Parsnip belongs to the same family (Apiaceae) and carrots, fennel, cumin and parsley. It is very healthy, and when you prepare properly, refresh and enrich your winter menu.
Let’s start with the health benefits of parsnip
Good source of fiber. Parsnip is an excellent source of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol and the risk of diabetes.
Also, soluble fiber helps to feed more easily through the intestines, which contributes to eliminating constipation and other digestive problems.
It helps maintain normal body weight. Soluble fibers that parsnip contains help to feel satiated longer and prevent the release of ghrelin, which is known as the “hunger hormone”. In fact, the introduction of parsnip in the diet can help to reduce the amount of food you eat during the day, and in that way help to maintain the desired weight.
It helps the immune system. Parsnip contains vitamins C and E, which contribute to the elimination of free radicals. Vitamin C helps in the production of white blood cells that are an important part of the immune system to fight microbes.
Healthy for the heart. Parsnip contains lots of potassium, which acts as a vasodilator (prevents the arteries and veins to constrict), which lowers blood pressure and workload of the heart. It also contains folate which helps to reduce the level of homocysteine in the blood (increased levels of homocysteine in the blood are associated with heart disease).
Good foods for pregnant women. Folate, which includes parsnip, contributes to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in newborns. It also contributes to the reduction of depression and can help mothers to cope with postpartum depression.
Parsnip is prepared in a similar way as the carrot.
Note: When you’re buying a parsnip, select the smaller pieces or those with medium-size. Larger pieces have too much fiber and are difficult to cook. Parsnip should be sturdy to the touch. Avoid specimens that have a lot of hair, or brownish stains, because they have poor quality. And, of course, if you are able – choose organically grown parsnip.