Rutabaga (Brassica napobrassica) is a root vegetable that resembles turnip, but both are actually different. Rutabaga is said to be a cross between wild cabbage and turnip. This root vegetable, which is otherwise known as yellow turnip, has a delicate sweet flavor and freshness. It is believed to have originated in southern Europe, and this vegetable was used as an animal fodder during the seventeenth century. Nowadays, it is very popular in some regions of the northern Europe, where it is called Swede or Swedish turnip. In some other regions, it is called yellow turnip or simply turnip. Rutabaga is the name that is commonly used to refer to this vegetable in the U.S. and Canada.

Rutabaga is a bulbous root vegetable that can be slightly bigger, as compared to turnips. The skin as well as the flesh of this vegetable is yellowish in color. The crown of this vegetable sports ridges and sometimes a purple tinge too. Its taste is often described as sweet and delicate, but some of them may have a slight bitterness. It also shares the freshness of cabbages and turnips. Even the leaves of this vegetable are said to be nutritious, and are used for human consumption.

Nutritional Information

It is a nutritious vegetable that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds. 100 grams of boiled rutabaga (without salt) contain around seven grams of carbohydrates, five milligrams of sodium, four grams of sugar, one gram of protein, 91.54 grams of water, and two grams of dietary fiber. The calorific value is 30 kcal. The table given below enlists the remaining nutrients and their values in 100 grams of boiled and drained rutabaga.

Vitamin A2 IU
Vitamin C18.8 mg
Vitamin B10.082 mg
Vitamin B20.041 mg
Vitamin B30.715 mg
Vitamin E0.24 mg
Vitamin K0.2 mcg
Folate15 mcg
Calcium18 mg
Magnesium10 mg
Potassium216 mg
Phosphorus41 mg
Iron0.18 mg
Zinc0.12 mg

* Source: USDA National Nutrient Database

100 grams of raw rutabaga amounts to 37 calories, and contain around nine grams of carbohydrate, 2.3 grams of dietary fiber, 4.5 grams of sugar, 1.08 grams of protein, 12 grams of sodium, and 89.4 grams of water. Go through the table for further details about the nutrient content in 100 grams of raw rutabaga.

Vitamin A2 IU
Vitamin C25 mg
Vitamin B10.09 mg
Vitamin B20.04 mg
Vitamin B30.7 mg
Vitamin E0.3 mg
Vitamin K0.3 mcg
Folate21 mcg
Calcium43 mg
Magnesium20 mg
Potassium305 mg
Phosphorus53 mg
Iron0.44 mg
Zinc0.24 mg

* Source: USDA National Nutrient Database

Health Benefits

As this tuber is rich in dietary fiber, it is said to be effective in combating constipation. It is also good for digestion and for increasing stamina. It is rich in potassium, which is good for proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. Apart from reducing the risk of diseases like stroke, rutabaga is said to be helpful for normalizing high blood pressure. It has high amounts of vitamin C, which is beneficial for preventing diseases, like scurvy. In some regions, rutabaga is used for increasing lactation. It contains vitamin C in significant amounts and so, is good for nails, skin, and hair. However, those with kidney problems must avoid consumption of rutabaga.

In order to reap the benefits of rutabaga nutrition, choose good quality ones. They must be firm, with yellow or tan-colored skin that is free of cuts, spots, and blemishes. Rutabaga can be cooked in different ways. It can be roasted sautéed, baked, mashed, or steamed. It can also be cut into uncooked julienne and used in salads. This root vegetable can be added to soups.