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Parsley vs. Parsnip — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 27, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Parsley
vs
Parsnip

Summary

Parsley contains more Vitamin K, Vitamin C, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium; it also has fewer sugars and low GI. Parsnip is higher in Vitamin A, manganese, and fiber and is low in saturated fat.

Introduction

We will compare parsnip and parsley's health impacts and nutritional profiles and discuss their negative and positive effects on human health.

What's The Actual Difference?

Parsnips and parsley have different textures, tastes, and affiliations. Parsnips have white skin; they are similar in texture to carrots, although not so sweet.

The main difference between parsnip and parsley is that parsnip is a biennial plant that belongs to the Apiaceae family. In contrast, parsley is a leafy herb and vegetable that belongs to the Petroselinum genus.

Parsley has a clean and peppery taste, green color, and feather-like leaves.

Nutrition

In this section, we will look into the differences between the nutrients of parsley and parsnip. Below you can find the nutrition infographics that visually show the differences between this foods.

Calories

Both parsnip and parsley are low in calories; however, parsnip has two times more calories than parsley: it contains 75 calories per 100g, whereas parsley contains 36 per 100g.

Fats

Both parsnip and parsley have fats of less than 1g. Parsnip contains 0.3g of fat, and parsley has 0.79g of fat.

Carbs

Both parsnip and parsley are low-carb foods; however, parsnip has two times more carbs than parsley: it contains 17.99g of carbs per 100g, whereas parsley contains 6.33g of carbs per 100g. Of that 17.99g, 5g is fiber, and 13g are net carbs. Parsley also has a good fiber: 93.3g per 100g.

Cholesterol

Parsnip and parsley have no cholesterol.

Protein

Parsnip and parsley have a tiny amount of protein.

Vitamins

The vitamin content of parsley is richer than that of parsnip.

Parsley contains 70 times more Vitamin K, six times more Vitamin C, more Vitamin B3, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A, and folate.

Parsley falls in the range of the top 10% of foods as a source of Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. 100g of parsley can fully cover your daily Vitamin A need.

On the other hand, parsnip contains more Vitamin E and Vitamin B5.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +682.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +96%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +87.6%
Contains more Folate +126.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +7188.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +98.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +50%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.09
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.09
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 506% 15% 0% 444% 22% 23% 25% 24% 21% 114% 0% 4100%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 30% 0% 57% 23% 12% 14% 36% 21% 51% 0% 57%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin C +682.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +96%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +87.6%
Contains more Folate +126.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +7188.9%
Contains more Vitamin E +98.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +50%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.09
Equal in Vitamin B6 - 0.09

Minerals

Parsey is richer in minerals than a parsnip. It contains nine times more iron, two times more calcium, and more zinc, magnesium, and potassium.

Parsnip has more phosphorus and less sodium than parsley. Parsley falls in the range of the top 9% of foods as a source of iron.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +283.3%
Contains more Iron +950.8%
Contains more Magnesium +72.4%
Contains more Potassium +47.7%
Contains more Zinc +81.4%
Contains more Copper +24.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +22.4%
Contains less Sodium -82.1%
Contains more Manganese +250%
Contains more Selenium +1700%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 42% 233% 36% 25% 49% 8% 30% 50% 21% 1%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 11% 23% 21% 31% 34% 2% 17% 40% 74% 10%
Contains more Calcium +283.3%
Contains more Iron +950.8%
Contains more Magnesium +72.4%
Contains more Potassium +47.7%
Contains more Zinc +81.4%
Contains more Copper +24.2%
Contains more Phosphorus +22.4%
Contains less Sodium -82.1%
Contains more Manganese +250%
Contains more Selenium +1700%

Glycemic Index

Parsley is considered low glycemic index food, and parsnip is considered high glycemic index food. The glycemic index of parsnip is almost three times higher than that of parsley. The GI of parsnip is equal to 97, whereas the GI of parsley is equal to 32.

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

The high folate levels in parsnip can lower blood homocysteine levels, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease [1].

Parsley has diuretic properties, which help remove excess water from the body. This property is most effective in hypertensive individuals. Parsley is high in Vitamin K, which has anti-calcification effects on blood vessels, allowing for smooth blood flow and lowering the risk of plaque formation and atherosclerosis complications [2].

Cancer

The American Institute for Cancer Research [3] states that parsnip contains cancer-fighting folate. Furthermore, they are high in sulforaphane, which has been shown in studies to be effective in treating breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Parsnip is also high in Vitamin C, an antioxidant with free-radical scavenging properties [4]. As a result, it protects against cancer. One study [5] shows that polyacetylenes extracted from parsnips have chemoprotective and cytotoxic activity.

Diabetes

Parsley is extremely rich in Vitamin A. According to a new study [6], Vitamin A improves the function of the insulin-producing-cell. The researchers first discovered that insulin-producing beta-cells have a high Vitamin A cell surface receptor concentration.

