Turnip Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  9 min read
turnip benefits and side effects

Health

Turnip health benefits may include:

Turnips are…

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Environment

Water footprint: low, it takes 195 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of turnips / 23 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of turnips

Carbon footprint: low, 0.4 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of starchy roots, a car driving equivalent of 1 miles or 1.5 kilometers

Destruction: low, turnip production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Turnips are…

Animals

Kills: none, turnip production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, turnip production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from turnip production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Turnips are…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Turnips…

Where do most turnips come from?

The United States is the world’s top turnip exporter, followed by Spain, Italy, Canada, Netherlands, Mexico, Denmark, Israel, China and Germany.

Are turnips nutritious?

Yes! Turnips are high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, vitamin C, turnips provide vitamins K, A, E and B complex and contain minerals like manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper and phosphorous.

turnips are alkaline.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Are turnips alkaline or acidic?

Turnips are alkaline.

What is the pH level of turnips?

Turnips have an 8.0 pH level once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

turnips are gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Are turnips gluten free?

Yes, turnips are gluten free. Turnips do not contain gluten. Turnips are a type of vegetable, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

turnips are not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are turnips a common food allergen? No, turnips are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to turnips but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

turnips have a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do turnips have a high or low water footprint?

Turnips have a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of turnips?

It takes 195 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of turnips / 23 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of turnips.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of something referred to as a “water footprint”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

turnips have a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do turnips have a high or low carbon footprint?

Turnips have a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of turnips?

It takes around 0.4 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of starchy roots, a car driving equivalent of 1 miles or 1.5 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

turnips are sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are turnips eco friendly? Are turnips sustainable?

Turnip production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

turnips are vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Are turnips vegan?

Yes, turnips are vegan. Turnips are a root vegetable and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

turnips may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are turnips a product with labor concerns?

At this time there are no major concerns with turnip production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even be subjected to harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment has been likened to modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Sources:

Turnips, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt – FoodData Central

Turnip or Rutabagas Grades and Standards – Agricultural

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.