Rutabaga, round and with a slightly waxy outer coating, may over be passed up in the grocery store for its somewhat unusual appearance. Or, many people may simply be unsure of what exactly a rutabaga is, under the impression that it’s strictly for use in soups or meant only to be consumed with other foods.
So here’s the scoop.
Rutabaga, referred to as a “swede” in other parts of the world outside of the United States, is an antioxidant-rich root vegetable with a sweet yet unmistakably bitter flavor. Technically, it is a cross between cabbage and a turnip.
Its roundness is characteristic of its shape, although there may be variations in size. While purchasing a large rutabaga may seem tempting, fight the urge. Grapefruit-sized ones that are free of visible marring like cuts or bruises are ideal.
Rejoice, Raw Foodists
A rutabaga can be eaten either raw or cooked. Either way, be sure to peel its skin just as you would a potato, then cut it according to your preference (sliced, cubed . . .).
A great raw food rutabaga snack involving just three additional, common ingredients is explained in the video above.
Top 4 Health Benefits of Rutabaga
Colon & Digestive Health
With 12 percent of the recommended daily value of fiber, rutabaga is very good for regulating your digestive system, helping the stomach produce the necessary bacteria that creates bile. Bile is instrumental in helping maintain levels of electrolytes which help prevent dehydration while also allowing the small intestine to properly absorb vitamins. A well-functioning digestive system keeps OUR BUTTS HEALTHY.
Rutabaga contains all essential dietary minerals, especially magnesium and potassium, both of which are responsible for regulating metabolism and muscle contraction. Couple that with its fiber content and low calorie make-up (one cup has approximately 66 calories) and it’s also an ideal food to incorporate as part of a weight loss or weight maintenance routine.
Rutabagas are a phytochemical powerhouse, rich in sulfur compounds known as isothiocyanates. These compounds, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, may play a role in removing carcinogens from our bodies. Furthermore, rutabagas are cruciferous. Like other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, they are known to aid in fighting cancer.
It’s suggested that vitamin C, which rutabaga is abundant in, may help keep wheezing in asthma patients at bay. One cup contains approximately 53 percent of the recommended daily value.
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