Parsnips are a hearty root vegetable that generally gets overlooked in our American diet. This is a shame though, because the parsnip has much to offer! From a healthy substitute for bad starches to a fat burning tool, parsnips can be a helpful aid in living a healthy lifestyle. Here are some important things you need to know about this neglected vegetable and how you can start incorporating it into your diet.
The Health Benefits of Parsnips
Full of Vital Nutrients:
Parsnips are high in fiber content, which is important in cleaning out your intestines and keeping you healthy. The vegetable also contains high levels of vitamins B, C, E, and K. Important minerals such as phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iron, and zinc can also be found in parsnips. They are very nutritious and their sweet, earthy flavor will make this a healthy vegetable that even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy.
Good for Heart Health:
They do wonders for your heart health. The root vegetable can help you to lower your blood pressure which will reduce your risk of heart issues in the future. This is due to the amount of potassium in parsnips, which help to dilate your blood vessels. By dilating your blood vessels you are reducing the amount of plaque buildup in the vessels, cutting your risk of stroke and heart attack. Folate, a nutrient found in parsnips, also reduces stress hormones linked to heart disease.
Good for Maintaining Diabetes:
Parsnips are a good substitute to potatoes for those that suffer from type 2 diabetes. This is because the vegetable is low in calories and contains a high soluble fiber content, both which counteract high blood sugar. For those who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the soluble fiber content in parsnips can reduce your risk of developing the disease. Diabetics can use parsnips as a substitute for very starchy vegetables like carrots and potatoes in most recipes.
Assists in Weight Loss:
Due to the soluble fiber content in parsnips, you are likely to feel full on less food. You will also be less likely to indulge in snacking, which can lead to some unhealthy food choices. By substituting parsnips for fattier foods you are saving yourself many calories and keeping yourself fuller for longer.
Boosts Immune System:
The parsnips are filled with antioxidants and vitamins such as C and E that help to bolster your body’s natural defenses. The antioxidants help you to fight against free radicals that can cause harm to your body’s cell structure. Free radicals have been known to be a factor in cancer cell growth, so intake of antioxidants is vital in stopping chronic illnesses in your future.
The parsnip used to be a very popular vegetable, but since the rise of the potato, it has been generally ignored. The popularity of the Paleo diet has brought the parsnip and its health benefits back to the forefront. You can add these to your soups, salads, mash them like potatoes, and even bake them into crisps. Take a look at this recipe here! If you are looking for a good substitute for a potato in your diet, the parsnip is a good choice!