Kohlrabi is a bit like this which may be why it is relatively little used. At first glance, it seems like a regular rounded root vegetable, the same shape as turnips or radishes, though green (and sometimes purple) where they are white and red. But then you notice that while other such roots have stems and leaves sprouting neatly from their tops, kohlrabi has several stems, with leaves, growing from its side. Suddenly what looked normal, seems strange, multi-armed and vaguely monstrous.
Kohlrabi is not a root at all. It is a swollen stem, which is why it is natural to have leaves branching out from it, and this is also why it is green which, a moment’s thought will tell you, is not a color you expect to find in roots growing underground, away from sunlight. Kohlrabi is one of the amazingly diverse Brassica family (it is specifically Brassica oleracea, var.Gongylodes), the cousinhood of cabbages, which ranges from the tight leaves of cabbages.
It is an indication of the family’s variety that kohlrabi is only their third weirdest looking member, after the amazing fractal formations of romanesco and the thick stems with mini cabbages growing from it that we call Brussels sprouts (both of which have featured in this column which is a big fan of the Brassicas). Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi both seem to be relatively new offspring of the family, emerging in recent centuries from northern Europe.
Kohlrabi (German turnip or turnip cabbage) (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes group) is an annual variety of cabbage vegetable. Kohlrabi is a very commonly eaten vegetable in German-speaking countries and northern India. The plant can be eaten raw as well as cooked. When prepared the outer two fibrous layers are peeled before being used in salads and slaws.
7 Health Benefits of Kohlrabi:
1. Kohlrabi is low in calories.
Kohlrabi is a great vegetable to help weight loss because it is low in calories, high in fiber, and nutritionally dense. Dietary fiber is filling and helps individuals eat less food than if they were to eat a low-fiber diet.
2. Kohlrabi may help improve your vision.
Kohlrabi is a rich source of carotenes, including beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant in the body, particularly in the eyes. Vitamin A can help to prevent macular degeneration and slow down or eliminate the development of cataracts.
3. Kohlrabi could help fight against cancer when combined with regular treatment.
Kohlrabi contains high levels of phytochemicals and carotenes, which are considered some of the most important antioxidant compounds for the prevention of cancers. Antioxidants seek and eliminate free radicals (biological waste) that can potentially mutate natural cells into cancer cells.
4. Kohlrabi can help boost your immune system.
One cup of kohlrabi contains 140 percent of vitamin C. Vitamin C is hypothesized to increase the production of cytokines and lymphocytes to fight infections
5. Kohlrabi can help manage your blood pressure.
Increased potassium intake and decreased sodium intake has been linked to a lowered blood pressure. One cup of kohlrabi contains 473 milligrams of potassium and only 27 milligrams of sodium.
6. Kohlrabi can help improve your heart health.
The recommended 4,700 mg of potassium is not obtained by many individuals in the United States, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, despite the benefits of increased potassium intake. One study suggested that individuals who consumed 4,069 mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium approximately 1,000 mg per day.
7. Kohlrabi is excellent for the digestive system.
Kohlrabi is a great source of fiber. A one-cup serving of parsnip contains 5 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Fiber can help prevent constipation, making one’s bowel movement easier to manage.