Generally, parsnip contains more sugar than carrots, radish, turnips. It has calories (100 g provide 75 calories) equal to that of some fruits like banana, and grapes. Nonetheless, its sweet, juicy root carries no cholesterol, is rich in several health-benefiting phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
It is one of the excellent sources of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. 100 g root provides 4.9 mg or 13% of fiber. Adequate fiber in the diet helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, obesity, and constipation conditions.
As in carrots and other members of Apiaceae family vegetables, parsnip too contains many poly-acetylene anti-oxidants such as falcarinol, falcarindiol, panaxydiol, and methyl-falcarindiol.
Several research studies from scientists at the University of Newcastle, Tyne found that these compounds possess anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and anti-cancer function and offer protection from colon cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Fresh roots are also good in vitamin-C; provide about 17 mg or 28% of RDA. Vitamin-C is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant, readily available to us from natural sources. It helps the human body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gum. Its anti-oxidant property helps protect from diseases and cancers by scavenging harmful free radicals from the body.
Further, the root is rich in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid as well as vitamin-K and vitamin-E.
Further, it also has healthy levels of minerals like iron, calcium, copper, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium.