What is Kohlrabi? – Nutrition and Benefits

kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is a bulb-shaped vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family. Its texture is crispy and crunchy and is widely distributed throughout Europe and Asia.

Due to its multiple health benefits, kohlrabi is popular worldwide. It is packed with various nutrients including fiber and vitamin C.

You can cook it in different ways. From salads to stir-fries, it can be used in multiple ways.

Read on to learn more about this fantastic vegetable and its benefits.

What is kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi belongs to the cruciferous family – including cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. But it is not a root vegetable and has a leafy stem. It is also called German turnip, but that does not mean it belongs to the turnip family.

It is grown in cold climates and is available in winter and spring. However, you may find it throughout the year at big grocery stores.

Kohlrabi is purple, green, and white with multiple stems growing out of its round bulb. It is slightly sweet in taste and has a crunchy texture.

Due to its crunch, it is widely used in salads and slaws. It may be consumed both raw and cooked.

The nutritional content of kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is packed with a variety of nutrients. Almost one cup of kohlrabi provides enough amount of fiber that is usually 17-18% of a person’s daily fiber requirement.

It promotes good gut health and maintains the blood sugar level. That is the reason: it is one of the healthy food choices on the planet.

It is high in vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption and is beneficial to the immune system.

Vitamin B6 in kohlrabi helps in the production of more red blood cells. Potassium is another important nutrient found in kohlrabi. It is beneficial to the heart and helps maintain the body’s fluid balance.

One cup of kohlrabi contains almost 36 calories. It contains 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein. It also has vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, folate, magnesium, and manganese.

What are the health benefits?

This amazing vegetable has numerous health benefits like:

Good for gut health

Kohlrabi is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both forms play their role in performing various functions in the body.

The soluble fiber gets dissolved in water and maintains the blood sugar level. It also maintains a steady flow of blood cholesterol.

Insoluble fiber cannot be dissolved in water. So it gets attached to the food particles in your intestine and regulates the bowel movements. In this way, it prevents constipation by bulking up the stool.

Fiber also promotes the growth of gut-friendly bacteria. These bacteria nourish the cells and protect the lining of the gut. The gut-friendly bacteria also play role in improving heart health, immune system, and preventing obesity

Antioxidants in kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C and anthocyanins. These antioxidants prevent the cells from the damage of free radicals. These radicals increase the risk of disease in a person.

Isothiocyanates and glucosinolates are the two most significant antioxidants present in kohlrabi. These two antioxidants are believed to reduce the risk of various kinds of cancers, lower the risk of heart diseases, and inflammation.

All these antioxidants reduce the risk of diabetes and other metabolic syndromes. Similarly, it is also believed that antioxidants also prevent early death.

Anthocyanins – a flavonoid that gives this vegetable a unique color is linked with a reduced risk of heart disease. Regular consumption may prevent brain damage and improve its functioning.

Lower risk of heart diseases

Isothiocyanates and glucosinolates are the two most important components of kohlrabi. Regular ingestion of these two substances has been related to a lower risk of developing certain cardiac diseases. They also lower the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

These substances widen the arteries and keep the blood flowing smoothly. The plaque buildup is a major issue that leads to the blocking of arteries. It results in heart attack and failure.

Isothiocyanates, which are found in kohlrabi and other vegetables of the cruciferous family, help reduce the plaque accumulation in arteries. It mains the steady flow of blood and promotes good heart health.

Improves immunity

Vitamin C and B6 are important components of kohlrabi. It is beneficial to the immune system and helps in the production of red blood cells.

This vitamin helps in the formation of white blood cells that are the most critical components of the body’s defensive system. They attack the foreign invaders and support the immunity system of the body.

Can I store kohlrabi?

Yes, you may store kohlrabi in an air-tight container or zip lock bag.

Thoroughly wash it. Cut off the stems and leaves. Cut it into small pieces or slice it up. Now store it in an airtight food container or use a zip lock bag. Place it into the refrigerator. It will last for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Some people also consume leaves and stems of kohlrabi. Consume the leaves within a few days as you bring them home. These two parts are not easy to store as within a few days – they start to wilt. It is good to consume the fresh leaves and stems since they do not last long like the bulb. 

How to cook kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi can be cooked in a variety of ways. You may also use it raw for salads and slaws. However, if you want to cook it, then thoroughly wash it. Peel off the skin with a sharp knife as it can be hard to digest.

Sliced or chopped the vegetable into your desired shape. You can also make the noodles with kohlrabi by using a spiralizer. Boil, cook, stir fry and roast it. Add different spices to enhance the flavor of the kohlrabi.

Cut into wedges and enjoy it as a healthy snack with hummus. Chop it and add to your salads. Roast slices of kohlrabi and top it with some grated cheese and spices. You can even make soups, stir-fries, and fritters with kohlrabi.

If you want to store cooked kohlrabi, use an air-tight container or bag. Store in refrigerator for few days. Alternatively, you may use the freezer to make it last longer.

Summary

Kohlrabi is an exceptional vegetable having numerous health benefits.

It promotes good gut health, lowers the risk of heart diseases, improves immunity, and reduces the risk of various kinds of cancer.

This vegetable is packed with a variety of nutrients including antioxidants, protein, and fiber. You can store both raw and cooked kohlrabi.

To add kohlrabi to your diet – you may cook, boil, and roast it or do different experiments with this amazing vegetable. 

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