Health Benefits of Kohlrabi

Find out the why eating kohlrabi can provide you with the numerous health benefits you need.  

With a handful of stems jutting out from a round apple-sized bulb, kohlrabi works a “u.f.o. of vegetables” kind of vibe. At first glance, who doesn’t wonder, what the heck is that? Well, it’s a close cousin to stem cabbage veggies (crucifers), and its flavor and crunchy texture seem like a cross between turnips and broccoli. In addition, like its cruciferous cousins, its health benefits are numerous.

Cancer Fighter: Definitely.
That hallmark pungent aroma and strong flavor found in kohlrabi (and other cruciferous veggies) comes from potent cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates. Also a plus are a whole laundry list of healthful nutrients, including a generous amount of blood-pressing lowering potassium, and multiple disease-fighting chemicals including eight different glucosinolates, twelve anthocyanins, two carotenoids (mostly in vegetable skins), and seven phenylpopanoids. We call that power-packed.

Immune Booster: Maybe.
Although ounce for ounce it has more Vitamin C than O.J., kohlrabi isn’t being studied for it’s immune strengthening powers. Still, it’s easy to piece together a positive role. First, it’s well known that ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a potent antioxidant. Add to that findings that oxidative damage is at the root of many chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer, and any food that delivers a big vitamin C payoff is on the list of potential friend to immunity and good health.

Weight Loss Aid: Probably.
Not surprisingly, there’s not a single study that includes, or singles out, the crucifer called kohlrabi as a boon to dieters. Still, the nutrition profile of this crunchy veggie seems like an advertisement for shedding pounds. At a measly 36 calories per cup, and sporting a whopping five grams of filling fiber, kohlrabi might just be the next diet superstar. Munch it. Shred it into salad. Tuck it into sandwich wraps. It will surely fill you up, not out.

See: How to Prepare Baby Kohlrabi

Maureen Callahan, MS, RD

August 2014