Rutabagas are rich vegetables that grow above the ground, used as winter food for human consumption, livestock, and cattle. The name, rutabaga, has a Swedish origin which can be translated as Swedish turnip. The name which is our focus here, rutabaga, however, is common to North America. It was widely introduced in England in the 19th century before it spread to other parts of the world.
Various parts of rutabaga such as its roots and leaves are utilized in various ways across cultures. Rutabaga is used for a wide variety of dishes across continents. It contains a diverse range of nutrients; from high levels of phosphorus, manganese, potassium, to calcium, zinc, iron, vitamins C, E, K, and the B family. I feel like screaming out of excitement already. And we haven’t even discussed anything yet; so much to come!
Let’s talk about the health benefits of rutabaga. Now, it took us some level of discipline to keep this benefit list this short, as there are loads of health benefits of this amazing vegetable. But we don`t want your reading to take hours. Really, rutabaga is just a wonder.
What are its Benefits?
It Aids Digestion
Rutabaga is high in fiber, giving you more than 12% of your daily fiber requirement in just one serving. Dietary fiber improves digestion and prevents gastrointestinal distress.
It’s Great for Weight Loss
Tell somebody to somebody who should tell another person, we’ve got another overweight solution. Because rutabaga contains fiber, you get filled up quickly after consuming it, and your chances of overeating reduce. This is essential for weight loss.
It Prevents Cancer
Rutabaga has got a unique composition of antioxidant compounds, making it fit to reduce the growth of cancerous tumors in the body. It has glucosinolates which are super at this reduction. What else? It’s got carotenoids and vitamin C on the high side. Vitamin C, you know, is a champion at defeating free radicals, thereby preventing healthy cells from mutating into cancerous ones. This is superb, I must say!
It Prevents Aging
We all want to look young forever, don’t we? Rutagaba prevents premature aging and stimulates the healthy regeneration of cells throughout the organs and tissues. So you can look young and beautiful with rutabaga. *winks*
It Lowers Blood Pressure
Rutabaga reduces the stress and contraction of blood vessels, hence, lowering blood pressure. This allows for increased oxygenation to organs and systems, ensuring lower chances of clotting. Rutabaga also ensures an easier passage of blood. What makes all these possible, really? Nothing else but potassium. Yes, potassium. Potassium together with fiber as present in rutabaga brings about a drastic reduction of cholesterol levels and prevents atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks.
It Boosts Immunity
Did you know that a single serving of rutabaga contains half of your required daily need of vitamin C? So you even have enough to stimulate the immune system to produce white blood cells. The same vitamin C is an essential element in the production of collagen which contributes to the development and healing of skin tissues and muscles as well as blood vessels. It is fascinating to know that vitamin C prevents colorectal cancer when consumed in right quantity; rutabaga has got that required quantity.
It Prevents Osteoporosis
Keeping your bones healthy is one good you can do for yourself. Osteoporosis affects millions of people worldwide and gets worse
as they age. The minerals, zinc, manganese, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus in rutabaga keep your bone tissues healthy, helping you avoid this terrible disorder, osteoporosis.
It Prevents Diabetes
Because of its low carbohydrate level, you don’t need to bother about the simple sugars that cause some damage to insulin and glucose levels. So if you have been considering cutting down on carbs, rejoice; rutabaga is your first choice. It is even proven to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Would it be fair to say so much about the benefits of rutabaga without telling you how to cook it?
How to Cook Rutabaga
Some people eat rutabaga raw, however, cooking it will make you enjoy it more. When cooked, it releases a sweet flavor, and it is just like potatoes, but less starchy and more satisfying.
To cook it,
- Wash the rutabaga thoroughly to remove dirt.
- Put it on a cutting board and slice in half. Cut through the central stalk, so you’ll have two halves that can be easily laid flat.
- Turn each of the pieces of rutabaga on the flat side, then cut into half-inch thick semicircles. You may discard the first and last pieces, as they are covered in thicker skin.
- Remove the outer skin of each semicircular piece using a paring knife. Lay each piece flat and cut them into cubes.
- It`s now time to use the peeled rutabaga cubes in your recipes. Ensure to check them frequently as they cook, as they may overcook and not come out well.
There are a number of methods used in cooking rutabaga. Let`s take a quick look.
Put the rutabaga pieces in a pot of boiling water with a small amount of honey to taste. Cooking time for this is approximately 10 minutes.
Cut the rutabaga into strips and fry in coconut oil for about seven minutes.
Put the sliced or diced rutabaga in a baking dish, a shallow one preferably, then sprinkle a few tablespoons of water and bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176.6 degrees Celsius). This should last an hour.
Fill a pot with water, put in the rutabaga and a bit of salt and let it boil. Give it low heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Then drain the chunks and use a potato masher to mash them evenly. Add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon, or a few tablespoons of raw butter to taste.
The whole thing feels so yummy already. I`m even confused on the method to adopt.
Possible Side Effects of Rutabaga
There aren’t many known side effects yet, however, we’ve been able to put together a list of observations so far. Let’s see.
- Rutabaga contains raffinose, a complex sugar which may cause abdominal discomfort, bloating, and flatulence. This is so because there are methane-producing bacteria in the colon that feed on raffinose, causing the release of gas. Now you know; be merciful on those around you, and yourself too. *smiles*
- There may be cases of allergy manifesting as inflammation, skin rashes, watery eyes, and some other signs. Consulting a doctor is best in this case.
- Because rutabaga contains vitamin K, excess intake may interfere with the functioning of blood thinning medications.
It’s been an interesting reading, I hope. I guess you’re amazed at this vegetable already. Well, the same way I was when I first read on it. What else would one want in a vegetable? Amazing rutabaga is, really. Major health challenges are cured and/or prevented by rutabaga. From cancer to diabetes, osteoporosis, and aging. It even boosts immunity, improves digestion, aids weight loss, and lowers blood pressure. Is it now safe to conclude that your body needs rutabaga? You agree, don’t you? Yes, you do, great. So can we have a deal that you’ll spread the good news of rutabaga? Share this link, and maybe, share your meals too. Spread the rutabaga love.