Health Benefits of Vegetables

Parsnips belong to the same family as carrots and parsley.  They contain small quantities of essential oils (mostly terpenes) that have anti-cancer properties and therefore are a healthy addition to anyones diet.  They are also full of health giving nutrients including: Vitamin C, Folic acid, phosphorus, potassium, carbohydrates and fibre.
Did you know that both the root and the young leaves od the turnip can be eaten?  Also the root can be eaten raw and when grated makes a delicious addition to salads.  Turnips contain Vitamins A, B and C, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and natural sugars.
Understanding the nutrients  listed:
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy skin. It also helps prevent frequent infections of the upper respiratory tract such as colds and sore throats and improves night vision (carrots make you see in the dark – contain beta carotene which is a precursor to Vitamin A). Retinol is the scientific name for Vitamin A and is found in animal products as well as in vegetables.
Vitamin C: This is an under-rated vitamin – most people are aware that it prevents scurvy and rickets but is also promotes tissue repair and wound healing and is important for the general health of the immune system – eating high vitamin C foods can prevent infections such as colds and coughs and can dramatically reduce the time you have one too!  Vitamin C is an antioxidant meaning that it protects the body from damage caused by free-radicals which causes mutations, signs of aging etc.  It also plays a major role in the absorption of iron and the formation of antibodies and collagen.
Folic Acid: This vitamin is crucial for the health of our DNA and for making red blood cells too.  During pregnancy folic acid is important as the development of the baby is a process of making and developing genetic material from the mum and dad to make the little one 🙂
Phosphorus: This nutrient regulates protein activity and is essential for the release of energy in the bodys cells. It also helps to form and maintain healthy bones and teeth and is necessary for the absorption of many nutrients.
Potassium: It regulated body fluids, is essential for correct functioning of the cells and the transmission of nerve impulses, it keeps the heartbeat regular and maintains normal blood pressure.
Calcium: We are all aware that calcium benefits our bones and teeth but did you know that it is also important for nerve transmission (communication), blood clotting and muscle function?  Calcium also regulates the heartbeat and helps to maintain a proper acid-alkaline balance within the body.  Calcium is also important for healthy skin.
Iron: This is essential for the production of red blood cells (haemoglobin) which transports oxygen to every cell within the body.  Iron also boosts energy levels, prevents anaemia and increases the body’s resistance to disease.
Magnesium: An important constituent of bones and teeth but also important for muscle contraction. Magnesium also calms the nervous system and regulates the heartbeat.  Women who crave chocolate at that time of the month may actually be craving magnesium.
Sulphur: This is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent and is used in creams for treating skin disorders such as acne.  Eating foods with this in will also benefit.  sulphur helps to form proteins within the body and is present in every cell.
info. provided by
Emma Warrener
Western Medicinal Herbalist within Grimsby and Cleethorpes
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