The Surprising Health Benefits Of Kohlrabi - HealthifyMe (2024)

Kohlrabi is a cruciferous vegetable with a bulb shape and is related to the cabbage family. Kohlrabi has numerous nutritional benefits, including high fibre, potassium, vitamins C, and beta carotene. These nutrients promote weight loss, boost gastrointestinal health, build immunity, and manage blood pressure.

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The appearance of kohlrabi is much like cabbage or broccoli and is a vegetable of the summer season. All parts of the vegetables are edible, like the stem, leaf, and bulb. The bulb is low on calories and goes well in soups. It can be sauteed or roasted. The bulb’s texture and taste are similar to a radish. Stems and leaves used in salads are crunchy and sweet.

Kohlrabi: An Introduction

Kohlrabi resembles a turnip; therefore, it is also called a German turnip. It is scientifically known as Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes L. and is a biennial vegetable. The primary edible part of kohlrabi is the swollen stem. However, the whole nutrient-rich kohlrabi is edible, including the leaves. Also, the smaller the bulb, the sweeter the kohlrabi.

You can find this small bulbous vegetable in farmers’ markets, natural grocers, and Asian grocery stores. Historically, kohlrabi has played a role in German cuisine for hundreds of years. And in recent years, it has become a vegetable staple in northern India.

Nutritional Profile of Kohlrabi

As per USDA, 100 grams of kohlrabi offers the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 27 kCal
  • Protein:1.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.2 g
  • Fibre: 3.6 g
  • Calcium: 24 mg
  • Magnesium: 19 mg
  • Phosphorus: 46 mg
  • Potassium: 350 mg
  • Sodium: 20 mg
  • Vitamin C: 62 mg
  • Beta carotene: 22µg
  • Folate: 16 µg

Health Benefits of Kohlrabi

1. Aids in Weight Loss

Kohlrabi is low on calories and high in dietary fibre. Fibre takes time to break down and slows digestion, thus keeping a person satiated for a more extended period.

Additionally, kohlrabi is rich in phytochemicals like glucosinolates and carotenoids that help control fat accumulation. For instance, research shows that kohlrabi sprout extract’s antioxidant and anti-adipogenic effects potentially manage or treat obesity.

2. Improves Digestion

Like other cruciferous vegetables, the rich dietary fibre in kohlrabi improves digestive health and helps move your bowels. As a result, it reduces constipation, cramping and bloating. With nearly 5 grams of fibre in every cup, kohlrabi supports your gastrointestinal health while maximising nutrient uptake efficiency.

3. Blood-Pressure Friendly

A cup of kohlrabi provides more potassium than a medium banana, making it beneficial for managing blood pressure. The potassium functions as a vasodilator, reducing the stress and strain on the cardiovascular system.

As a result, it lowers the tension of blood vessels and arteries. Moreover, kohlrabi ensures an increased potassium intake and decreased sodium intake. For example, you receive around 473 milligrams of potassium and only 27 milligrams of sodium from one cup of kohlrabi.

4. Rich in Anthocyanin

A study shows that kohlrabi has higher anthocyanin content, particularly in the purple kohlrabi cultivar. In addition, research shows that a dietary intake of anthocyanin can reduce the risk of heart attack and arterial stiffness.

5. Improves Eye Vision

Kohlrabi has a 22µg of beta carotene per 100 grams. Vitamin A helps improve vision, and beta carotene is present in kohlrabi, which converts carotene into vitamin A.

Dry eyes are a significant problem. Vitamin A or beta carotene helps keep the cornea moistened and protects from ulcers, blurry vision, or vision loss. Beta carotene also helps in enhancing night vision. A research report indicates that the beta carotene in kohlrabi acts as an antioxidant compound in the ocular area.

6. Boost Immunity

One research concludes that kohlrabi is rich in vitamin C, which helps in promoting immunity. Therefore, including kohlrabi in your diet enables you to meet the daily recommended values of vitamin C.

Intake of adequate amounts of vitamin C ensures the production of cytokines and lymphocytes to fight infections. Moreover, vitamin C has many beneficial effects on the skin. For example, it can boost collagen biosynthesis, promote skin hydration, and protect skin against UV radiation.

7. Improves Bone Strength

As kohlrabi is high in calcium and magnesium, it contributes to stronger bones. Bones have about 99% of the calcium in our body. Calcium provides strength to the skeleton and structure. Calcium is the mineral that makes them hard and strong for life processes. Magnesium increases bone density, strengthening bone and lessening the risk of bone fractures or osteoporosis.

