Rutabaga Nutrition Information

This Root Vegetable Has Many Health Benefits

Root vegetable on table
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Rutabagas are root vegetables that originated as a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. Sometimes they are referred to as turnips because they share a similar exterior appearance, but they do have differences as well. Rutabagas are generally larger in size, and the flesh of most rutabagas is orangish-yellow (whereas turnip flesh is a creamy white). They also taste a little sweeter than turnips. Just like a turnip, both the rutabaga root and leaves can be eaten—the root is cooked similarly to potatoes, and the greens are used in much the same way as chard or spinach.

In North America, they're called rutabagas, but in other English-speaking countries they're known as "swedes." Other names for rutabagas are Swedish turnips, yellow turnips, neeps, and even "​tumshies" and "snaggers" in isolated areas.

Rutabagas are thought of as a healthy alternative to potatoes and are packed with a variety of nutrients making them beneficial to our health in several ways.

Digestive Health

Rutabagas are high in fiber, providing more than 12 percent of the daily requirement. Fiber aids in digestion by preventing gastrointestinal distress and constipation. The high fiber content of the rutabaga also makes us feel full, contributing to weight loss. One-half cup of raw rutabaga cubes equals 2 grams of fiber (which is double that of a potato) and 4 grams effective (net) carbohydrate and is only 25 calories. Compared to other root vegetables, the rutabaga is one of the highest in fiber per serving.

Prevent Diabetes

Because of the lower concentration of carbohydrates in rutabagas, this root vegetable is a good choice for those people who are prone to or have Type 2 diabetes. Since carbohydrates break down into simple sugars and therefore can cause problems to our insulin and glucose levels in the body, choosing a nutritious vegetable with low carbs is a smart choice for diabetics.

 

Ward Off Cancer

It has been shown that eating fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants can help ward off cancer. Rutabagas are an excellent source of vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant, preventing healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. In addition, rutabaga contains glucosinolates, rare compounds shown to slow the growth of cancerous tumors.

Boost Immune System Health

Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant, but it also promotes our immune system. A single serving of rutabaga contains more than half of our daily requirement of vitamin C, providing a generous amount of this essential vitamin. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, the body's protection against sickness and disease and is key in producing collagen, which assists in the healing of muscle and tissue. 

Lower Blood Pressure

Rutabagas contain a good source of potassium, and potassium helps reduce the constricting of blood vessels which lead to high blood pressure. Blood will flow easier, bringing necessary oxygen to our vital organs, and lowering the chance of blood clots. 

Strengthen Bones

Minerals such as manganese, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous are crucial in the development and maintenance of bone tissue.

Rutabagas possess a valuable amount of these minerals and can, therefore, help ward off osteoporosis.

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