Imagine a vegetable that appears like a cross between an alien spaceship and a turnip, and you have got kohlrabi. A member of the brassica household, which incorporates cabbage, broccoli, and kale, this unassuming vegetable, with its bulbous form and crisp texture, boasts a delicate sweetness that units it other than its cruciferous counterparts. In relation to kohlrabi advantages, this veg is wealthy in nutritional vitamins, minerals, and fiber making it a dietary powerhouse that deserves extra consideration, which it appears to lastly be getting.
As meals traits proceed to evolve, kohlrabi’s distinctive qualities and culinary flexibility have contributed to its elevated presence in kitchens and on menus, elevating it from an ignored vegetable to a celebrated ingredient.
“Whereas it’s extensively consumed in Europe and Asia, kohlrabi has simply began to achieve extra curiosity within the U.S. resulting from its distinctive look and scrumptious style,” says New York-based registered dietitian Samina Kalloo, RDN, CDN. However past being a tasty addition to many recipes, kohlrabi is filled with vitamin, making it a sensible alternative for our general well being as nicely. Study all about what this lesser-known veggie is, the way it advantages our well being, and methods to make use of it within the kitchen, right here!
Whereas sometimes called “German turnip,” kohlrabi will not be a part of the basis veggie household. Nevertheless, it’s no surprise it acquired this nickname because the phrase kohlrabi comes straight from the German language, with “kohl” translating to cabbage and “rabi” to turnip. Regardless of its bulbous, root-looking look, adorned with leafy shoots, kohlrabi (scientific title Brassica oleracea, selection gongylodes) is a member of the brassica vegetable household similar to broccoli, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. All the plant grows above floor and its globe, shoots, and leaves are all edible. The outside of this alien-like veggie may be both inexperienced or purple, although some varieties have white and even blue pores and skin. Whatever the pores and skin colour, the inside will all the time be off-white, just like a parsnip.
From kohlrabi, you’ll be able to count on a light, barely candy taste with a touch of pepper and notes of broccoli and cabbage. With a satisfying crunchy texture, it may be loved both uncooked or cooked, however cooking will soften its texture considerably. And whereas the kohlrabi rising season varies relying on location, it’s typically thought of to be a cooler climate veggie, harvested throughout early spring, fall, or winter—although you’ll typically discover it at summer time farmers markets as many develop it through the hotter months, too. Your finest wager for locating it on the grocery retailer is normally throughout fall or winter; nevertheless, as this vegetable grows in recognition, increasingly more supermarkets are carrying it year-round.
6 kohlrabi advantages to bear in mind
Due to its robust nutrition profile, kohlrabi has a lot to supply. It’s notably excessive in water, fiber, potassium, manganese, magnesium, folate, calcium, and nutritional vitamins C and B6. You’ll additionally discover plenty of plant compounds1 on this crunchy veggie, together with phenolic acids, anthocyanins, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanate, especially in its skin2.
As you may think, these vitamins translate into some fairly spectacular well being advantages, listed below are a number of the most noteworthy:
Helps immune well being
Between the vitamin C and plant compounds present in kohlrabi, this tasty veggie boosts our immune well being from a number of angles. “One cup of uncooked kohlrabi accommodates 62 milligrams of Vitamin C per serving, which offers about 84 p.c of the advisable dietary allowance for girls and 70 p.c of the RDA for males,” says Kalloo. “Vitamin C protects cells towards the influence of free radicals, strengthening the immune system.”
The plant compounds discovered on this vegetable additionally work to cut back irritation within the physique whereas fending off free radicals or unstable molecules on the root of many acute and power diseases. Apparently, vitamin B6 additionally performs a key function in sustaining a powerful immune system by way of regulating immune responses3. Additional, “current research4 means that glucosinolates, a category of phytochemicals discovered nearly completely in cruciferous greens resembling kohlrabi, exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and chemo-protective results, aka anti-cancer advantages,” shares Kalloo. Evidence5 even factors to kohlrabi having antibacterial results, doubtless as a result of motion of those vitamins.
Boosts coronary heart well being
This brassica additionally champions coronary heart well being by way of the fiber, potassium, and plant compounds it boasts. The soluble fiber present in kohlrabi binds to dietary ldl cholesterol within the small gut, serving to to rid it from the physique as an alternative of being absorbed into the blood the place it will possibly contribute to plaque build-up in and on the veins and arteries, aka atherosclerosis.