The HealthifyMe Note

Kohlrabi has several benefits due to its rich nutritional profile. For example, it can treat obesity, strengthen the bones, improve gut health and vision and boost immunity. However, you can club it with more nutrient-rich healthy foods to get extra benefits from this vegetable.

How to Cook and Eat Kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi should be thoroughly washed under running water to remove any soil, dirt, or chemical from it. Next, discard the thick layered outer covering of the vegetable with a sharp knife. Smaller kohlrabi has a slightly sweet taste while it tastes reddish on maturing.

There are several methods to cook kohlrabi, including boiling, steaming, roasting, mashing, or frying. You can eat kohlrabi raw or cook it in different forms. For example, kohlrabi can be chopped down into slices and eaten with a bit of dressing. Or roast them and serve with spaghetti, rice or meat.

Healthy Recipes Using Kohlrabi

1. Roasted Kohlrabi

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 25 minutes


  • Kohlrabi bulb:2
  • Olive oil: ½ tbsp
  • Garlic minced:½
  • Cheese: ¼ cup grated (optional)
  • Salt and pepper as per taste

Method of Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 230℃
  • Cut the kohlrabi into small circular slices.
  • Add garlic, salt, olive oil, and pepper to a bowl. Further, add kohlrabi slices to the mixture.
  • Now spread the kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Bake it for around 20 mins, open the oven, sprinkle some cheese, and again bake it for about 4 to 5 minutes and serve immediately.

2. Kohlrabi Apple Salad

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes


  • Kohlrabi: 2 cups
  • Apple: 1 cup
  • Pumpkin seeds: 2 tsp
  • Olive oil: 2 tsp
  • Lemon zest: 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice: 1 tsp
  • Pepper: ½ tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method of Preparation

  • Add the kohlrabi, apple pieces, and pumpkin seeds to a bowl.
  • Add one teaspoon of olive oil, lemon zest, juice, pepper powder, and salt.
  • Stir everything nicely, up and down.
  • Kohlrabi apple salad is ready to serve.

3. Knol Kohl Curry

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 35-40 minutes


  • Kohlrabi: 250g
  • Toor dal: ½ cup
  • Turmeric: ¼ tsp
  • Urad dal: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Dry Chillies: 3
  • Curry leaves: 6-7
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  • Wash and soak toor dal for 30-40 minutes.
  • Pressure cook dal with water, pinch salt for 4-5 whistles and mash little.
  • Wash, peel and roughly chop kohlrabi into thick chunks.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add curry leaves, dry chilli and fry for a minute.
  • Add chopped kohlrabi and cook until soft.
  • Add cooked dal along with water, turmeric, chilli powder, and salt and bring it to a boil.
  • Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until desired consistency is obtained.
  • Serve it with brown rice or chapati.

The HealthifyMe Note

Kohlrabi has different names in Indian Cuisines, such as Ganti Kobi in Odisha, Monji in Kashmir, Knol Khol in south India, and navakhol in Maharashtra, Su hao in Bengal, and Nulkol in Tamil Nadu. You can boil, steam, roast or mash for consumption. It is versatile and easy to cook, and you can add it to various healthy recipes to reap maximum benefits.

Potential Side Effects of Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi has no allergic effects on its own. However, it is a cruciferous vegetable containing thiocyanates which can block iodine absorption. Therefore, people suffering from thyroid problems should consult their doctor before taking any supplements or taking them in raw form. In addition, cruciferous vegetables can sometimes interact with medications like blood thinners and become harmful.

Consumption of cruciferous vegetables like kohlrabi in excess can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. It is rich in fibre, which takes a longer time to digest and overeating such vegetables can lead to problems like nausea, bloating, and diarrhoea. Though the exact mechanism remains unclear, you must avoid kohlrabi in the cases of flatulence and abdominal discomfort.

How to Store Kohlrabi

You have to store the leaves separate from the bulb. The leaves can be refrigerated for three to four days and the bulbs for several weeks. Seal the kohlrabi in perforated plastic bags, glass or Tupperware containers and store it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze, and you can keep them fresh by refrigerating them for two weeks. Always choose heavy kohlrabi that is free of cracks. The leaves, if attached, should be dark.


