6 Nutrition and Health Benefits of Parsnips

6 Nutrition and Health Benefits of Parsnips

By Rachael Ajmera, MS, RD on January 18, 2019

From http://www.healthline.com

Parsnips are a delicious type of root vegetable that has been cultivated and enjoyed around the world for thousands of years.

Closely related to other vegetables like carrots and parsley roots, parsnips have long, cream-colored tuberous roots with a sweet, slightly nutty flavor.

In addition to bringing a unique taste to your dishes, parsnips are incredibly nutritious and have been associated with many health benefits.

Here are 6 nutrition and health benefits of parsnips.

  1. Packed With Important Nutrients
    Parsnips are an excellent source of many important nutrients, packing a hearty dose of fiber, vitamins, and minerals into each serving.

In particular, parsnips are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, as well as several other important micronutrients.

One cup (133 grams) of parsnips provides the following (1Trusted Source):

Calories: 100
Carbs: 24 grams
Fiber: 6.5 grams
Protein: 1.5 grams
Fat: 0.5 grams
Vitamin C: 25% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin K: 25% of the RDI
Folate: 22% of the RDI
Vitamin E: 13% of the RDI
Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
Thiamine: 10% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 8% of the RDI
Zinc: 7% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 7% of the RDI
In addition to the nutrients listed above, parsnips contain a small amount of calcium, iron, and riboflavin.

Parsnips are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, as well as other important micronutrients.

  1. Rich in Antioxidants
    In addition to being highly nutritious, parsnips also supply many antioxidants.

Antioxidants are health-promoting compounds that help prevent oxidative stress and decrease damage to your cells (2Trusted Source).

Increasing your intake of antioxidants may also protect against chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease (3Trusted Source).

In particular, parsnips are high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) — a water-soluble vitamin that doubles as a powerful antioxidant (1Trusted Source).

It also contains polyacetylenes, compounds that may have anticancer properties according to some test-tube studies (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

Parsnips are high in antioxidants including vitamin C and polyacetylenes that may prevent oxidative stress and chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

  1. High in Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
    Parsnips are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

One cup (133 grams) contains 6.5 grams of this nutrient — or 26% of your daily fiber needs (1).

Fiber moves through your gastrointestinal tract undigested, helping to get things moving and optimizing digestive health.

In fact, increasing your fiber intake has been shown to aid in treating digestive conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and intestinal ulcers (6Trusted Source).

It may also promote regularity, with one review reporting that eating fiber increased stool frequency in people with constipation (7Trusted Source).

What’s more, fiber has been shown to support blood sugar control, reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and decrease markers of inflammation (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

Parsnips are high in fiber, which can support regularity, improve your digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels, and enhance heart health.

  1. May Aid Weight Loss
    Low in calories yet rich in fiber, parsnips make an excellent addition to a healthy weight loss diet.

Fiber passes slowly through your digestive tract, helping to keep you feeling fuller for longer which may reduce your appetite and food intake (11Trusted Source).

According to one review, increasing your daily fiber intake by 14 grams may decrease your calorie intake by up to 10% — leading to weight loss of 4 pounds (1.9 kg) in four months (12Trusted Source).

One cup (133 grams) of parsnips has just 100 calories yet squeezes in 6.5 grams of fiber (1Trusted Source).

This root vegetable also has a high water content of about 79.5% (1Trusted Source).

Studies show that eating more water-rich foods may be associated with decreased calorie intake and increased weight loss (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

Parsnips are low in calories but contain a good amount of water and fiber, both of which may benefit weight loss.

  1. Support Immune Function
    Parsnips are loaded with vitamin C, providing about 25% of your daily needs in just one serving (1).

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a central role in immune function.

According to one review, getting enough vitamin C in your diet may help decrease symptoms and shorten the duration of the common cold and other respiratory tract infections (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

It may also aid in preventing and treating other conditions, such as pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea infections (16Trusted Source).

Plus, parsnips are high in disease-fighting antioxidants — such as quercetin, kaempferol, and apigenin — which may enhance your immunity and protect against infection as well (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

Parsnips are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which may enhance your immune function and optimize health.

  1. Delicious and Easy to Add to Your Diet
    Parsnips have a sweet taste similar to carrots, but with a nutty, earthy undertone.

They can be mashed, roasted, sautéed, boiled, baked, grilled, or fried and add a rich flavor to many dishes, working especially well in soups, stews, casseroles, gratins, and purees.

They can also be easily swapped in for nearly any other root vegetable in your favorite recipes, including carrots, potatoes, turnips, and rutabagas.

Here are a few interesting ways to add parsnips to your diet:

Combine parsnips with mushrooms and lentils for a vegetarian shepherd’s pie.
Mash parsnips and mix with lemon and herbs.
Prepare a parsnip gratin with ingredients like feta, turmeric, and cumin.
Bake sliced parsnips in the oven to make vegetable crisps.
Toss with olive oil and spices and roast alongside carrots.

Parsnips can be prepared in many ways and used in soups, stews, casseroles, gratins, and purees.

The Bottom Line

Parsnips are a type of root vegetable, closely related to carrots and parsley root.

They’re rich in several important nutrients and antioxidants that may improve immunity, enhance digestive health, and aid weight loss.

Best of all, they’re easy to prepare and have a sweet, earthy taste that works well in a variety of recipes, making them a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet.

Link to original article below.


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