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5 Super Health Benefits about a Vegetable You’ve Probably Never Heard Of!
There is a super nutrient rich vegetable that originates in Eastern Europe. The Germans call it the “cabbage turnip”, and this is a fairly accurate description of this veggie as it does come from the cabbage family and it really does resemble a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. It has a turnip shape to its stem, which is the part most people eat, and leaves sprouting from it similar to cabbages. It’s called kohlrabi, and if you’ve never heard of it, or never tried it, you are in for a surprise. This super healthy veggie can be eaten raw or grilled like corn, or used in stir fry’s like many other veggies.
If you buy kohlrabi with the greens still attached, you can cook the greens like you would kale or turnip greens. Remember to peel kohlrabi thoroughly before eating or cooking. This veggie has a very thick, hard skin, which should be peeled away; otherwise it won’t cook up soft. Keep peeling until you reach the light colored layer of crisp fresh.
No matter how you prepare it, kohlrabi has numerous health benefits. Check out the top 5 benefits of adding kohlrabi to your diet.
1. Encourages healthy digestion
Kohlrabi is a terrific source of fiber. A one cup serving has about 5 grams of fiber, or 19 percent of your RDA of dietary fiber for the day. This high fiber content helps to promote bowel regularity by keeping your colon clean and maintaining its overall health. Fiber is extremely important for preserving the numbers of good bacteria in the digestive system. All of the above functions will help contribute to a lower risk of developing digestive problems such as colon cancer or hemorrhoids.
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2. Super nutrient dense vegetable
Kohlrabi has a very high nutrient to calorie ratio. The more nutrients per calorie, the healthier the food is considered to be. Nutrients are the important things that your body needs in order to perform its best. The trade –off in getting nutrients are the calories. Perhaps the best way to think about nutrient density is to compare it to cost and value. In order to get valuable items (nutrients) at less than cost (calories) is what we would consider a great deal. The same with the foods we eat. One cup of raw kohlrabi has a tiny 36 calories but it is loaded with many of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals your body needs every day.
3. Good for the circulatory system
Since kohlrabi is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, this would translate into being heart healthy and helps to improve the circulatory system within the body. Saturated fats are what are commonly called “bad fats” as they clog up the arteries and can lead to heart disease. High levels of saturated fats in the blood increase the bad levels of cholesterol in the blood which can lead to strokes or heart attacks.
4. Assists in the proper function of muscles and nerves
A one cup serving of raw kohlrabi has 14 percent of your RDA of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral, one the body cannot do without and it is associated with the proper functioning of your nerves and muscles. It also helps to store carbohydrates as fuel for your muscles. Your nerves rely on potassium in order to work.
5. Supports a healthy immune system
Kohlrabi supports a healthy immune system due to its high levels of vitamin C. One cup of raw kohlrabi has 140 percent of your RDA of vitamin C. You need a strong immune system to fight off all types of viruses, bacteria, and diseases- everything from the common cold to cancer. Vitamin C will help support your immune system while improving the absorption of iron. It also helps to regenerate the vitamin E supply in the body. Read also about other ways to boost your immunity.
Next time you hit up the produce section of your supermarket or health food store, put a little kohlrabi in your cart and give it a try.