Kohlrabi is a delicious, versatile cruciferous vegetable. The whole vegetable is edible, including the leaves and bulbous stem. It offers numerous health benefits, such as aiding in weight loss, lowering blood pressure, helping in improving vision and healthy bones, and enhancing satiety and glycemic control. In addition, kohlrabi is an excellent source of fibre and can help prevent constipation, making your bowel movement easier to manage. However, with lots of benefits, it has side effects, including bloating, gas, or diarrhoea if taken in excess.

Frequently Asked Questions( FAQS)

Q. What are the benefits of eating kohlrabi?

A. Kohlrabi is high in fibre which helps in weight loss, keeps the gut healthy, and reduces gastrointestinal problems like constipation and diarrhoea. Fibre present in kohlrabi helps maintain a healthy bowel, and the presence of vitamin C in the vegetable helps in building immunity. Additionally, it has a good amount of potassium and magnesium, which help in healthy bones and muscles. Apart from that, kohlrabi is rich in beta carotene, which helps in promoting good eye vision.

Q. Can I eat kohlrabi raw?

A. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked. Edible parts of kohlrabi include kohlrabi stems, suitable in sauteed form. In addition, you can use raw kohlrabi leaves in salads, decorations, and bulbs as a stuffing in meat and vegetable recipes.

Q. Does kohlrabi reverse diabetes?

A. Kohlrabi is rich in antioxidants that help reduce diabetes by lessening oxidative stress. Moreover, it has a low glycemic index suitable for people with diabetes. In addition, kohlrabi has an anti-inflammatory effect that can help reduce the type 2 incidence of diabetes. A good amount of fibre also does not raise blood sugar levels instantly, which can also aid in reducing the effect of diabetes.

Q. Does kohlrabi make you gassy?

A. Eating kohlrabi in large quantities can cause bloating, gas, or even worsen diarrhoea. In addition, the fibre can lead to bloating as fibre takes a very long time to digest and break down. So if you have issues related to gastrointestinal problems like bloating or gas, you should avoid consuming it in raw form.

Q. Is kohlrabi high in iron?

A. No, one cup of kohlrabi gives only 0.54 mg of iron. However, it has several other nutrients that make it beneficial.

Q.Can you overeat kohlrabi?

A. No, excess of anything is harmful. Kohlrabi is rich in fibres which can lead to gastrointestinal problems like bloating, diarrhoea or vomiting. Hyperkalemia can occur when potassium intake is very high, which can lead to heart attacks. Kohlrabi is rich in potassium and can lead to such symptoms if taken in excess. Additionally, it is a cruciferous vegetable that can block the intake of iodine.

Q. Does kohlrabi have vitamin K?

A. Kohlrabi has no vitamin k in it but is a hub of other vitamins, including Beta carotene vitamins, potassium, calcium and magnesium. It helps promote weight loss, lower blood pressure, and helps in building the immune system.

Q. Is kohlrabi high in carbs?

A. No, kohlrabi has low carbohydrates and is even used as a low-carb diet food because it has low carbohydrate intake and a lot of fibre which helps in weight loss and helps keep a person satiated for a longer period. However, in many dishes, kohlrabi can be used as a perfect replacement for potatoes as it resembles potato in taste and can be low in carbs.

Q. Are kohlrabi leaves nutritious?

A. Kohlrabi leaves are entirely edible and a good source of fibre. However, most of the nutrition is in the bulb. Leaves can be eaten as a part of salad and have antioxidants in them, which can help with free radicals and can be helpful in skin problems, heart diseases, and a healthy gut. The presence of vitamin C can help in immune-boosting properties and fights inflammation, while the presence of fibres aids in gut health. Also, leaves are suitable for garnishing, like the leaves of lettuce.

The Surprising Health Benefits Of Kohlrabi - HealthifyMe (2024)


Does kohlrabi have any health benefits? ›

Kohlrabi is packed with nutrients that are linked to various health benefits. It's a good source of fiber, which is important for a healthy gut and proper digestion. Plus, its many nutrients and plant compounds support your immune system and may lower your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and inflammation.

What are the disadvantages of kohlrabi? ›

Side Effects of Kohlrabi:
  • Reduction in white blood cells.
  • Interference with liver function.
  • It may affect thyroid function.
Sep 21, 2023

Is kohlrabi a laxative? ›

It also adds bulk to your stool. Insoluble fiber promotes regular bowel movements and supports a healthy gastrointestinal system. The water-soluble fiber in Kohlrabi helps reduce blood glucose (blood sugar) and cholesterol levels.

