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Kohlrabi is a kind of vegetable that originates from Europe. Nowadays, this vegetable is planted all around the world, especially in the winter. Besides, kohlrabi is a versatile and nutritious type of food that not many people know about.

Its scientific name is Brassica oleracea from Gongylodes Group.
The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of broccoli stem or cabbage heart (both are from the same species but different cultivar group), but milder and sweeter with a higher flesh to skin ratio.

The town of Hamburg in Michigan (the U.S.) is titled “ the Kohlrabi Capital of the World”.

According to Traditional medicine, kohlrabi tastes sweet, mild, and has higheffectiveness on digestion.

100 grams of edible kohlrabi contains 6.2 gram of Carbohydrate, 2.6 gram of sugar, 3.6 gram of fiber, 0.1 gram of lipid, 1.7 gram of protein, 91 gram of water and other components like selenium, folic acid, vitamin C, kali, magnesium, bronze.

According to experts, kohlrabi is considered the food that helps filter blood and kidney, and remove toxins from the body for better digestion.

Unique Health Benefits of kohlrabi

Prevent flu: In the winter, our immune system is vulnerable to virus attack due to the strength of the virus. We are more prone to colds, cough, sneeze and fatigue easily. However, specialists say that eating kohlrabi frequently during winter will bolster your immune system. The reason is that kohlrabi is high in vitamin C.

Strengthen the immune system: As a kind of vegetable, kohlrabi is one of the foods richest in vitamin C. A bowl of raw kohlrabi contains 1.4 times more vitamin C than the body needs daily. Between seasons, the body may get certain diseases like fever, flu, coughing, swollen throats, etc. Adding kohlrabi to your meals helps reduce the risk of contagion, boost the immune system, as well as prevent diseases. Kohlrabi is a natural remedy  to strengthen the immune system in the winter.

Reduce heart tension: Kali in kohlrabi works as a vessel-widening factor to release tension from the cardiovascular system by reducing the stress on blood vessels and arteries. This helps increase blood circulation, supply oxygen to important areas and lessen the risks of heart disease such as strokes and chest pains.

Good for people with obesity and want to lose weight: Kohlrabi contains 91% water and lots of fiber with very little fat. There are only 27 calories in every 100 gram of kohlrabi, so this is the ideal food for people with obesity or people who want to lose weight. Fiber makes us feel full. Therefore, even when you eat less, you don’t feel hungry as much. Thanks to its low saturated fat concentration and zero cholesterol, kohlrabi helps cardiovascular and circulation system, it prevents heart diseases and strokes. However, to avoid fat, we should eat boiled kohlrabi and kohlrabi salad only, not stir-fried kohlrabi.

Iron deficiency: Iron helps increase the amount of erythrocyte in our bodies. It is needed to stop anemia. Calcium in kohlrabi also improves iron absorption of the body.

Good for bones:  As we get older, our bones weaken, but one of the best ways to avoid or slow down this process is by eating the right kind of foods, which includes vegetables like kohlrabi with a high concentration of magnesium, iron, and calcium. Preventing osteoporosis is something that can be done when you’re still young.

Good for eyes: Kohlrabi is a rich source of carotenes, and it is an antioxidant compound in your body, especially in the eye areas. It helps prevent macular degeneration and slows down or prevents cataract.

Help pregnant mom and baby grow: Eating kohlrabi helps pregnant women and fetus develop better because kohlrabi contains vitamin and selenium, folic acid, kali, magnesium, which supplement nutrition during the pregnancy and strengthen the baby’s brain and nerve system.

1604-su-hao2Cure phlegm and shortness of breath: Old people, especially those who smoke, usually cough, have shortness of breath, and much phlegm. Some natural remedy to try as follows:

  • Clean and cut kohlrabi stem or leaves into small pieces. Add sesame oil and stir-fry to make soup. Serve once to twice a day.
  • Peel and crush kohlrabi. Add in honey, mix with boiling water and eat.

Cure dry mouth: Cut kohlrabi into pieces, crush, add in sugar, mix with boiling water and eat raw.

Prevent constipation:  Eat kohlrabi to eliminate constipation  since a bowl of kohlrabi contains 5 gram of fiber – 19% the amount of fiber that the body needs every day.

Improve nerve and muscle functions: High kali amount in kohlrabi makes it a wonderful food to refresh, awaken and energize the body as well as to keep fit.

Stomachache and phlegm: Cook kohlrabi with goat meat, eat every day to have the best effect.

Antioxidant: Kohlrabi isrich of antioxidant, which helps prevent wounds caused by free radicals. Kohlrabi consists of high concentration of minerals like bronze, calcium, kali, manganese, iron, and phosphorus in the stem. Kali is an important component in body cells and liquid. It helps control the heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese in the body combines with enzymes to act as an antioxidant.

Rich source of vitamin C: Kohlrabi root is rich in  vitamin C. It provides 62 mg of vitamin C in every 100 gram of kohlrabi, and it contains about 102% the vitamin C amount needed daily. Vitamin C dissolves in water; it is a powerful antioxidant and it maintains connective tissues, protects the teeth and gum, protects the body from cancers, eliminates free radicals out of the body. It contains phytochemicals, asisothiocyanates, sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbinol, which can fight against prostate cancer and colon cancer.

Prevent cancer:  Kohlrabi is one of the vegetables that contain high phytochemical level. Glucosinolates are considered one of the most important antioxidant compounds to prevent cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.

How to pick and store:

Kohlrabi grows best from October to March. It should not be overly exposed to the sun because it might make it hard for the stem to synthesize nutrition.

Pick the fresh and heavy-weight kohlrabi compared to its size. Select the ones with a smooth skin without cracks, cuts, or mold. Don’t choose bulbs that are lightweight compared to its size or ones with an overly big stem because it’s the sign of aging. Pick the ones with a thin skin, not too yellow stem and root.

Kohlrabi can be stored at room temperature from 3 to 5 days. If you want to keep it fresh for a few more days, keep it in the fridge under 2 Celcius degrees and at high humidity.

Kohlrabi can be cooked in many ways. The nutrition is higher when eaten raw, but it might cause stomachache. Hence, the best way is to boil or stir-fry it.

During the cold or chilly weather, kohlrabi is a great food for everyone.

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Lecturer of Traditional Medicines. Graduated from Internal Medicine program and continued to pursue his study in Traditional Medicines. A researcher and author of numerous valuable books in traditional medicines.