Parsnip: properties, nutritional values, calories

Who I am
Joe Dispenza

Author and references

 , Naturopath


La parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a vegetable from the Mediterranean region capable of stimulate digestion. Rich in fiber, vitamin K and potassium, it is useful for fever, cold, water retention and affections of the gastrointestinal system. Let's find out better.

> Description of the parsnip

> Calories and nutritional values

> Properties of the parsnip

> How to use it



Description of the plant

Pastinaca sativa belongs to the Umbelliferae family. It occurs in nature with incised and toothed leaves, the herbaceous and angular stem and with some fleshy roots.

At first glance it may look like a carrot, but its taste is more similar to potato, with a slightly more acidic and intense flavor.

The parsnip is a biennial vegetable native to the Mediterranean region. Its thick roots are fleshy, robust and creamy-white in color. It particularly loves the winter cold, the root in fact develops in thickness if the winter is very long and rigid.

Parsnip roots are harvested when they reach a length of about 10 cm, pulling the whole plant together with its root in the same way as for the carrot.


Calories and nutritional values ​​of parsnips

100 g of parsnips contain 75 kcal.

The seeds of the parsnip are rich in an essential oil capable of stimulating bile secretion while the root, rich in vitamin B, vitamin C and mineral salts, is able to stimulate cellular activity. 

 Furthermore, the parsnip is rich in:

  • Vitamin C, B vitamins and folic acid: provide an antioxidant action useful against aging and the action of free radicals
  • Fiber: able to stimulate digestion, reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels and produce a sense of satiety. 
  • Potassium: useful against water retention.
  • Vitamin K: useful for the body to prevent blood clots and to stimulate cellular activity. 
  • Falcarinol: compound that has a protective action against colon cancer. It could cause allergic reactions.  


Parsnip properties

Thanks to its active ingredients, the action of the parsnip is useful

  • Against fever and cold.
  • Against water retention and swelling.
  • In case of problems with the gastro-intestinal system and to safeguard the health of the intestine. 
  • In case of overweight and obesity.


How to use

All parts of the parsnip are used in cooking or for therapeutic purposes. For curative purposes the roots and seeds are used while from the food point of view the roots are mostly exploited (although in some cases the leaves are used to enrich salads).

The parsnip root comes eaten cooked boiled, steamed or baked. A quick and tasty recipe is prepared with cooked pasta boiled with the peel, cleaned, sliced ​​and sautéed simply with oil, salt and parsley. 


The parsnip among the vegetables from the September garden

Carrot and parsnip, similar but different

3 recipes with parsnips


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