Parsnips are closely related to parsley and carrots. The long shelf life, low cost and incredible health benefits of parsnips make it an amazing addition to the diet. There are many health benefits in parsnips, including their ability to improve the digestive system, reduce cholesterol levels and reduce the probabilities of developing diabetes. Furthermore, parsnips also help prevent depression, lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, promote proper development and growth and protect against birth defects in infants.
Parsnips: What Are They?
A type of root vegetables innate to Eurasia, parsnips have been extensively used since ancient times. Parsnip is actually related to parsley and carrots, which is why many people often mistake the vegetable for a carrot.
Parsnips can be a biennial or a hardy annual plant. It has many culinary uses, historically as a sweet flavouring agent for various foods before Europe was introduced to sugar cane. The vegetable is a stable part of meals in Europe, especially in the UK.
While you can eat parsnips raw, most of its culinary application requires it to be prepared. Although some substitute parsnips with carrots in their recipes, parsnips taste way sweeter, making them even more versatile and valuable.
Parsnips are not only useful and delicious, they are also rich in nutrients, including good levels of various minerals and vitamins. Historically, parsnips were even used in herbal medicines as an aphrodisiac.
Nutrition Facts of Parsnips
Parsnips are rich in iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and potassium. They also have rich levels of vitamins K, E, C and B, as well as abundant amounts of protein and fiber.
In general, parsnips contain more sugar than turnips, radishes or carrots. At 75 calories, they sit equal to bananas and grapes. Parsnips are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, making them helping for reducing cholesterol, constipation and obesity.
Fresh parsnips are also rich in vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant beneficial for maintaining healthy gums, teeth and connective tissues. Vitamin C is also good protection against various illnesses like cancer, as it scavenges free radicals in the body.
Finally, the potassium content of parsnips helps control the heart rate and blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium.
100 grams of cooked parsnips may contain:
- Manganese: 0.745 milligrams
- Vitamin C: 22.6 milligrams
- Vitamin K: 29.9 µg
- Carbohydrates: 23.93 grams
- Copper: 0.16 milligrams
- Dietary Fiber: 6.5 grams
- Vitamin B5: 0.189 milligrams
- Vitamin B9: 89 µg
Health Benefits of Parsnips
Here are some of the best health benefits of parsnips:
Boosts immunity. The vegetable has a rich content of organic compounds and antioxidant vitamins, which help protect the body from infections and illnesses. The vitamin E and vitamin C content of parsnips act as antioxidants by neutralizing or eliminating free radicals, which may cause illnesses like cancer.
Helps with losing weight. Since it is low in calories and has a high level of soluble fiber, parsnip can easily fill you while averting the discharge of hunger hormones, also known as ghrelin. This may help decrease the temptation to eat between meals, eventually leading to weight loss. Furthermore, the fiber optimizes the digestive process, helping you eliminate waste and acquire the healthiest nutrients from foods.
Helps reduce birth defects. Aside from being good for the heart, folate helps reduce birth defects in babie by reducing any neural tube birth deficiencies. Furthermore, it optimizes the metabolic processes closely related to the production of energy and the nervous system.
Rich dietary fiber content. Parsnips have a rich fiber content, particularly soluble fiber. This makes them an effective vegetable for reducing cholesterol levels, thus boosting heart health. Furthermore, it also helps lower the chances of developing diabetes.
Improves heart health. Since the vegetable is rich in potassium, it helps reduce blood pressure and other stress on the heart. The high folate levels also make parsnips a perfect way to reduce the homocysteine levels in the blood.