If potatoes are your go-to dinner side, you’ll surely enjoy lower-calorie and nutrient-rich rutabagas. These hard root veggies require a bit of prep work, peeling away the tough outer skin and cutting off the roots. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the mild flavor of this nonstarchy vegetable.
For about 50 calories, you can have a full 1-cup serving of cooked and cubed rutabaga. Fewer than 3 of those calories, or about 5 percent, come from fat. About 6 calories, or 12 percent, stem from protein. The remaining 83 percent of calories -- about 42 calories -- are from carbohydrates.
That same 1-cup portion of rutabaga also gives you over 3 grams of fiber. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 state that you should get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet. Based on 2,000 calories daily, as an example, you should get 28 grams of total fiber. Your side of rutabaga makes up nearly 11 percent of your daily recommendation.
The mineral potassium is one of several electrolytes. You need electrolytes to keep a flow of electricity moving through your body. This function keeps your heart pounding, makes your muscles work and keeps your digestive tract moving. You’ll get nearly 370 milligrams of potassium from a cup of cooked rutabaga. That’s roughly 8 percent of the 4,700-milligram recommendation set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine.
Amount of Phosphorus
Calcium isn’t the only mineral necessary for strong bones and teeth. You also need plenty of phosphorus. This mineral also aids in energy storage, transmits genetic information and helps create hormones and enzymes. You’ll get 70 milligrams of phosphorus from your 1-cup dish of rutabaga -- 10 percent of the 700-milligram recommendation.
Vitamin C Information
Vitamin C protects each cell in your body by combating harmful free radicals, powers your immune system and keeps your skin healthy by making collagen. You probably think of oranges and strawberries if you’re looking to get more vitamin C. But rutabagas have more than one-third of your daily needs. One cup of prepared rutabaga offers around 32 milligrams of vitamin C. Your daily needs vary slightly based on gender. Adult men should aim for 90 milligrams each day, while women require 75 milligrams.
Vitamin B-6 Details
With the exception of vitamin B-12, rutabagas have small amounts of all the B vitamins. But this root veggie boasts a relatively high amount of one B vitamin: B-6. This vitamin is essential for processing dozens of different enzymes, storing energy in the form of glycogen and processing amino acids. From a cup of cooked rutabaga, you’ll get roughly 0.2 milligram of B-6. While that might not sound like much, adults only need 1.3 milligrams each day. Your serving of rutabaga provides over 15 percent of the B-6 you need every day.
- Le Cordon Bleu: How to Prepare Rutabagas
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Rutabagas, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, Without Salt
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
- Linus Pauling Institute: Potassium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Phosphorus
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin C
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin B6