Kohlrabi

Often overlooked, kohlrabi, or German turnip, is a nutrient-dense vegetable. Though it might not be as popular as other vegetables, kohlrabi has some impressive health benefits that you should know about. Besides being high in fiber and vitamin C, kohlrabi contains essential antioxidants that can protect your body from disease. Plus, kohlrabi is low in calories and carbs, which makes it a great choice for weight loss and blood sugar management. 

Kohlrabi Nutrition Facts

Below are the kohlrabi nutrition facts. It’s based on a cup (135 grams) of raw kohlrabi:

  • 36 calories
  • 8 grams of carbohydrates
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • 2 grams of protein
  • It has 93% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C
  • It has 12% of the DV of vitamin B6
  • It has 10% of the DV of potassium
  • It has 6% of the DV of magnesium
  • It has 8% of the DV of manganese
  • It has 5% of the DV of folate

Antioxidants like vitamin C protect your body against free radicals and contributes to wound healing, collagen synthesis, iron absorption, and immune health. Furthermore, it’s high in vitamin B6, which promotes immune function, protein metabolism, and red blood cell creation. It’s also high in potassium, a mineral and electrolyte that aids heart health and fluid balance.

Health Benefits of Kohlrabi

Below are the health benefits of Kohlrabi.

Kohlrabi May Aid in the Digestive System

Kohlrabi is a cruciferous vegetable that is a good source of fiber for people who eat a lot of food. The food has a lot of fiber, which helps move your bowels. Fiber can help you eliminate constipation and feel less bloated and crampy. The fiber and its ability to improve the gastrointestinal system’s quality help maximize nutrient uptake efficiency.

Kohlrabi Promotes Eye Health

Kohlrabi is a beautiful source of carotenes, including beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant compound in the body. Beta-carotene is especially effective in the ocular area. Vitamin A is known to slow down macular degeneration and will slow down or eliminate the appearance of cataracts. Vitamin A helps to neutralize free radicals in the eyes and prevent oxidative stress.

Kohlrabi May Help in the Fight Against Cancer

Kohlrabi is known to contain a phytochemical called isothiocyanate. Research suggests that it may have a protective benefit against cancer. Isothiocyanates are known to help with the conversion of estrogen in the body and may also create a barrier against the hormones associated with breast and prostate cancers.

Kohlrabi Supports Nerve and Muscle Function

Nutritionists have found that 1 cup of raw kohlrabi has 14% of the recommended daily allowance of potassium. The primary role of potassium is associated with muscle and nerve function. Potassium helps to store carbohydrates which are then used to fuel the muscles. Nerve transmissions and nerve excitability heavily depend on an adequate potassium level in the body.

Kohlrabi May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes by Helping With Weight Loss

In early studies, researchers have found promising results to suggest that kohlrabi may lessen the need for blood sugar-regulating medications. Kohlrabi contains a lot of fiber and water, which helps to reduce caloric intake and increase satiety. It has the potential to lower body weight. A recent study found that men who ate more cruciferous vegetables had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Kohlrabi Is High in Antioxidants

Kohlrabi has a variety of antioxidants, including vitamin C, anthocyanins, isothiocyanates, and glucosinolates. These plant chemicals defend cells from free-radical damage, raising your risk of disease.

Diets high in antioxidant-rich vegetables, such as kohlrabi, are linked to a decreased risk of diabetes, metabolic disease, and early death. Anthocyanins are one type of flavonoid found in purple kohlrabi’s skin. Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cognitive function.

Kohlrabi colors range from green to red, white, and purple. In addition to being high in antioxidants, they are high in isothiocyanates and glucosinolates, which reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and inflammation.

Kohlrabi is Rich in Anthocyanin

The purple kohlrabi cultivar has higher amounts of anthocyanin, according to research. Furthermore, studies show that consuming anthocyanin can help to prevent heart attack and arterial stiffness.

Kohlrabi Promotes a Healthy Gut

Kohlrabi is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. The former helps maintain good blood sugar and cholesterol levels by assisting with water absorption. In addition, insoluble fiber isn’t digested in your intestine, aiding in increasing the bulk of your stools and promoting regular bowel movements.

