Rapini: Nutritional facts, benefits, side effects and care

Rapini plant for pregnancy, cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal diseases and diabetes.
Rapini for pregnancy, depression, and skincare

If you’re ate lover of broccoli, then you definitely would want to know more about rapini juice or vegetable salads. Just like the sister herbal vegetable plant, broccoli, rapini possess amazing nutritional and medicinal benefits that you probably may not have been aware of. This cruciferous plant is often referred to broccoli rabe due to its close resemblances with broccoli. While broccoli has a large head, rapini does not.

As a vegetable, rapini is known fir its slight bitterness, and usually associated with Mediterranean cuisines. The bud, leaves and stems of rapini are edible.

Are broccoli and rapini the same?

Rapini is usually called broccoli rabe, broccoli raab, Chinese broccoli and many other names that suggests it’s closeness to broccoli. But despite these suggestive names, rapini and broccoli are not the same. In fact, rapini is more related to turnip.

Can you eat rapini raw?

Although rapini is a slightly bitter vegetable, you can eat it raw, just like some other vegetables. However, it is usually eaten cooked. When boiled with a little water, the bitterness is usually flushed out.

What are rapini good for?

Rapini is good for vegetable salads, soup making and several other culinary uses. Aside these, its usefulness is in its nutritional and medicinal benefits. Rapini is packed with several vitamins and minerals which make it beneficial for diabetes and pregnancy.

What are the nutritional values of rapini?

Rapini is well fortified with several vitamins and minerals. It is also packed with several bioactive phytochemical compounds. The bitter taste of rapini may be attributed to the presence of alkaloids in the vegetable plant.

Vitamins present in rapini

Rapini is packed with several essential vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, the B vitamins, including folate and pantothenic acid. Other vitamins present is vitamin k. These vitamins are essential for a healthy growth of fetus.

Minerals present  in rapini

Mineral compounds are very essential for healthy functioning of your cells and organs. They promote growth and development of a child, and are useful in older people. The mineral content of rapini include calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.

Health benefits of rapini juice

In order to gain a lot from rapini, healthwise, always squeeze the juice out using hands or blender. You can as well add other herbs like broccoli and/or cabbage.

Rapini for pregnancy

Like cabbage and broccoli, rapini is well fortified with the B vitamins, especially folate and riboflavin. It is also well packed with vitamins C and E.

These vitamins are very important to a pregnant woman. For instance, folate ensure proper development of the neural tube, and also prevent the occurrence of birth brain defects.

Vitamin E and iron present in the herb improve blood production and ensure the proper circulation of nutrients and oxygen. This also ensures prevention of pregnancy induced anemia.

Boosts your immunity

Rapini also improves your immune system. The vitamin C and E also functions as strong antioxidants. They by this means prevent the harmful effects of free radicals.

Zinc is also present in the herb, and is known to exhibit varied immune regulatory functions, including preventing osteoarthritis.

Rapini is a detoxifier

The reason why we age faster than  we should and faster than our predecessors is because we eat foods that generate excessive free radicals, which in turn attack our cells and damage our DNAs. These free radicals are the reason we fall sick often and look way older than we should.

The good thing about herbs is that they mob up those free radicals thereby preventing autoimmune dispruption and eventual diseases.

The presence of vitamin C and E helps look younger, with a glowing skin tone.

Always ensure you drink a cup of turnip rabe juice regularly to flush out free radicals and harmful toxins.

Rapini is very good for managing diabetes

Brassica rape leaves have been associated with antidiabetic activities for a long time now. It has shown strong hypoglycemic activities that can be utilized in the treatment of diabetes.

The plant is said to improve insulin secretion or possess insulin-like compounds which enhances glucose clearance. Also rapini is involved in the decrease of liver gluconeogenesis, regulation of carbohydrate metabolism, and attenuation of intestinal absorption of dietary carbohydrate.

This, rapini is highly recommended for persons treating diabetes as synergy to orthodox medications.

It is important however, that you should consult your doctor before embarking on rapini therapy. This is because rapini can cause hypoglycemic toxicity when taken in excess.

Rapini manages depression

If you’re often depressed, drink half a cup of rapini juice after dinner. This is very good for one who suffer insomnia and anxiety disorder.

The B vitamins present in rapini juice, especially folate and vitamin B12 plays major roles in depression. When they’re deficient in the body, the body would not be to stimulate the production of certain chemicals, which are responsible for happy moods.

May improve your eye’s health

Rapini also possesses vitamin A and another compound, zeaxanthin. These chemicals are responsible for improving the health of your eyes.

According to a study, it is recognized that both lutein and zeaxanthin predominantly accumulate in the retina, and the concentrations increase gradually towards the center of the macula, where it can be approximately 1000-fold higher than in other tissues.

The presence of zeaxanthin in eyes is being shown to be relevant as they have been shown to protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and cataracts.

Brassica rape juice for skin health

We’re often exposed to various forms of radiation, including the sun’s uv radiation, and industrial radiation. These radiations leave our skin worse than they met it. Constant exposure of your skin to those radiation may result in DNA damages, skin cell deaths, and eventually the individual’s death.

