|When you think about healthy eating, salads and green vegetables usually come to mind. But how about adding a little more variety to your plan?
Roots like carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnips, are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods do, they help regulate them.
It is seasonally also a great time of year to be eating these vegetables as the days get colder and we crave warmer and more filling options.
Why Eat More Root Vegetables?
Long roots – carrots, parsnips, burdock, and daikon radish – are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body. Round roots – turnips, radishes, beets, and rutabagas – nourish the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and reproductive organs.
Which root vegetables do you eat most?
If you’re like most of the world, it’s carrots and potatoes. Here are a few others to explore:
Beets contain an abundance of antioxidants and are highly detoxifying. Remember to wear disposable gloves when preparing them though because they can stain!
Burdock is considered a powerful blood purifier. This long, thin vegetable is a staple in Asian and health food stores.
Celeriac, also known as celery root, is rich in fiber and has a respectable amount of antioxidants. This root makes a great mash as an alternative to potato.
Jicama is crunchy and refreshing and contains a generous amount of vitamin C. It’s a favorite in its native Mexico and South America.
Onions are rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making them prized for their ability to strengthen the immune system. They also add a wonderful sweetness to recipes, especially when caramalised!
Parsnips, which look like giant white carrots, boast a sweet, earthy taste. They’ve also got plenty of fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium. Parsnips are delicious roasted with some olive oil, herbs and honey.
Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also rich in calcium, molybdenum, and folic acid. Unlike the others, I like to put these raw into salads to add crunch, flavour and colour.
Sweet Potatoes contain unsurpassed levels of beta-carotene and are also rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients, and fibre. They are my absolute favourite because of their flavour and versatility. They also taste amazing as everything from wedges and mash to spiralised noodles!
Excited to add more roots to your diet? Click here for my Roasted Sweet Vegetables featured above.