Furthermore, fiber is essential for optimal gut health, as it is the primary food source for probiotic bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. These bacteria generate short-chain fatty acids that nourish your gut cells and possibly protect against heart disease and obesity. Furthermore, the healthy gut microbiota has been linked to a more beneficial immune system and lower obesity and bowel disease risks.

Kohlrabi May Lower Risk of Heart Disease

It contains plant chemicals called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which are generally found in cruciferous vegetables. High-glucosinolate consumption has been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease due to its ability to widen blood vessels and reduce inflammation. Furthermore, isothiocyanates have antioxidant effects that may help prevent plaque build-up in your arteries.

Kohlrabi Supports a Healthy Immune System

Kohlrabi is high in vitamin C, which is essential for promoting immunity. As a result, including kohlrabi in your diet enables you to fulfill the daily recommended values of vitamin C. Vitamin C intake at sufficient levels ensures the formation of cytokines and lymphocytes to combat infections. Furthermore, vitamin C has a wide range of advantages for the skin. It may enhance collagen synthesis, promote moisture retention, and protect skin from UV radiation, among other things.

Kohlrabi May Improve Bone Strength

Kohlrabi is high in calcium and magnesium, which help to promote stronger bones. Bones have about 99% of the calcium in our body. It’s calcium that gives the skeleton its structure and strength. For life processes, calcium acts as hardening and strengthening mineral. Magnesium aids in bone density improvement, increasing bone hardness and decreasing the risk of fractures or osteoporosis.

Side Effects of Eating Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi has no adverse side effects of its own. It’s a cruciferous vegetable containing thiocyanates, preventing the body from absorbing iodine. As a result, individuals with thyroid problems should consult their doctor before taking any supplements or eating raw kohlrabi. Cruciferous veggies can also cause issues with blood thinners and, at times, become dangerous.

Excess consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as kohlrabi, can cause stomach upset. It is high in fiber and takes longer to digest, so overeating might cause nausea, bloating, or diarrhea. Although the mechanism behind flatulence and abdominal discomfort are unknown, you should avoid eating kohlrabi when these symptoms occur.

References:

  1. Kohlrabi as a Source of Vitamin C – PMC (nih.gov)
  2. High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women – PubMed (nih.gov)
  3. Identification and Characterization of Anthocyanin Biosynthesis-Related Genes in Kohlrabi – PubMed (nih.gov)
  4. FoodData Central (usda.gov)
  5. The active role of vitamin C in mammalian iron metabolism: much more than just enhanced iron absorption! – PubMed (nih.gov)
  6. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health – PMC (nih.gov)
  7. Immunonutrition: Role in Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration – PMC (nih.gov)
  8. The Role of Physiological Vitamin C Concentrations on Key Functions of Neutrophils Isolated from Healthy Individuals – PubMed (nih.gov)
  9. Vitamin B6 Deficiency – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
  10. Serum Potassium and Cardiovascular Outcomes: The Highs and the Lows – PMC (nih.gov)
  11. Potassium: From Physiology to Clinical Implications – PubMed (nih.gov)
  12. Whole Fruits and Fruit Fiber Emerging Health Effects – PubMed (nih.gov)
  13. Health effects of dietary fiber – PubMed (nih.gov)
  14. Adiposity, gut microbiota and faecal short chain fatty acids are linked in adult humans – PMC (nih.gov)
  15. Role of Gut Microbiota-Generated Short-Chain Fatty Acids in Metabolic and Cardiovascular Health – PubMed (nih.gov)
  16. The gut microbiota: its anatomy and physiology over a lifetime – PubMed (nih.gov)
  17. The Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity – PMC (nih.gov)
  18. Usual dietary anthocyanin intake, sources and their association with blood pressure in a representative sample of Australian adults – Igwe – 2019 – Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics – Wiley Online Library
  19. Dietary Anthocyanins and Stroke: A Review of Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Studies – PMC (nih.gov)

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