Brassica rapa includes oil and vegetable crops having a variety of forms, such as oilseeds, leafy vegetables and turnips. Leafy types, which are called turnip greens and turnip tops, are popular crops in NW Spain, and they represent an important part of the diet. However, their cultivation is limited in southern areas or in the Mediterranean basin, probably due to a lack of adaptation. Still, they could occupy a prominent place in the Mediterranean diet, which is based on a high consumption of fruits and vegetables. In this review, we summarize the studies on the agronomical and nutritional value of these crops when grown under Mediterranean climate conditions. Data reported here might be useful for a deeper understanding of these crops for both nutritional quality and bioaccessibility, and for selecting varieties adapted to the two abovementioned Mediterranean conditions, as well as for organic farming systems, thus contributing to the diversification of traditional Brassica vegetable production systems.
Part of the book: Brassica Breeding and Biotechnology