I do not particularly care for turnips, their taste and texture do not appeal to me at all. However, we had about twenty Hakurei Turnips leftover from the last two weeks of our farm share, so Mike will bring them to work in his lunch.
A turnip is a root vegetable that is somewhat sweet and much softer than a potato. Although I am not a doctor, or even a Pre Med student, I attempt to understand the science behind cetain foods/food groups. I usually research a specific food because it bothered me after I ate it, but that is not the case for turnips – I simply do not like them.
Turnips are classified as a starch, a long chain of sugar (glucose) molecules which are digested, in part, by enzymes from the pancreas and saliva and are left as the disaccharides, maltose and isomaltose. “Starch can be of two types called amylose and amylopectin….The varying proportions of different kinds of starch might affect the ability of the intestine to completely digest them….Vegetables that contain more amylose than amylopectin starch are simpler to digest, because the glucose units which make up all starch molecules are arranged in a linear fashion in amylose starch and are readily exposed to digestive enzymes from saliva and the pancreas….By comparison, amylopectin molecules contain glucose units which form branches. When the amylopectin molecules have been partially digested by pancreatic enzymes, the fragments remaining for the last step in digestion by microvilli enzymes are both maltose and isomaltose….the interior branches [of the amylopectin molecule] appear less exposed than outside branches, so it is possible that pancreatic digestive enzymes can not reach the interior links and parts of the amylopectin starch molecules escape digestion, remain in the intestine, and increase microbial fermentation”. If digestive enzymes are unable to reach the interior branches of the molecule and properly break down the food, then you may experience some discomfort and irritability. Ultimately, based on these readings, it appears that some individuals may experience adverse effects from the consumption of certain starches due to the arrangement of the molecule.
Personally, I think that if you ever experience any problems after eating starches such as turnips, sweet potatoes, potatoes, taro, yucca, or parsnips – or any food for that matter – then you should keep a daily food diary to record the way that you feel, or see a medical doctor immediately. On the other hand, if you do not experience any problems whilst consuming turnips, then you may simply enjoy this recipe for Thanksgiving or as a side dish 🙂 :
-5 lbs Hakurei Turnips, chopped into bite-sized pieces
-2 TBS melted ghee
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp sea salt
-1 TBS walnut halves (optional)
Preheat oven to 425. Massage turnips with ghee, cinnamon, salt and walnuts. Spread the turnips on a prepared baking tray. Roast the root vegetables for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly browned.
Gottschall, Elaine. Breaking the Vicious Cycle.
Gunja-Smith, Z., J.J. Marshall, C. Mercier, E.E. Smith, and W.J. Whelan. 1970. A revision of the Meyer-Benefield model of glycogen and amylopectin. FEBS Letters 12:101:104.
Davidson, G.P. and R.R.W. Townley. 1977. Structural and functional abnormalities of the small intestine due to nutritional folic acid deficiency in infancy. journal of Paediatrics 90:590-595.