Rutabagas are root vegetables, the vegetables are used for human consumption, and the leaves that grow above the ground are used as winter feed for livestock and cattle. The word rutabaga is of Swedish origin and can be translated to Swedish turnip.
The term rutabaga is a common North American term for the vegetable, each country that uses it in their cuisine has a different name for this vegetable. The use of rutabaga was first recorded in 1620 by a Swiss botanist. It made its way to Britain in the 1800’s and to France around the 1700’s.
Rutabaga can be cooked in some ways, baked, roasted, boiled or as a flavor enhancer. Many Asian dishes use rutabaga to add bulk to stews and soups. Rutabaga contains cyanoglucoside which turns into thiocyanate which prevents thyroid problems in the human body.
The peppery-almost bitter flavor of rutabaga can be attributed to the presence of glucosinolates in it. The bitter taste of rutabaga is felt more by people with genotype PAV/PAV or Supertasters. Rutabaga is a treasure cove of biochemicals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.
Rutabagas are larger and denser in nutrients compared to its relative the turnip. Rutabagas have cream-colored flesh, with purple-yellow skin. Rutabagas can be prepared like mashed potatoes without all the fat content. Here are 11 reasons why rutabaga should be a part of your diet
11 Interesting Health Benefits of Rutabagas
1. Abundant In Nutrients
Rutabagas is rich in multiple nutrients; they are a cross between wild cabbage and turnips which increases its nutritional value a great deal. Rutabaga contains many vital nutrients such as vitamin c fiber, magnesium, potassium, calcium, proteins, iron, and zinc. This composition makes it a wonderful addition to your daily diet, as the body requires daily replenishment of vitamins minerals and antioxidant.
2. Blood Pressure
Blood pressure can be fatal; the rush of blood to the heart can cause heart attacks or nerves to bust. Keeping your blood pressure in check through a diet rich in vegetables such as rutabaga can ensure an adequate flow of blood and prevent clogging of arteries as well as keep the LDL cholesterol in check. The potassium content in rutabaga helps reduce the contraction of vessels by relaxing the muscles. Potassium with high fiber will help the body control spikes in blood pressure.
3. Healthy Skeletal Structure
As we age our bones start to lose their density which is the reason for many diseases such as arthritis and joint pains. The excellent combination of zinc, magnesium, potassium, vitamins, and calcium make rutabaga an ideal vegetable for people experiencing joint pains or are susceptible to arthritis or osteoporosis. A healthy bone structure and bone density are necessary for the body to perform minimal functions such as walking. To keep the health of your bones intact adding calcium and vitamin K –rich foods to your diet is mandatory.
4. Healthy Digestive Function
The Digestive system is responsible for nutrient absorption. Digestive illnesses can affect the whole body negatively as all the nutrients are transferred from the digestive system to the rest of the body. With its exceptional fiber content of 17 % of the daily required value, rutabaga is one of the world healthiest foods for digestion. Rutabaga can help cure patients suffering from diarrhea and constipation. It is very effecting in avoiding the formation of ulcers and inflammation in the gastrointestinal cavities. High fiber intake equals hemorrhoid and cholesterol free healthy body.
5. Metabolism Aid
The building blocks of new cells and muscles are derived from protein. A healthy metabolic rate will ensure your body is extracting enough nutrients, protein, fatty acids and amino acids from the food you eat to keep up the regeneration process intact. Rutabaga is surprisingly rich in proteins for a vegetable and can increase the metabolic rate of the body. Proper growth, brain development, reproduction and such require a good metabolism to facilitate them. Rutabaga stores a combination of the amino acids and proteins that the body requires for functioning properly.
6. Strengthens Immunity
Immunity is the quality of the body to prevent the onset of diseases and fight of the oxidative stress and damage that free radicals cause. A strong immunity is an insurance against chronic illnesses that can lead to fatal results. Eating foods rich in vitamin C content can boost immunity in the body. Rutabaga is an extraordinary vegetable in the provision of vitamin C and can provide up to 48mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of serving. This is an impressive amount which can make up 80 % of the daily required value.
7. Cancer Prevention
Cancer is often initiated when the free radicals can damage the DNA of the cells and also affect the metabolism in the body. Antioxidants are natures answer to these cancer-causing molecules. A diet rich in antioxidants creates the barrier that your body needs against oxidative damage. Rutabaga contains sulfur-based compounds in the form of glucosinolates that give it its anti-cancer properties. The enzyme myrosinase which is already present in the body reacts with glucosinolates to stimulate isothiocyanates which are responsible for cancer-cell death. Vegetables that fall into the same family of cruciferous vegetables such as rutabaga, broccoli, cabbage and such have been observed to reduce the chances of prostate cancer in men.
8. Weight Loss
Cutting down the fat intake and processed foods can make a world of difference in reducing those extra inches. Switching to a vegetable-rich diet can help the body get rid of fat easily and quickly. Obesity has become an epidemic with the growing trend of fast food. Rutabaga is rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins and fiber which keep the body satiated and full until the next healthy meal. You will not feel the need to snack unnecessarily, and your energy levels will stay high.
Potassium deficiency is affecting the world populace at large. Potassium is necessary for almost all functions that the body carries out. It is a mineral that the body utilizes to regenerate, grow, develop and maintain a healthy cognitive capacity. Rutabaga is a rich source of potassium and provides an impressive amount of 16.7% of the daily requirement.
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. Adding rutabaga to your diet can be useful for your body on the whole.
Aging is a concern for man and woman alike, however, finding a cure that helps slow down the aging in all parts of the body through adequate nutrition is the right way to it. Rutabaga with its combination of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants is a treasure of anti-aging ingredients. The vitamin C is the most useful as it will promote the production of collagen in the skin and the other minerals will help the body stay young.
Rutabaga is a superfood with all the properties that your body requires for functioning adequately. A healthy vegetable-rich diet will help maintain a healthy body inside-out.