Kohlrabi is a vegetable that is rich in nutrients. The name means ‘cabbage turnip’ in the German language, and is an apt description of its family, i.e. the cabbage. Kohlrabi has an appearance which is kind of juxtaposition between a turnip and a cabbage. It consists of an enlarged turnip-shaped stem with leaves sprouting from the top. The stem is the part that is usually consumed. The vegetable can be cooked in a number of ways. People can eat it raw or can stir fry it or grill it. No matter how one consumes kohlrabi, it will provide many health benefits.
Kohlrabi is native to Eastern Europe. Its scientific name is Brassica oleracea. It is a perennial vegetable, but tends to grow abundantly in the cooler seasons. It is harvested in all the temperate regions across the world.
Kohlrabi generally flourishes in moderate sunshine and fertile, well drained soil. The stem which is widely consumed matures within sixty days of sowing and can then be harvested. It weighs in an approximate 150 grams.
There are two main varieties of kohlrabi, i.e. the purple and the white or light green. Both these varieties have edible insides which are cream-yellow in color. Some of the most popular varieties of kohlrabi that are found across the world are the grand duke, white Vienna, purple Vienna and white Danube.
Health benefits of Kohlrabi
- Kohlrabi intake can help in maintaining the health of the immune system. The vegetable is abundant in vitamin C, and this is what boosts the capabilities of the immune system. All of us know the fact that a healthy immune system can effectively fight off various infections and diseases that range from the common cold to cardiovascular conditions to cancers. In addition to strengthening the immune system, kohlrabi also plays an important role in reinvigorating the supply of vitamin E and improving the absorption of iron.
- The cholesterol and saturated fats content in kohlrabi is low, which in turn means that it is good for the circulatory system and thus promotes a healthier heart. Saturated fats are considered as bad fats which are responsible for increasing the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol are known to increase the risk to heart conditions, stroke, etc.
- Kohlrabi is also rich in potassium which means that it aids the functions of the nerves and muscles. Potassium plays an important role in storing carbohydrates, which are consumed by the muscles as fuel. The levels of potassium in the body also determine nerve excitability and nerve transmissions.
- Kohlrabi has a healthy content of fibers. Thus intake of kohlrabi improves the digestion. The health of the colon and the intestines are maintained by fibers which in turn improve the bowel movements. Fibers also play a vital role in the preservation of good bacteria population. Thus, a combination of all these factors reduces the vulnerability to digestive disorders, colon cancer and hemorrhoids.
- There are not many side effects of kohlrabi. However, it may have goitrogens which affect the thyroid gland and cause it to swell up. Hence, patients with thyroid disorders should avoid kohlrabi intake
Nutritional information- Kohlrabi
Half a cup of cooked kohlrabi has:
- Calories: 24
- Sodium: 17 mg
- Fat: 1.5 grams
- Protein: 5.5 grams
- Vitamin C: 44 mg
- Dietary fiber: 1 gram