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.
Why Eat More Root Veggies?
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.
- Burdock is considered a powerful blood purifier. This long, thin veggie is a staple in Asian and health food stores.
- Celeriac, also known as celery root, is rich in fiber and with a respectable amount of antioxidants.
- 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.
- 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.
- Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also rich in calcium, molybdenum, and folic acid.
- Sweet Potatoes contain unsurpassed levels of beta-carotene and are also rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients, and fiber.
Excited to add more roots to your diet? Here’s a fun, easy recipe:Roasted Root Vegetables Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25-35 minutes Serves 4 to 6
1 sweet potato 2 parsnips 2 carrots 2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga 1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in other favorites, like squash) extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dice all vegetables into bite-sized cubes. Place in a large baking dish with sides. Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking. Tip: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.