Broccoli rape juice is well packed with strong antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Zeaxanthin also plays major roles as an antioxidant,thereby helping in protecting your skin youthfulness. Drinking the juice is the first step to ensuring strong protection.

Vitamin E is known for maintaining your skin tone. That’s why most cosmetic industries always include it in their cream formulation. It protects your skin from harmful environmental factors, and toxic substances.

Rapini juice prevents cancer cell growth

Most herbal remedies, such as soursop bitters and pigeon pea leaves and roots are some of the excellent remedies for treating various cancer cell lines. Rapini juice may also be taking along those herbs or eaten as fresh vegetables along with orthodox medicines. The anticancer properties of rapini juice are mainly due to its polyphenols, which act as strong antioxidants. These means that though it can be of good use in managing cancer, it cannot be compared to either soursop bitters or pigeon pea leaves and root extracts. These class of herbs suppress cancer cell growth through apoptosis.

Supports food digestion

You know that rapini possesses fiber in higher quantity. This dietary fiber helps in food digestion. It also ensures the smooth movement of your bowels and promotes proper emptying of the large intestine of feces.

without fiber, our body would suffer frequent constipation and fermentation of undigested foods that usually results in the bloating of the stomach.

May prevent ulcer

Like cabbage and broccoli, rapini leaves, stems, and buds is a good remedy for treating gastric or peptic ulcers. You can blend the whole plant and drink a cup or half of it in the morning before breakfast. Be careful however not to drink overdoes of it. This is because it can cause hypoglycemia.

May prevent anemia

The iron and vitamin B6 present in the vegetables support blood production and circulation of nutrients and oxygenated bloods to every part of the body. This prevents the occurrence anemic signs. For pregnant women, these mineral and vitamin ensure that the body produces enough blood to prevent the unset of anemia.

Rapini for weight loss

If you want to lose weight in a matter of time, drink a cup of rapini juice each morning and after dinner. This should be done with care and if possible, involve your doctor.

The juice possess strong hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties that helps burn down excess calories and fats. So, what are you waiting for? Take the step to burn up some fats and get back to your desired shape now.

Rapini improves cardiovascular health

Studies showed that rapini is packed with kaempferol and quercetin. These bioactive compounds have been proved by studies to exert protective effects on your heart.

According to a study, kaempferol improves the recovery of cardiac function, reduces intracellular oxidation status and myocardial IS, and inhibits myocardial apoptosis induced by I/R. The study also demonstrated that the phosphorylation of GSK-3β is involved in the cardioprotection of kaempferol.

GSK-3Β plays major roles in cardiovascular health and diseases. So, kaempferol offers its protection through the phosphorylation of GSK-3β.

Quercetin and other flavonoids also exert protection on your heart through their antioxidant activities.

Rapini may improve your brain health

Some of the vitamins and minerals, especially the B vitamins and iron are highly needed by the brain for its daily varied functions.

You should take a cup of the juice or half daily to improve your brain functions and health.

May protect your liver from toxins

Your live is the most endangered organ of the body. Most toxic substance are first processed by the liver before leaving for other parts of the body. This is why most people quickly die of poisons.

As an antioxidant plant, rapini will protect your liver from those toxic substances, if you make it a habit of drinking the juice regularly. It also has beneficial effects on your kidney, and may prevent the formation of kidney stones. Where kidney stone are already formed, rapini juice, like scent leaf juice may dissolve and flush them out.

What are the side effects of drinking rapini juice?

  • Although rapini itself is a culinary vegetable, when eating in excess, it may pose some serious side effects such as stomach ache and other digestive issues.
  • Brassica rabe contains high phytate and dietary fiber. These may interfere with the bioavailability of Iron, calcium, and magnesium.
  • The high pxalate content in rapini may result in the prespitation of oxalate stone in the urinary tract of some people

Who should not drink the juice?

  • Patience taking anticoagulants such as warferin are advised to stay clear from rapini juice or vegetable salad. In fact, it better to not eat any rapini food at all. The reason is because rapini increases the vitamin K content in the body. This is like countering the purpose of the drug since the drugs are aimed at lowering the availability of the said vitamin.
  • If your are treating goiter, it is also in your best interest to not take rapini. The reason for this is that as a member of the Brassica family, rapini may also contain goitrogen, an organic compound that interferes with thyroid hormone production, often resulting to the formation of goiter due to thyroid dysfunction.



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Hassanpour Fard M, Naseh G, Lotfi N, Hosseini SM, Hosseini M. Effects of aqueous extract of turnip leaf (Brassica rapa) in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2015 Mar-Apr;5(2):148-56.

Billsten H.H., Bhosale P., Yemelyanov A., Bernstein P.S., Polivka T. Photophysical Properties of Xanthophylls in Carotenoproteins from Human Retina. Photochem. Photobiol. 2003;78:138–145.

Mingjie Zhou, Huanhuan Ren, Jichun Han, Wenjuan Wang, Qiusheng Zheng, Dong Wang, “Protective Effects of Kaempferol against Myocardial Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Isolated Rat Heart via Antioxidant Activity and Inhibition of Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3”, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2015, Article ID 481405, 8 pages, 2015.





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