Rutabaga is a root vegetable is a cross between cabbage and turnips. The scientific name of rutabaga is Brassica napus, but it is known by many other names throughout the world, including yellow turnips or neeps.
Rutabagas contain nutrients which includes high levels of manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc, as well as vitamins like vitamin C, E, K, and members of the B-family. In terms of organic compounds, rutabagas provide glucosinolates and carotenoids.
Its unique flavor makes it very useful to boost the taste of a variety of dishes throughout the world, and many cultures have incorporated it into their staple foods or national delicacies. It is considered a healthy alternative to potatoes, as it doesn’t have as many “empty” carbohydrates and provides a wide range of minerals, vitamins, and organic compounds that are beneficial for human health.
The health benefits of rutabaga include its ability to improve digestive health, prevent certain forms of cancer, act as an antioxidant, boost the immune system, and improve metabolic function. Rutabaga also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, aids in cellular and enzymatic functions, builds strong bones, and can even help lose weight.
Nutrition Value of Rutabaga
Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 38
- Total Fat 0.2 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 12 mg
- Potassium 305 mg – 8% RDA
- Total Carbohydrate 9 g – 3% RDA
- Dietary fiber 2.3 g – 9% RDA
- Sugar 4.5 g
- Protein 1.1 g – 2% RDA
- Vitamin C 41% RDA
- Calcium 4% RDA
- Iron 2% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 5% RDA
- Magnesium 5% RDA
10 Nutrition Health Benefits of Rutabaga
1. Reduces Cancer Risk
Rutabagas has diverse composition of antioxidant compounds.It contains glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds, which are known to reduce the growth of cancerous tumors in the body. Furthermore, the high levels of carotenoids and vitamin C act as antioxidants, which combat the effects of free radicals, thereby preventing the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous ones.
2. Digestive Health
Rutabaga are high in dietary fiber and it improves the digestrive health by adding bulk to the stool and prevents constipation and gastrointestinal distress.
3. Aids in Weight Loss
Rutabaga are low in calories and the dietary fiber provides a satiety feeling. One feels fuller and helps reduce overeating which in turns helps with weight loss.
4. Boosts Immunity
Rutabaga has vitamin C which is essential for many bodily processes, including the stimulation of the immune system to produce white blood cells. Beyond that, vitamin C is a necessary element in the production of collagen, which contributes to the development and healing of skin tissue and muscles, as well as blood vessels. High levels of vitamin C can also help prevent colorectal cancer, as a number of research studies have attested.
5. Lowers Blood Pressure
Potassium acts as a vasodilator and this helps lower blood pressure by reducing the stress and contraction of blood vessels. This allows for easier passage of blood, increased oxygenation to vital organs and systems, resulting in a lower chance of clotting. Potassium, along with the fiber content in rutabagas, helps reduce cholesterol levels and helps prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
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6. Strengthens Bones
Rutabagas contain zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus, all of which play key roles in the creation and maintenance of bone tissue. They help prevent osteoporosis by keeping the bones healthy and strong.
7. Boosts Metabolism
Rutabagas are a great option for many vegetarians, as they nearly provide a complete protein boost, something that most vegetarians struggle to acquire as they don’t consume meat. Protein and amino acids are the building blocks of new cells and are necessary to promote proper development, growth, healing, reproduction, muscle contraction, and dozens of other important bodily processes.
8. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Rutabagas don’t have many carbohydrates that break down into simple sugars, they are are often turned to as an alternative to potatoes for diabetics and those who want to cut back on carbs. The vegetable can essentially help prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes. While the carbohydrate content in rutabagas is 20% lower than an equal portion of potatoes, the additional nutritional value makes rutabagas a much wiser and more delicious choice.
9. Skin Care
Rutabagas contain vitamin C that helps with the production of collagen that helps with skin integrity and elsticity that helps prevent signs of aging like wrinkles. The antioxidants also helps prevent wrinkles.
10. Enzyme Stimulation
Rutabaga is an excellent source of the mineral zinc that helps stimulate the enzymes in the body and help antioxidants from food work with the enzymes in the body perform daily functions efficiently. Zinc is considered an important mineral for the health of women as they age.