Saturday, June 30, 2012

Vegetable Of The Week - Parsnips

Vegetable History: 
A root vegetable, the parsnip is a member of the umbelliferae family whose other members include carrots, chervil, parsley, fennel, celery, and celeriac. The parsnip may be unfamiliar to you, yet its long history recites that it was cultivated during Roman times. During the Middle Ages tastier and fleshier varieties were developed. A variety of wild parsnip grew over much of Central and Southern Europe and has been introduced into the British Isles and Northern Europe, but the cultivated varieties are sweeter and appear more plump. - Veg Paradise 

Parsnips have been cultivated by humans for at least 2,000 years. In ancient times parsnips and carrots were often referred to by the same name (pastinaca was used by Pliny to describe both). The writings of Apicius indicate that the Romans held the parsnip in some esteem. For centuries in Europe they were a ubiquitous and nutritious staple food. Before sugar was widely available parsnips were used to sweeten dishes such as cakes and jams. Their popularity declined following the introduction of the potato, and this decline continued as sugar became more readily available. The parsnip is now not commonly eaten outside N. European countries. - Eat The Seasons

Health Benefits: 
Several research studies from scientists at University of Newcastle at Tyne found that compounds in Parsnips have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer function and offer protection from colon cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. - Nutrition & You

Parsnips have high folic acid which plays a role in reducing heart disease and may help prevent dementia and osteoporosis bone fractures. - How Stuff Works

Parsnip is superior to the potato containing as it does vitamins C, E, K and B6. It also contains Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, along with high quantities of potassium, which is an energy booster and good for the immune system. - Herbs, Taste & Test

Parsnips can be beneficial for your health because they are rich in fiber. One cup of sliced parsnip contains 6.5 g of fiber, with this nutrient comprising about 27 percent of the total carbohydrates in parsnips. Fiber is beneficial for a number of reasons, as it promotes healthy digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, provides feelings of fullness and may help reduce your cholesterol levels. - Live Strong

It is also prescribed as a natural remedy for people suffering from respiratory diseases, such as asthma. It can help relieve kidney problems, such as kidney stones, because of its diuretic properties. - Yahoo, Parsnips

The plant is recommended for treating kidney diseases, for controlling obesity and cellulite. To those suffering from anemia or asthenia, the natural consumption of parsnip is recommended as food. Also, it is recommended for states of convalescence or for stimulating growth. - Live & Feel

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