Have you ever wondered what that discolored carrot looking thing was in the produce department?  It’s a parsnip.  A parsnip may look like just a white carrot at first, but there are many benefits to this delicious root. Parsnips originated from Europe and Asia, but were brought to the Americas in the 1800’s (Thompson, 2011). In ½ cup of parsnip there is six percent of the recommendation of potassium.  This is good for the heart in that potassium helps to lower blood pressure.  Potassium also helps maintain health bones and muscles.  Another benefit parsnip contributes to heart health is its content of folate.  Folate decreases the amount of homocystine in the blood, thus decreasing the risk of heart disease
(“Health Benefits of Parsnips,” 2012-07-25).

One serving of parsnip also contains as much as 3 grams of soluble fiber which helps to lower cholesterol and the risk of diabetes.  The sugar in parsnips is formed from the root’s starches after the first frost of the growing season. With as few as 55 calories per serving, parsnips have a substantial amount of vitamin C, folate, and manganese (Thompson, 2011). Vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system, strong bones, and rids the bodies of toxins, thus decreasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.  To keep the vitamin and minerals in the veggie, avoid water contact, either roast or steam the parsnip (“Health Benefits of Parsnips,” n.d.).

Folate is beneficial for warding off depression, vision and hearing loss due to age, and is also important in the formation of DNA and red blood cells. Do not forget this important B vitamin that provides for a health nervous system and energy metabolism. Folate is also vital for pregnant women to prevent birth defects in the child (“Health Benefits of Parsnips,” n.d; Mercola, n.d).

The Journal of Nutritional Therapeutics mentions that parsnips are good for decreasing the chance of type 2-diabetes due to the vitamins C and E content, and the amount of fiber. The fiber also decreases hunger and reduces the appetite which helps to manage weight and blood pressure, and thus reduce the chance of getting diabetes (Silva Dias, J. C. de, and Imai, S, 2017).

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