Salsify impressive health benefits include improving digestion, supporting immune system, regulating blood pressure, improving skin health, helps fight cancerous cells, support healthy bones, improves symptoms of Premature Syndrome, promote weight loss, helps improve brain health, good for regulating blood sugar, and promotes healthy hair growth.
What is Salsify?
Salsify is the name given to two breeds of vegetable, with the most common salsify consumed in most parts of the world being the black salsify. Salsify was very popular but fell out of popularity in the late 19th century. Purple salsify is a root vegetable popularly called the oyster plant, belonging to the Asteraceae family.
It is a biennial herb, native to the Mediterranean region, however, historical records suggest that it was probably first cultivated in Italy. It has linear leaves and is cultivated for its edible root and other parts which may also contain medicinal properties. It was very popular in ancient Rome for its ornamental properties, but today, salsify is grown in a similar manner as carrots and is grated onto salads and is even added to eggs and sandwiches due to its delicious flavor.
Nutrition Info (per cup 135g)
Protein-4.4g 9% RDA
Vitamin C-10.6mg 18% RDA
Thiamin-0.1mg 7% RDA
Riboflavin-0.3mg 17% RDA
Niacin-0.7mg 3% RDA
Vitamin B6-0.4mg 18% RDA
Folate-34mcg 9% RDA
Pantothenic Acid-0.5mg 5% RDA
Calcium-80mg 8% RDA
Iron-0.9mg 5% RDA
Magnesium-30.6mg 8% RDA
Phosphorus-99.7mg 10% RDA
Potassium-505mg 14% RDA
Zinc-0.5mg 3% RDA
Copper-0.1mg 6% RDA
Manganese-0.4mg 18% RDA
Selenium-1.1mcg 2% RDA
11 Impressive Health Benefits of Salsify
1. May Help Improve Digestion
Dietary fiber helps keep the digestive system running without problems. Salsify contains a combination of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which helps to encourage bowel movements. When ingested, it helps the body absorb nutrients from the food by slowing digestion making it beneficial to constipation as it regulates the water content of stool and can add bulk to the stool and helps keep waste moving in the intestines. It may even prevent colon cancer, and may also neutralize some harmful gases that are released into the body by minimizing the time waste spends in contact with the healthy cells of the colon.
2. Help The Immune System
Vitamin C is well known to reduce your risk of infections when taken during flu season, preventing pathogens from damaging cells and tissues. The large amount of vitamin C present in salsify helps enhance the immune system. When there is an accumulation of Vitamin C in phagocytic cells, the process of phagocytosis is enhanced and there is enhanced destruction of harmful microbes. On the other hand, a deficiency of vitamin C may lead to impaired immunity and an individual is faced with a higher susceptibility to infections. Vitamin C is necessary, as the body is unable to produce it on its own.
3. Help Regulate Blood Pressure
The kidneys are responsible to a large extent for regulation of blood pressure, although most people don’t appreciate or know this. Salsify has a proper balance of dietary minerals that can regulate blood pressure, such as a high amount of Calcium and Potassium, and a low amount of sodium, which together help to optimize blood pressure. The kidneys help to regulate the delicate balance between potassium and sodium. When there is excess sodium, this fragile balance is disrupted and there is an accumulation of fluid which results in higher blood pressure. To restore balance, foods rich in calcium can potassium, like salsify should be consumed to counter the effect of sodium and restoring homeostasis, thus, assisting the kidney to work properly.
4. Help Improve The Appearance of The Skin
Salsify contains highly effective nutrients like vitamin A and C which can help to eradicate signs of aging, and preserve your youthful appearance for years to come. The skin starts showing aging signs when there is a deficiency of collagen in the body, or as a result of excessive oxidative processes ongoing in the body. Salsify can help to improve collagen synthesis in order to maintain skin elasticity; structure, strength and color, by virtue of its vitamin c content, which also assists in the fight against diseases and helps to replace dead cells that are not useful to the skin. These effects result in a net improvement to the appearance of skin, leaving you radiant and youthful.
5. Excellent In Fighting Cancerous Cells
Salsify is loaded with very active antioxidants which are very effective in reduction of a variety of carcinogens, and can prevent or manage cancers affecting the prostate, breast, colon and ovary. The presence of Vitamin C also supports against oxidative stress, a known risk factor for development of cancerous cells.
6. Good For Healthy Bones
Salsify contains a high amount of calcium, copper and magnesium, dietary minerals that are vital for support and growth of bone tissue. With the help of these minerals, salsify is effective in preventing problems related to bones, such as osteoporosis. Regular intake of salsify according to research, may even prevent arthritis which occurs when the connective tissue attached to bones begin to degrade and painful bone rubbing on bone friction occurs. Vitamin C supports the synthesis of collagen, which is a key component of connective tissue found in joints.
7. Help Improve Symptoms Of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
The calcium level in salsify may help alleviate mood swings, breast tenderness, pain and anxiety, all of which occur during pre-menstruation. If left unattended to, it may affect daily life and emotional activities. Salsify may help to bring relief to the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, helping make the monthly occurrence a less stressful one.
8. Helps With Weight Loss
Although exercise and physical activity is regarded as one of the best ways to lose weight, foods rich in fiber also do their fair share in helping out. Salsify is rich in fiber, which aids weight loss by helping control insulin spikes and improving satiety. Plus, salsify is low in calories, making it an ideal diet food.
9. Help Improve Brain Health
Salsify is enriched with vitamins that enhance the function and development of the brain. Vitamin A helps to enhance signal conduction of neurotransmitters by carrying signals from one nerve cell ending to the next. This helps the brain to function its best. Salsify is also important in regulating mood and preventing mental disorders due to neurotransmitter dysfunction. Some researchers believe that with regular intake of salsify, serotonin levels increase which help to reduce symptoms of depression and other negative effects on brain-health.
10. Good For Regulating Blood Sugar
When the body fails to efficiently transport glucose from the blood into the cells where they are needed, this is usually an indicator of diabetic illness. The major hormone for regulation of blood glucose is insulin. Studies suggest that the naturally occurring herbal plant, salsify may be able to contribute to controlling blood sugar levels, helping to slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. This delayed absorption helps insulin to function better, and as a result allows for enhanced energy production and better overall health.
11. Promotes Healthy Hair Growth
Salsify contains a moderate amount of iron which promotes steady and regular hair growth. It is believed that the flow of blood into the scalp may be enhanced since iron is a fundamental factor responsible for the formation of red blood cell. When there is increased red blood supply to the follicle beds, they stimulate hair growth and promote thick hair. It may also reduce the rate of premature hair growth or loss of hair, which can be impaired by inefficient blood flow. The iron in salsify promotes a healthy scalp and is widely included as an ingredient for scalp treatment and as a tonic for the hair
The salsify plant may be unpopular, but its benefit to the human body should not be overlooked. It is an easier alternative to many supplements that claim to perform similar functions but end up damaging the cells of the body, and will add a new dimension to your repertoire of recipes.