Rutabagas are believed to have begun as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip, both cruciferous vegetables. They are also known as “Swedish turnips,” sometimes shortened to “swedes.” Rutabagas are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A and potassium. They are also high in fiber.
Rutabagas are loaded with phytochemicals, including carotenoids, terpenes, flavonoids, coumarins, indoles, phenolic acids, and isothiocyanates. Many of these chemicals are believed to act as antioxidants and cancer fighters; they may also help preserve vision and lower blood pressure.
Cooked rutabagas are somewhere in between our “starchy vegetable” and “true vegetable” categories. They provide about 35 calories per half-cup serving. But they can also be eaten raw, which preserves more of their vitamins A and C, so try them in thin slices as an addition to salads.Nutritional Facts
One-half cup of boiled rutabaga cubes provides 33 calories, 7.4 g carbohydrate, 1.1 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 1.5 g dietary fiber, 477 IU vitamin A, 16 mg vitamin C, 13 mcg folic acid, 277 mg potassium, 17 mg sodium, 48 mg phosphorus, 41 mg calcium, and 20 mg magnesium.