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Health benefits of parsnip


The parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot and parsley. Parsnips are native to Europe and Asia and were introduced to North America in the 17th century. Larger parsnips can have a woody texture, but smaller roots have a tender texture and sweet flavor.

Parsnips’ hearty texture stands up well to roasting. Try combining it with carrots, beets and sweet potatoes seasoned with fresh rosemary, and roast until tender.

Add parsnips to your soups and stews for nutritional value. You can use parsnips in the salads combined with dried cranberries, fresh sage and vinaigrette.

Health benefits:

  • Parsnips is a great source of fiber so is very good for digestion.
  • Consuming parsnips boosts your intake of Vitamin C and E. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps body with infections and eliminates cancer-causing free radicals in your body. Vitamin E helps you make red blood cells.
  • Parsnips contain Vitamin K and Manganese. Both nutrients play an important role in the health of your bones.
  • Parsnips contain low content of sodium and high content of potassium. Potassium helps protects you from high blood pressure, while folate helps lower your blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Several components of parsnip are known to provide neurological benefits.
  • Several studies have indicated that individuals with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels.
  • Diets that include parsnips may also help prevent hemorrhoids, obesity, stroke and diverticulitis.

Choose fresh, firm, fleshy, medium size, even surfaced parsnips. Avoid long, thin, and tail like roots and avoid, woody, over-mature ones, as they are off-flavored. Do not buy soft, shriveled, pitted, knobby, or damaged roots.

Store parsnips in a plastic bag and place in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator set between 0°C and 5°C. Do not put raw parsnips in the freezer compartment.


67 thoughts on “Health benefits of parsnip

  1. We love them boiled with potatoes for an extra special mash or roasted with honey at Christmas is my favourite. Didn’t know that they had Vitamin K so another great reason to eat them!

  2. When you roast them try par-boiling them first and then lightly coating them in a seasoned flour mixture with some salt, pepper and a bit of Parmesan cheese for a delicious crunchy parsnip with a sweet roasted flavor – so good!!

  3. In your opening sentence, you say “Parsnips are closely related to the carrot and parsley.”

    Parsley is actually a herb, not a vegetable.

    Necessary fact to know before you try to educate people.

      1. The point you’re trying to prove from Wikipedia speaks of HOW Parsley is cultivated, not what food group it belongs to.

        Wikipedia speaks of food groups grown from the ground in general terms, which covers vegetables, herbs and spices.

        There are some fruits that are grown from the ground up like strawberries, would you call them root vegetables just because they’re cultivated in the same way?

        I’m not questioning how something is grown, I’m just making you aware that Parsley is not of the same food group as vegetables, it is a herb.

        It’s very important to understand your food groups especially as you’re trying to educate people about the facts and benefits of specific foods.

        I grow my own herbs and spices, so I’m knowledgable in what I’m saying, that’s all.

      2. I think we are talking parsley root and parsnips – both root parts and classed as veg. In Eastern Europe it is more wide in use than in Western Europe. The green part is used as a herb.

    1. Hi iSaw,
      I wonder if you’ve looked at the botanical classification of parsley, parsnip and carrott on wikipedia? They all belong to the family of Apiaceae, and are related.

      Every plant has roots and leaves, and on some plants we eat the roots, such as parsnip and carrot, and others the leaves AND the roots, such as parsley. The leaves of parsnip and parsley look kind of similar, but don’t taste similar. A plant can still be related to another, even though you would classify one as a herb and another a root vegetable.

  4. My favourite as well. Unfortunately I can’t get them here 😦 Love its aroma and taste. It will be the first thing I eat in London soon 🙂

  5. Love parsnips, and you just reminded me to put the carrots in the Veg pot, which would have been carrot less, because it’s bubbling away nicely already. Carrots in now.

  6. Often use Parsnips instead of potato for mash, and I can not have a roast of any kind of meat without roast parsnips. Curried parsnips soup is a warming winter dish.

  7. Yes I love reading about uncommon foods. I’m surprised at the health benefits. Thank you for sharing and posting such wonderful photos. If you have a website, or on any other social site I would follow you there. I’m one of your biggest fans. Do you happen to sell your photos with your signature or watermark?

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