Parsnip is physically similar to carrots; it has a sweet, nutty flavor that goes well with other vegetables. It has high sugar content and is being used to make wines and cake flour. Parsnip is also a flavorful alternative to potatoes.
Parsnip Health Benefits:
- Parsnip is a good source of soluble fiber, the type that helps lower cholesterol and keeps blood sugar on a healthy level.
- Parsnip is a good source of folic acid, B vitamin that pregnant woman requires to help reduce the risk of certain disabling birth defects. Folic acid also plays a role in reducing heart disease and may help prevent dementia and osteoporosis.
- Parsnip is recommended for controlling obesity and cellulite.
- Parsnip is excellent for improving bowel action, and has a beneficial effect on the liver.
- Parsnip has a slight diuretic action and leaves an alkaline ash in the body.
Parsnip Nutrient Content per 1/2 cup (sliced):
- Vitamin C: 10 mg
- Folic Acid: 45 micrograms
- Potassium: 287 mg
- Sodium: 8 mg
- Manganese: <1 mg
- Dietary Fiber: 3 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Protein: 1 g
- Carbohydrate: 21 g
- Calories: 55
Buying Tips: Select Parsnips that are smooth, firm and one that is about the size of a medium carrot. Softness is sometimes an indication of decay, which may appear as a gray mold or watery soft rot. Woody cores are likely to be found in large, coarse roots.
Storage Tips: Most parsnips are sold with the tops removed; if the tops are still attached, cut them off before storing them so they don’t draw moisture from the roots. They can be kept for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
Cooking Tip: To obtain the full flavor of parsnips, they should be steamed in their skins until tender. Then they may be peeled and split lengthwise. If the core is large, scoop it out with the point of a knife. If tender, they can be eaten raw.
Parsnip Side Effects:
- Parsnip contains polyacetylenes, which have shown cytotoxic activity. Caution is advised in patients taking anticancer agents, as the combination may have addictive effects.
- Parsnip may cause photosensitivity. Caution is advised in patients taking other agents that cause light sensitivity, such as St. John’s wort, as the combination may increase this side effect.