Several studies [7] have found a direct link between eating fiber-rich foods like parsnips and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. One cup of parsnips contains 7 grams of soluble fiber, which may aid in cholesterol reduction and blood sugar regulation [8].

Bone Health

Parsnips are high in magnesium and calcium, necessary for bone development. One cup of chopped parsnips has more than 45 milligrams of magnesium. Parsnips provide more than 10% of an adult's magnesium needs at the recommended daily intake of 320-420mg. One study indicates that daily magnesium recommended intake can help build and maintain strong bones [9].

Another study shows [10] that parsley consumption has decreased the chances of bone fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Side Effects

Allergy

When applied to the skin, parsnip is relatively safe. However, parsnip can cause hypersensitivity to the sun.

Parsley may commonly cause food allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals, particularly those with allergic rhinitis caused by a pollen allergy [11].

References

  1. Health attributes of roots and tubers
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600246/
  3. https://www.aicr.org/resources/blog/the-joy-of-parsnips/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29719430/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21114468/
  6. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170613111649.htm
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32142510/
  8. https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/27/2/362/28291/
  9. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/mcn.12368
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18922041/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27795547/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 27, 2022

Infographic

Parsley vs Parsnip infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +147.5%
Contains more Fats +163.3%
Contains more Water +10.3%
Contains more Other +124.5%
Contains more Carbs +184.2%
Equal in Water - 79.53
3% 6% 88% 2%
Protein: 2.97 g
Fats: 0.79 g
Carbs: 6.33 g
Water: 87.71 g
Other: 2.2 g
18% 80%
Protein: 1.2 g
Fats: 0.3 g
Carbs: 17.99 g
Water: 79.53 g
Other: 0.98 g
Contains more Protein +147.5%
Contains more Fats +163.3%
Contains more Water +10.3%
Contains more Other +124.5%
Contains more Carbs +184.2%
Equal in Water - 79.53

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +163.4%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +163.8%
Contains less Saturated Fat -62.1%
24% 54% 23%
Saturated Fat: 0.132 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.295 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.124 g
24% 54% 22%
Saturated Fat: 0.05 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.112 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.047 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +163.4%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +163.8%
Contains less Saturated Fat -62.1%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Parsley Parsnip
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Parsley Parsnip Opinion
Net carbs 3.03g 13.09g Parsnip
Protein 2.97g 1.2g Parsley
Fats 0.79g 0.3g Parsley
Carbs 6.33g 17.99g Parsnip
Calories 36kcal 75kcal Parsnip
Sugar 0.85g 4.8g Parsley
Fiber 3.3g 4.9g Parsnip
Calcium 138mg 36mg Parsley
Iron 6.2mg 0.59mg Parsley
Magnesium 50mg 29mg Parsley
Phosphorus 58mg 71mg Parsnip
Potassium 554mg 375mg Parsley
Sodium 56mg 10mg Parsnip
Zinc 1.07mg 0.59mg Parsley
Copper 0.149mg 0.12mg Parsley
Manganese 0.16mg 0.56mg Parsnip
Selenium 0.1µg 1.8µg Parsnip
Vitamin A 8424IU 0IU Parsley
Vitamin A RAE 421µg 0µg Parsley
Vitamin E 0.75mg 1.49mg Parsnip
Vitamin C 133mg 17mg Parsley
Vitamin B1 0.086mg 0.09mg Parsnip
Vitamin B2 0.098mg 0.05mg Parsley
Vitamin B3 1.313mg 0.7mg Parsley
Vitamin B5 0.4mg 0.6mg Parsnip
Vitamin B6 0.09mg 0.09mg
Folate 152µg 67µg Parsley
Vitamin K 1640µg 22.5µg Parsley
Tryptophan 0.045mg Parsley
Threonine 0.122mg Parsley
Isoleucine 0.118mg Parsley
Leucine 0.204mg Parsley
Lysine 0.181mg Parsley
Methionine 0.042mg Parsley
Phenylalanine 0.145mg Parsley
Valine 0.172mg Parsley
Histidine 0.061mg Parsley
Saturated Fat 0.132g 0.05g Parsnip
Monounsaturated Fat 0.295g 0.112g Parsley
Polyunsaturated fat 0.124g 0.047g Parsley

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Parsley Parsnip
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
441%
Parsley
25%
Parsnip
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
49%
Parsley
26%
Parsnip

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Parsnip
Parsnip contains less Sodium (difference - 46mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Parsnip
Parsnip is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.082g)
Which food is cheaper?
Parsnip
Parsnip is cheaper (difference - $0.3)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Parsley
Parsley is lower in Sugar (difference - 3.95g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Parsley
Parsley is lower in glycemic index (difference - 65)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Parsley
Parsley is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Parsley - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170416/nutrients
  2. Parsnip - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170417/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.