Kohlrabi also called German turnip or Knol-khol belongs to the Brassica family, and is a nutrient-rich vegetable of Eastern European origin. The appearance of a kohlrabi is almost a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. It has a turnip-shaped overgrown stem which is the commonly eaten part with leaves sprouting from it. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw, grilled, stir-fried or cooked as part of a dish. The stem (round sized edible bulb) may be purple, white, or green skinned but the flesh is white.
Nutritional Content of Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi contains high amounts of B vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B6, thiamin and pantothenic acid. Kohlrabi is low in fats and cholesterol, is high in fiber and has a low calorific value. Kohlrabi is a significant source of potassium, vitamin C, phosphorus, copper and manganese.
Health Benefits of Kohlrabi
1. Good for the circulatory system: Kohlrabi is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This translates into a healthy and vigorous heart and circulatory system.
2. Fights cancer: Kohlrabi contains many phytonutrients including glucosinolates that are considered essential in cancer prevention. Also the high antioxidant nature of kohlrabi helps fight free radical damage, which is highly linked to many types of cancer.
3. Promotes healthy digestion: The good amount of dietary fiber contained in kohlrabi helps promote regularity in bowel movement by maintaining healthy intestines and colon.
4. Kohlrabi contains many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B6, thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc. that act as co-factors to enzymes in many metabolic activities inside the body.
5. Boosts the immunity system: Regular consumption of kohlrabi will strengthen the body’s immune system which can be attributed to its vitamin C content. Vitamin C contributes to defense mechanisms, aids iron absorption and enables the regeneration of vitamin E.
6. The high amount of potassium contained in kohlrabi excels at balancing and alkalizing one’s system especially in times of over-acidification.
7. Assists muscle and nerve functions: Significant amount of potassium in kohlrabi helps the healthy functioning of muscles and nerves.
8. Regular kohlrabi intake helps fight asthma and other lung problems.
9. Stabilizes blood pressure: The magnesium along with B-vitamins obtained from kohlrabi is crucial in stabilizing blood pressure level by relaxing and dilating blood vessels.
10. Weight loss: Kohlrabi has a high nutrient to calorie ratio making it an excellent choice in weight loss programs. Also, the high fiber content of kohlrabi promotes a healthy metabolism and regulates body weight.