Parsnips belong to the same family as parsley, celery and carrots and have a distinct sweet flavour that adds depth to many dishes. Surprisingly, parsnips are also packed with a number of health promoting nutrients.
Parsnips are high in soluble fibre which provides many health benefits. High fibre in the diet is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, reduced blood cholesterol and helps prevent against heart disease. The high levels of soluble fibre also allow you to feel full up, by preventing the release of the hunger hormone ‘ghrelin’. The fibre in parsnips will also contribute to a healthy and efficient digestive system.
Additionally, parsnips contain folate which is essential for nervous system health and can reduce the risk of depression. It is also vital for preventing neural tube birth defects in infants.
Parsnips contain good levels of the mineral potassium, which can help to reduce the risk of strokes and high blood pressure. It is essential for the skeletal system and our smooth muscle function.
Furthermore, nutrients including vitamin C and E provide great antioxidant support helping to ‘mop up’ unwanted circulating free radicals. Additionally, vitamin C provides benefits for the skin, bone, teeth, blood vessels and immune system. Be sure to eat parsnips while fresh to benefit from the higher vitamin C content.
Enjoy parsnips pureed, mashed or roasted and include in soups, stews or a warm hearty salad.
My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics
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