Turnip vs. Onion — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Turnips are nearly three times higher in vitamin C than onions. They are also richer in copper, potassium, and calcium.
On the other hand, onions provide more vitamin A and phosphorus than turnips. Onions are also richer in proteins.
Table of contents
Although onion and turnip contain about 90% water, the distribution of macronutrients differs. The nutrients they give are compared below in the quantities that they provide.
Turnips and onions are low-calorie foods because they are non-sweet vegetables. However, onions are higher in calories than turnips, providing 40 calories per 100g, while turnips have 28 calories.
Both onions and turnips are low in carbs. However, in terms of carbs, onions are higher compared to turnips. They provide 3g more carbs.
Turnips are lower in net carbs: 100g has 4.6g of net carbs, while the same amount of onions contains 7.6g.
Turnips and onions are plant food products. Hence, they do not provide much protein. Still, onions are higher in proteins than turnips.
The two vegetables are rich in different vitamins.
Turnips are an excellent source of vitamin C: they are approximately three times higher in vitamin C (21mg per 100g) than Onions (7.4mg per 100g).
Onions are richer in vitamins B1, B6, and K, while turnips provide more vitamins B3, B5, and E.
Turnips are the champions in this section. They are higher in calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and copper.
Turnips are more than two times higher in copper than onions.
You can check these two vegetables' mineral compositions in the chart below.
Turnips and Onions contain different plant compounds with anticancer properties.
Turnips have chemicals called glucosinates. They are a group of bioactive compounds with antioxidant capacities that help reduce oxidative stress-reducing cancer risk (3) (4). A higher intake of glucosinates is linked with a reduced risk of colon, rectal, and lung cancers (5) (6) (7).
The anticancer properties of Onions are mostly linked with sulfur-containing compounds. For instance, onion provides onionin A, a sulfur-containing chemical that decreases tumor development and inhibits the spread of lung and ovarian cancers (8) (9).
Both these vegetables have anti-diabetic effects connected with the different chemicals they provide.
Turnips help maintain blood glucose levels by lowering glucose production in the liver and reducing the absorption of carbs (10) (11).
Onions possess anti-diabetic effects by producing quercetin, an antioxidant that helps control blood sugar regulation (12).
Protection Against Bacteria
Both Onions and Turnips are involved in antibacterial activities.
Turnips glucosinates can turn into isothyocianates that inhibit bacterial and microbial growth (13). These compounds are effective against harmful bacteria such as E.Coli and S. Aureus (14) (15).
Onion extracts inhibit Vibrio cholerae and Helicobacter pylori (16) (17).
Onions have various antioxidants that aid in combating oxidative stress and protecting the body from harm. One such antioxidant found in abundance in onions is quercetin. Quercetin has the potential to reduce high blood pressure levels. Studies have demonstrated that using onion extracts can significantly decrease systolic blood pressure, thanks to their quercetin content (18).
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Glycemic Index|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet||Equal|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.
- Turnip - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170465/nutrients
- Onion - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170000/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.