Is kohlrabi good for kidneys? ›

It's a nutrient-rich plant, and the leaves, stems and bulbs can all be consumed for a slightly sweet, earthy flavor. Research has shown that the phytochemical content of kohlrabi makes it a powerhouse when it comes to fending off cancer, diabetes and high cholesterol while improving liver and kidney function.

Is kohlrabi a superfood? ›

Kohlrabi is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of fiber, vitamin B6 and potassium. Vitamin C plays an essential role in repairing wounds and forming scar tissue, as well as maintaining bones, teeth, and cartilage. Vitamin C rich foods also support absorption of iron.

What is an interesting fact about kohlrabi? ›

Kohlrabi is planted in the ground, and it can be picked just 55 days after planting. The edible bulb is part of the stem and grows above ground. Kohlrabi is in-season during the spring months and not sensitive to cold weather. Kohlrabi is a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.

Is kohlrabi better raw or cooked? ›

Kohlrabi tastes similar to a broccoli stalk, but a bit more tender and sweet. Don't forget to remove the tough outer peel, then use the bulb either raw or cooked. It can be prepared much like a broccoli stalk, too—if raw, shred it and use it in slaw or thinly slice and use in a salad.

Can you eat too much kohlrabi? ›

Hyperkalemia can occur when potassium intake is very high, which can lead to heart attacks. Kohlrabi is rich in potassium and can lead to such symptoms if taken in excess. Additionally, it is a cruciferous vegetable that can block the intake of iodine.

Is kohlrabi healthier than potatoes? ›

There's a multitude of reasons why kohlrabi should show up on our plates more often. For starters, it's crazy-low in carbs and calories. A cup of cubed or sliced kohlrabi has just 36 calories and 8 grams of carbs - about one-third of the carbs and calories found in potatoes.

What is the best way to eat kohlrabi? ›

Kohlrabi is incredibly versatile. Cut or slice as desired, steam, and most anything goes. Add steamed kohlrabi to dishes, like stir fries, pasta, soups, and stews. It's also fun to mash them with cauliflower or potatoes.

Is kohlrabi good for your gut? ›

Both the water and fiber abundant in kohlrabi help this veggie are good for your gut and digestive health as well. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, which promotes overall digestive regularity while combating common gastrointestinal (GI) complaints like gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

What culture eats kohlrabi? ›

The leafy part can be eaten raw when young and tender or cooked like other greens as they mature. Kohlrabi also has the nickname Sputnik, since the vegetable looks like the early Russian space satellite! Kohlrabi has a long history and is popular in many cuisines including German, Irish, Indian, Chinese, and African.

Is kohlrabi good for your thyroid? ›

Cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, watercress, Bok choy, and Brussels sprouts. They may be packed with good-for-you nutrients like vitamin C and folate, but eating them raw in high doses could mess with your thyroid.

Is kohlrabi a prebiotic? ›

Prebiotics are fibers and natural sugars that feed good bacteria in the gut. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collard greens, Brussels, broccoli, kale and kohlrabi are great sources of prebiotic fiber (and skin-supportive vitamins and minerals).

Can you eat kohlrabi raw? ›

All parts of the kohlrabi are edible, though most people just stick to the bulbous bottom. The leaves and stems are best sautéed or added to a stir-fry. The bulb can be eaten raw, which maintains its super-crisp texture and mild bite, or it can be roasted, sautéed, steamed, or boiled and mashed like a potato.

Is kohlrabi better for you than potatoes? ›

For starters, it's crazy-low in carbs and calories. A cup of cubed or sliced kohlrabi has just 36 calories and 8 grams of carbs - about one-third of the carbs and calories found in potatoes.

Is kohlrabi inflammatory? ›

In fact, kohlrabi has been deemed an anti-diabetic agent12 due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential. Meanwhile, the vitamin B6 found in kohlrabi plays a supporting role in more than 100 enzymatic reactions13 in the body, including those that help to metabolize carbs, fats, and protein.

When should you eat kohlrabi? ›

Be sure to eat them when they're young, as the flavor intensifies and they toughen with age. The freshness of the attached greens is a good indicator of age, so try to find kohlrabi with greens attached.

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