Rutabaga: A Surprising Treat

February 07, 2013

Rutabagas are a wonderful addition to the winter diet. They are a member the brassica genus of plants which includes other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Their sweet, yellow flesh can be mashed, roasted, steamed or sauteed. Rutabagas are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium and antioxidant compounds, important nutrients for any healthy diet. And they offer plenty of those nutrients!
  • One cup of cubed, boiled rutabaga contains 66 calories' It has 2.2 grams of protein, 4 percent of the recommended daily amount!
  • That one cup of rutabagas also offers 12 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber. One cup provides 3.1 grams.
  • It also provides 16 percent of the daily potassium requirements and 10 percent of the daily value of magnesium and phosphorus.
  • Rutabaga is an excellent source of vitamin C. One cup provides 53 percent of the recommended daily value and 4 to 9 percent of the B-vitamins.
  • Rutabaga contains the phytochemicals called isothiocyanates. These are best obtained from raw cruciferous vegetables because they can't be absorbed as well after the vegetable is cooked.
The health benefits of you'll gain from these flavorful roots are also impressive!
  • The phytochemicals remove carcinogens from the body and help the liver process toxins. One phytochemical, glucosinolate, may inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.
  • It's store of antioxidants help prevent free radical damage to our cells and DNA, boosts the immune system and helps prevent illness and disease. Rutabaga also contains carotenoids, which help stimulate the antioxidant activity.
  • Rutabaga is a good source of fiber which helps support the body's digestive system, is essential to colon health, digestion and healthy metabolism. The glucosinolates may also help the stomach process bacteria.
  • The potassium found in rutabaga helps promote bone strength, aids in energy production and supports heart health and metabolism.
Still not sold on rutabaga? Try slow-roasting with a touch of sea salt, and grape seed oil as part of a winter dinner, add to soups and stews, or get a big dose of phytochemicals with a crunchy salad of walnuts, chopped rutabaga, spinach, and dried cranberries. If you're not already a rutabaga fan ... give it a try, you will be!

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