Yes, Parsnips are Paleo!
And They Look Like Carrots!
People have often mistaken this vegetable with carrots because they are very much alike in appearance except for its creamy white skin and flesh. Parsnip is a tapered winter root vegetable which belongs to the Apiaceae family, the same family as carrot and parsley. It has a complex, sweet, nutty taste. The roots of parsnip are smooth and its shape is normally long and cylindrical though some cultivars are more bulbous.
Available from fall to spring, parsnips are native to Eurasia and were consumed since antiquity. It was cultivated by the Romans and even used as a sweetener before cane sugar even existed in Europe.
Parsnips are usually cooked before eating but they can be eaten raw too like carrots. They can be boiled, roasted, grilled or sautéed to enhance its sweet taste. The best choices of parsnips for cooking are those with small to medium size. They should be firm and the skin should not have blemishes.
The Power of Parsnips
Parsnips are delicious root vegetables and are highly nutritious. It may not have beta carotene that gives carrots its beautiful orange color, but parsnips definitely have high nutritional power!
Parsnip contains high levels of potassium, B vitamins, managanese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and iron. It is also a very good source of calcium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and E, folate, protein and antioxidants.
Starchier than carrots, this Paleo food is very low in calories, cholesterol, saturated fat, and sugar. Parsnips are often overlooked but it is indeed a great substitute to French fries.
Health Benefits of Parsnips
Consumption of parsnips and other root vegetables have health benefits
Anticancer and Anti-inflammatory Properties
Parsnips contain antioxidants such as falcarinol, falcarindiol, panaxydiol, and methyl-falcarindiol, which may potentially have anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that offer protection from colon cancer and leukemia. It also contains significant amounts of vitamin C which is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant that helps the body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gums. Vitamin C can also protect from diseases and cancers by neutralizing the effects of harmful free radicals from the body.
Given the high levels of potassium and folate in parsnips, consumption can promote healthy heart and reduced risk of kidney stones. Potassium acts as a vasodilator and lowers blood pressure. It is an important that controls heart rate that counters the effect of sodium in the body. Folate reduces homocystein in the blood which can prevent heart diseases. Parsnips also contain high amounts of dietary fiber which can regulate blood cholesterol.
The high amounts of dietary fiber are essential for healthy digestive system and can prevent constipation and other gastrointestinal problems. It facilitates the movement of food through the digestive tracts
As stated above, parsnips are rich in folic acid which is associated in reducing neural tube birth defects in infants.
Parsnips have high vitamin C content. Vitamin C is aassociated in improved lung function and reduced risks of asthma symptoms in children.
Parsnips are very low in calorie with high amounts of soluble fiber. Eating small quantity of parsnip can already make you feel full. This is very beneficial to people who are trying to lose or maintain weight.
What Experts Say About Parsnips
“Root vegetables make a great post-workout carb choice, especially if you bake them, which naturally raises the glycemic index of these foods, such as sweet potatoes, yams, yucca, plantains, carrots, beets, parsnips, etc. “ – Loren Cordain
“For example, the parsnip boasts a high volume of insoluble fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system as well as for regulating cholesterol and reducing blood sugar fluctuations.” – Mark Sisson
All you ever wanted to know about Parsnips and Paleo
The Paleo Diet. Are You Eating Enough Carbs for Optimal Recovery?
Mark’s Daily Apple. Smart Fuel: Parsnips
Paleo Leap. Paleo Diet Food List
Original Eating. Paleo Diet Food List. Parnips
Paleo Grubs. Addictive Parsnip Fries with Truffle Oil
True Foods Nutrition. Paleo Parsnip Pasta
I Eat Real Food. Parsnip Chips
The Paleo Mom. Parsnip
Sam Cooks. All About Root Vegetables: Turnips, Rutabagas and Parsnips
Nutrition and You. Parsnips Nutrition Facts
Did we miss anything?
Comment below and let us know what you think. Do you agree with our conclusion?
photo credit: gathered, gleaned, & cleaned!