Imagine a vegetable that appears like a cross between an alien spaceship and a turnip, and you have 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 refined sweetness that units it aside from its cruciferous counterparts. In terms of 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 missed 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. because of 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 full of diet, making it a wise alternative for our general well being as properly. Be taught 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 also known as “German turnip,” kohlrabi just isn’t a part of the basis veggie household. Nonetheless, 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 identify Brassica oleracea, selection gongylodes) is a member of the brassica vegetable household identical to broccoli, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. The whole plant grows above floor and its globe, shoots, and leaves are all edible. The outside of this alien-like veggie might be both inexperienced or purple, although some varieties have white and even blue pores and skin. Whatever the pores and skin coloration, the inside will all the time be off-white, much like a parsnip.
From kohlrabi, you possibly can anticipate 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-about to be a cooler climate veggie, harvested throughout early spring, fall, or winter—although you’ll typically discover it at summer season farmers markets as many develop it in the course of the hotter months, too. Your greatest wager for locating it on the grocery retailer is often throughout fall or winter; nonetheless, as this vegetable grows in reputation, increasingly more supermarkets are carrying it year-round.
6 kohlrabi advantages to remember
Due to its sturdy diet 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 loads of plant compounds1 on this crunchy veggie, together with phenolic acids, anthocyanins, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanate, particularly in its pores and skin2.
As you may think, these vitamins translate into some fairly spectacular well being advantages, listed below are a few 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 incorporates 62 milligrams of Vitamin C per serving, which offers about 84 % of the really helpful dietary allowance for girls and 70 % of the RDA for males,” says Kalloo. “Vitamin C protects cells in opposition to the influence of free radicals, strengthening the immune system.”
The plant compounds discovered on this vegetable additionally work to scale back irritation within the physique whereas avoiding free radicals or unstable molecules on the root of many acute and continual diseases. Apparently, vitamin B6 additionally performs a key position in sustaining a robust immune system by way of regulating immune responses3. Additional, “present analysis4 means that glucosinolates, a category of phytochemicals discovered virtually completely in cruciferous greens equivalent to kohlrabi, exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and chemo-protective results, aka anti-cancer advantages,” shares Kalloo. Proof5 even factors to kohlrabi having antibacterial results, possible 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 probably contribute to plaque build-up in and on the veins and arteries, aka atherosclerosis.
Correct potassium consumption is linked with higher blood stress regulation6, particularly amongst these with hypertension, or extended hypertension ranges. Plus, this mineral is a significant electrolyte, selling wholesome coronary 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 notably useful for coronary heart well being8. This is because of their ties to more healthy blood stress ranges9 and lowered threat for cardiac occasions like coronary heart assault and stroke10. Plus, one examine11 discovered elevated consumption of cruciferous greens like kohlrabi to be linked with a decrease threat 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 help in higher metabolism. The fiber it incorporates helps to gradual digestion, regulating the blood sugar response for extra steady vitality ranges and blood sugar administration in these with and with out metabolic well being issues like diabetes. The truth is, kohlrabi has been deemed an anti-diabetic agent12 because of its antioxidant and anti inflammatory potential.
In the meantime, the vitamin B6 present in kohlrabi performs a supporting position in additional than 100 enzymatic reactions13 within the physique, together with those 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 to your intestine and digestive well being as properly. It incorporates each soluble and insoluble fiber, which promotes general digestive regularity whereas combating frequent gastrointestinal (GI) complaints like fuel, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Nonetheless, the soluble fiber it gives takes these advantages one step additional by appearing as a prebiotic within the intestine 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 properly.
Lastly, the water in kohlrabi helps meals to maneuver extra simply by way of our GI tract whereas enabling fiber to perform 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 intently 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 endure 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-about to be neuroprotective brokers15, serving to to safeguard us from neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
There are additionally a number 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 incorporates. The opposite perk is bone well being: “The calcium and magnesium in kohlrabi help bone well being and muscle perform,” explains Kalloo. The manganese it incorporates additionally gives comparable bone-boosting advantages17.
Methods to take pleasure in kohlrabi
With all these spectacular health-promoting advantages of kohlrabi, you could be itching to present this up-and-coming veggie a attempt, in case you haven’t already.
However earlier than doing so, there are a number 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 arms, is freed from cracks or bruising, and reveals no signal of mildew or rot.
Whereas some kohlrabi might be offered solely as a bulb, these with their stems and leaves hooked up are a greater purchase as these elements of the plant are each nutritious and scrumptious—simply be sure the stems and leaves aren’t exhibiting 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.
When it comes to 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 contemporary in a resealable bag within the fridge for wherever between seven and 10 days, whereas the leaves and stems must also be saved in a resealable bag with a paper towel, although they’ll solely keep contemporary for 3 to 5 days. You may chop the bulb and retailer it in an hermetic container for as much as a yr within the freezer as properly.
When prepping this veggie, you possibly can both preserve the pores and skin on or take away it if it appears powerful after washing. Nonetheless, 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 might be both roasted, sauteed, or grilled with garlic and chili for a savory aspect dish. You may 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 present this brassica a attempt, so do not let its uncommon form put you off. “Kohlrabi appears extra intimidating than it’s to prepare dinner,” Kalloo says. “You’ll be pleasantly stunned by its delicate, but tasty taste and the way easy it’s to arrange.”
Nicely+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, latest, sturdy research to again up the knowledge we share. You may belief us alongside your wellness journey.
- Paśko, Paweł et al. “Well being Selling vs Anti-nutritive Points of Kohlrabi Sprouts, a Promising Candidate for Novel Useful Meals.” Plant meals for human diet (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 Useful 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 Position in Power 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 diet (Bethesda, Md.) vol. 2,1 (2011): 1-7. doi:10.3945/an.110.000042
- Igwe, E. O., Charlton, Ok. E., & Probst, Y. C. (2019). “Typical 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
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