in kohlrabi inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrates into fat, definitely a better way to lose weight!

Kohlrabi may help improve your vision: Kohlrabi is an affluent source of carotenes, including beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant in the body, particularly in the eyes. Vitamin A can help to prevent macular degeneration and slow down or eliminate the development of cataracts.

Kohlrabi can help prevent cancer: Kohlrabi contains high levels of phytochemicals and carotenes, which are considered some of the most important antioxidant compounds for the prevention of cancers. Antioxidants seek and eliminate free radicals (biological waste) that can potentially mutate natural cells into cancer cells.

Kohlrabi can help boost your immune system: One cup of kohlrabi contains 140 percent of vitamin C. Vitamin C is hypothesized to increase the production of cytokines and lymphocytes to fight infections.

Kohlrabi can help manage your blood pressure: An increased potassium intake and decreased sodium intake has been linked to a lowered blood pressure. One cup of kohlrabi contains 473 milligrams of potassium and only 27 milligrams of sodium.  Kohlrabi juice when mixed with green apple juice help lower the cholesterol level in one's body. The high content of phosphorus helps in initiating this action.

Kohlrabi can help improve heart health: The recommended 4700 milligrams (mg) of potassium are not obtained by many individuals in the United States, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, despite the benefits of increased potassium intake. One study suggested that individuals who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium (approximately 1000 mg per day).

Kohlrabi is great for the digestive system: Kohlrabi is a great source of fiber. A one-cup serving of parsnip contains 5 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Fiber can help prevent constipation, making one's bowel movement easier to manage.

Kohlrabi nutrition facts
1 cup (135g) of kohlrabi (3, 4) contains:
* 36 calories
* 8.4 grams carbohydrates
* 2.6 grams protein
* 0 grams fat
* 4.9 grams fiber
 83.7 milligrams vitamin C (140 percent DV)
* 472 milligrams potassium (13.5 percent DV)
* 0.2 milligrams B6 (10 percent DV)
* 62 milligrams phosphorus (6.2 percent DV)
* 22 micrograms folate (5.5 percent DV)
* 0.1 milligrams thiamine (4.7 percent DV)
 32 milligrams calcium (3.2 percent DV)

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