Correct potassium consumption is linked with better blood pressure regulation6, particularly amongst these with hypertension, or extended hypertension ranges. Plus, this mineral is a serious electrolyte, selling healthy heart rhythms7.
What’s extra, all of the plant compounds discovered on this strange-looking veggie will cut back irritation to help coronary heart well being—anthocyanins are particularly beneficial for heart health8. This is because of their ties to healthier blood pressure levels9 and decreased danger for cardiac occasions like heart attack and stroke10. Plus, one study11 discovered elevated consumption of cruciferous greens like kohlrabi to be linked with a decrease danger for atherosclerosis-related vascular illness (a sort of coronary heart illness) and associated mortality in older girls.
Helps preserve metabolic well being
The vitamins present in kohlrabi additionally assist in higher metabolism. The fiber it accommodates helps to sluggish digestion, regulating the blood sugar response for extra steady power ranges and blood sugar administration in these with and with out metabolic well being considerations like diabetes. Actually, kohlrabi has been deemed an anti-diabetic agent12 resulting from its antioxidant and anti inflammatory potential.
In the meantime, the vitamin B6 present in kohlrabi performs a supporting function in additional than 100 enzymatic reactions13 within the physique, together with people who assist to metabolize carbs, fat, and protein. Equally, the vitamin C discovered within the plant is essential to optimum dietary iron absorption14.
Promotes intestine well being
Each the water and fiber plentiful in kohlrabi assist this veggie are good on your intestine and digestive well being as nicely. It accommodates each soluble and insoluble fiber, which promotes general digestive regularity whereas combating frequent gastrointestinal (GI) complaints like gasoline, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Nevertheless, the soluble fiber it presents takes these advantages one step additional by performing as a prebiotic within the gut microbiome. Prebiotics are meals for our wholesome intestine micro organism, serving to the microbiome, a neighborhood of trillions of microorganisms within the massive gut, thrive. The intestine microbiome is intricately linked with not solely our intestine well being however our immune and general well being as nicely.
Lastly, the water in kohlrabi helps meals to maneuver extra simply by way of our GI tract whereas enabling fiber to operate appropriately and filter waste.
Encourages mind well being
Via the help of the intestine microbiome, kohlrabi additionally promotes higher mind well being. It is because the well being of the intestine and mind are carefully associated by way of a connection referred to as the gut-brain axis. Which means if our intestine microbiome isn’t in tip-top form, our psychological and general mind well being might undergo and vice versa. Additionally, kohlrabi’s vitamin B6 is a major contributor to neurotransmitter creation. Neurotransmitters are signaling molecules within the mind, important to wholesome mind cell communication.
Final, however not least, the anthocyanins in kohlrabi are thought of to be neuroprotective agents15, serving to to safeguard us from neurodegenerative ailments like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
There are additionally a couple of bonus advantages of kohlrabi value mentioning
Certainly one of which is pores and skin well being, which it promotes by way of the collagen-synthesizing vitamin C16 and hydrating water kohlrabi accommodates. The opposite perk is bone well being: “The calcium and magnesium in kohlrabi help bone well being and muscle operate,” explains Kalloo. The manganese it accommodates additionally presents comparable bone-boosting benefits17.
Methods to take pleasure in kohlrabi
With all these spectacular health-promoting advantages of kohlrabi, you might be itching to offer this up-and-coming veggie a attempt, in case you haven’t already.
However earlier than doing so, there are a couple of suggestions for selecting and storing kohlrabi you need to know. On the farmers market or grocery retailer, search for a kohlrabi bulb that feels heavy in your fingers, is freed from cracks or bruising, and reveals no signal of mildew or rot.
Whereas some kohlrabi can be offered solely as a bulb, these with their stems and leaves connected are a greater purchase as these components of the plant are each nutritious and scrumptious—simply be sure that the stems and leaves aren’t displaying any indicators of wilting. And, as with many different veggies, the smaller the kohlrabi, the extra tender its texture, which is perfect for uncooked functions.
