Parsnips are closely related to the carrot and parsley. The parsnip is native to Eurasia. Since antiquity, it has been used as a vegetable and was cultivated by the Romans. It was used as a sweetener before cane sugar came to Europe. In the 19th century, it was brought to the United States from Europe.

Full of Fiber

It is well known that parsnips contain many fibers, especially soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is known to help reduce cholesterol levels which boosts heart health. Soluble fiber is also beneficial in lowering the risk of developing diabetes. The fiber found in parsnips can also help the digestive process by facilitating the healthy movement of food through the digestive tract, helping to reduce the risk of constipation and prevent other gastrointestinal disorders.

Good for the Immune System

Studies show that the parsnip is full of antioxidant vitamins and organic compounds which protect the body from foreign invaders. Plus, they protect the body from toxic byproducts produced by our cellular metabolism. Parsnips contain both vitamin C and E, which act as antioxidants in the body and can help neutralize or eliminate free radicals that cause chronic diseases, including cancer. Vitamin C also increases the production of white blood cells, which attack the illness and foreign microbes in the body. White blood cells also help produce collagen, a building block of the body.

Contains Folates

A half-cup of parsnips contains 11% of the daily folate requirement. Folates are essential to human health. Folates are critical to pregnant mothers and their developing babies. Recent research shows that expectant mothers need a higher folate intake to reduce the risk of having children with neural tubes congenital disabilities such as cleft palate, spina bifida, and brain damage. Low folate levels are also known to increase the risk of diarrhea, gingivitis, tongue inflammation, and others.

Great for Weight Loss

Nutritionists suggest adding parsnips to your diet if you are trying to lose weight or simply want to maintain your weight. Parsnips are low calorie and high in fiber. Studies have found that parsnips help prevent the release of ghrelin, a “hunger” hormone. Without the release of ghrelin, you are less likely to snack between meals. Plus, the fiber helps optimize the digestive process, which means you can eliminate waste while getting the nutrient uptake in the proper condition. 

Helps With Osteoporosis

A single serving of parsnips contains nearly 35% of the daily allowance of manganese. Manganese is a trace element necessary for bone health. Research has shown that a mixture of zinc, copper, calcium, and manganese can help to slow the loss of spinal bone in post-menopausal women. Nutritionists suggest that mature women at a higher risk of suffering from osteoporosis can help prevent the disease by adding parsnips to their diet.

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