Increase your Passion for Parsnips
On the menu this week is a returning favorite, parsnips!
Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a root vegetable native to Eurasia and has been used extensively in that region since ancient times. This taproot is closely related to carrots and parsley, and for that reason, it is often mistaken for carrots.
According to USDA, parsnips contain high levels of minerals such as as calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron. They have an impressive range of vitamins, including folate, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, C, E, and K. Additionally, they also have high levels of fiber, water, and protein.
Just a few of the benefits of parsnips include:
•Improved Heart Health
Parsnip contains a generous amount of potassium, which acts as a vasodilator (a compound that prevents arteries and veins from tightening6), thereby reducing blood pressure and stress on your heart. It also contains folate, which helps reduce homocysteine levels in your blood that are linked to heart disease.
•Good Source of Fiber
Parsnip is known for being a great source of soluble fiber, which can help reduce your bad cholesterol levels and risk of diabetes. In addition, it can help improve your digestive health by helping food move smoothly through your intestines, which can help reduce constipation and other common digestive disorders.
•Reduced Risk of Birth Defects
The folate in parsnip is known to help reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects in infants. It is also linked to lower levels of depression, and may even help mothers with newborn infants cope with postpartum depression.
•Help in Weight Management
The soluble fiber in parsnip can help you feel full longer and prevents the release of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone. In essence, it can help you reduce the volume of food you eat throughout the day, thereby helping you maintain your weight.
•Gives the Immune System a Boost
Parsnip contains vitamins C and E, which can help rid your body of free radicals that can potentially cause various diseases. Vitamin C can also help produce white blood cells to boost your immune system and ward off foreign microbes.
Cooking suggestions for parsnips include roasting, puree, soups, cut into fries and more. Try adding parsnips into your next dish and keep an eye out for this versatile vegetable in the clean cuisine menu.