By way of storage, ideally, you need to separate the bulb from the leaves and stems as they’ve completely different shelf lives. The kohlrabi bulb will keep recent in a resealable bag within the fridge for anyplace between seven and 10 days, whereas the leaves and stems also needs to be saved in a resealable bag with a paper towel, although they’ll solely keep recent for 3 to 5 days. You possibly can chop the bulb and retailer it in an hermetic container for as much as a yr within the freezer as nicely.
When prepping this veggie, you’ll be able to both maintain the pores and skin on or take away it if it seems to be robust after washing. Nevertheless, if the pores and skin isn’t too thick otherwise you’ll be cooking your kohlrabi, go away it on because it’s tremendous nutrient-dense. For uncooked preparation, kohlrabi makes for the proper crunchy salad or slaw ingredient and is great as crudité.
In the meantime, cooked kohlrabi is a scrumptious soup, stew, or stir-fry addition. Each the bulb and stems and leaves may be both roasted, sauteed, or grilled with garlic and chili for a savory aspect dish. You possibly can even spiralize the bulb of kohlrabi for a low-carb pasta swap or smash it up with butter and milk for a potato-free mash.
Whether or not it is the culinary potential or spectacular well being advantages of kohlrabi that’s grabbed your consideration, there are such a lot of delectable causes to offer this brassica a attempt, so do not let its uncommon form put you off. “Kohlrabi seems to be extra intimidating than it’s to prepare dinner,” Kalloo says. “You’ll be pleasantly shocked by its gentle, but tasty taste and the way easy it’s to arrange.”
Properly+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, current, sturdy research to again up the knowledge we share. You possibly can belief us alongside your wellness journey.
- Paśko, Paweł et al. “Well being Selling vs Anti-nutritive Features of Kohlrabi Sprouts, a Promising Candidate for Novel Purposeful Meals.” Plant meals for human vitamin (Dordrecht, Netherlands) vol. 76,1 (2021): 76-82. doi:10.1007/s11130-020-00877-1
- Rahim, Md Abdur et al. “Identification and Characterization of Anthocyanin Biosynthesis-Associated Genes in Kohlrabi.” Utilized biochemistry and biotechnology vol. 184,4 (2018): 1120-1141. doi:10.1007/s12010-017-2613-2
- Qian, Bingjun et al. “Results of Vitamin B6 Deficiency on the Composition and Purposeful Potential of T Cell Populations.” Journal of immunology analysis vol. 2017 (2017): 2197975. doi:10.1155/2017/2197975
- Connolly, Emma L., et al. “Glucosinolates From Cruciferous Greens and Their Potential Function in Persistent Illness: Investigating the Preclinical and Scientific Proof.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 12, 2021, https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.767975.
- Ben Sassi, Ahlem et al. “Volatiles, phenolic compounds, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of kohlrabi leaves.” Pure product analysis vol. 36,12 (2022): 3143-3148. doi:10.1080/14786419.2021.1940177
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- Toto, Robert D. “Serum Potassium and Cardiovascular Outcomes: The Highs and the Lows.” Scientific journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN vol. 12,2 (2017): 220-221. doi:10.2215/CJN.00030117
- Wallace, Taylor C. “Anthocyanins in heart problems.” Advances in vitamin (Bethesda, Md.) vol. 2,1 (2011): 1-7. doi:10.3945/an.110.000042
- Igwe, E. O., Charlton, Okay. E., & Probst, Y. C. (2019). “Ordinary dietary anthocyanin consumption, sources and their affiliation with blood stress in a consultant pattern of Australian adults.” Journal of Human Vitamin and Dietetics, Cardiovascular Illness, vol. [volume number, if available], no. [issue number, if available], pp. [page range, if available]. Revealed on-line 27 March 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12647
- Cassidy, Aedín et al. “Routine consumption of anthocyanins and flavanones and danger of heart problems in males.” The American journal of scientific vitamin vol. 104,3 (2016): 587-94. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.133132
- Blekkenhorst, Lauren C et al. “Cruciferous and Allium Vegetable Intakes are Inversely Related With 15-Yr Atherosclerotic Vascular Illness Deaths in Older Grownup Ladies.” Journal of the American Coronary heart Affiliation vol. 6,10 e006558. 24 Oct. 2017, doi:10.1161/JAHA.117.006558
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