Rutabaga Nutrition

What is rutabaga ?

Rutabaga is a unique vegetable that has been gaining popularity in the American cuisine. It is a turnip-like vegetable with yellow skin and a hint of purple near the top. Unlike turnip, rutabaga has a very strong flavor. It has low-fat content and full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals for optimum health.

Rutabaga, which has a very sweet taste similar to turnip and cabbage, has become a staple in Scandinavian cuisine. The vegetable can be eaten raw, boiled, roasted or mixed with potatoes. They thrive in slightly acidic, fertile and moderately deep soil and can withstand drought and extreme cold weather conditions.

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History of Rutabaga

The vegetable got its name from the word “rotabagge”, a Swedish word wherein “rota” means root. Rutabaga is also called the yellow turnip or Swedish turnip and belongs to the brassica family along with cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, turnips, cabbage, kale, collards and the like. It is also referred to as cruciferous vegetable due to its cross-shaped flowers.

Rutabaga was thought to be a hybrid of wild cabbage and turnip in Bohemia during the 17th century and was grown for both animal and human consumption. Its fleshy roots were used as forage for livestock. Nowadays, the vegetable has become popular throughout America and Europe, with the major producers being Canada, U.S., Europe and Great Britain.

Health Benefits of Rutabaga

The nutritional components of rutabaga are so rich which is why it provides a number of health benefits, some of which are:

  • Prevention of cardiovascular diseases

These days, cardiovascular diseases are at their peak due to rampant unhealthy lifestyle and poor dietary habits. Rutabaga is a good way to get into a heart-friendly diet. The vegetable has loads of dietary fiber which help lower the blood cholesterol and regulate the blood sugar level to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Rutabaga also contains good amounts of potassium which is important for a healthy cardiovascular system as it lowers high blood pressure and prevents stroke and heart attack mortality.

  • Treatment of constipation

The vegetable contains huge amounts of dietary fiber which helps in treating constipation.

  • Prevention of scurvy

Scurvy is a disease caused by the insufficient amount of vitamin C. People with scurvy get bruised easily. Rutabaga helps prevent scurvy because it contains a significant amount of vitamin C. It also has flavonoid which helps in keeping the capillaries in top form. Furthermore, because it is vitamin C-rich, rutabaga can aid in managing any wheezing due to asthma.

  • Cancer prevention

This root vegetable boasts of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which impede the free radicals and carcinogens from damaging the cells and tissues, thereby lowering the risk of cancer.

  • Stimulation of milk production

Rutabaga helps in boosting the amount of breast milk that lactating mothers produce. It is has likewise been found to alleviate PMS symptoms and prevent spot baldness.

Side Effects of Rutabaga

Rutabaga can cause unpleasant effects to individuals who have problems with their kidneys because the vegetable contains mustard oil which could lead to flatulence and gas.

Rutabaga Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutritional information of 1 small serving of rutabaga.

  • Calories – 69
  • Total fat – 0.38g
  • Cholesterol – 0mg
  • Sodium – 38mg
  • Potassium – 647mg
  • Total carbohydrate – 15.61g
  • Dietary fiber – 4.8g
  • Protein – 2.3g

Rutabaga pictures

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