Beyond the Salad: Root Vegetables

Beyond the Salad:  Root Vegetables

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?  During the cold winter months, salads don’t help to fill you up, ground you or help you stay warm.  Instead, your body needs other grounding foods, like meats and seasonal root vegetables that you can toss easily into a soup or stew or roast in the oven.

Root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, beets 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 and offer many more benefits.

Why Eat More Root Veggies?

Adopting a whole food, plant-based approach to eating is the perfect way to get healthy and stay that way.  Root vegetables should be part of that approach, especially during the winter months because they can be easily be stored in a cool (55 degrees is perfect) place.  You see, root vegetables are full of minerals, especially when home grown or organic.  The closer to the earth your food is harvested, the more minerals (and vitamins) they will naturally have.  Conventionally grown vegetables typically won’t have as many minerals as the organic ones, but they are far healthier than canned.  This is because many farms don’t rotate their crops and the result is soil that has been depleted of their vital nutrients.  If the soil is void of these nutrients, plants can’t “feed” of them.  Whenever possible, choose organic.  They not only taste better, but they also last longer!

Long roots – carrots, parsnips, jicama, 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 people in the United States, carrots and potatoes are the typical choices.  They’re easy to find and easy to toss into almost anything.  Here are a few other root vegetables that you can explore, and all can be found at your local grocery store, especially during the winter months after their fall harvest:

  • Beets are sweet and contain an abundance of antioxidants and are highly detoxifying.  Add them to smoothies, soups, roasted vegetables and salads.
  • 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 mild tasting, crunchy and refreshing and contains a generous amount of vitamin C.  It’s a favorite in its native Mexico and South America and can be used in the same you use carrots.
  • Onions are rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making them prized for their ability to strengthen the immune system and fight cancer.
  • 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.

Get even healthier!

Are you curious about how to choose and cook root vegetables and other nutritious foods?  Would you like help being as healthy as you can?  Let’s talk!  I LOVE to share cooking tips with people.  You can easily schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today right here—or share this offer with someone you care about!

Have you found some great ways to add root vegetables into your meal planning?  If so, please share your favorite ways in the comments below.

Adapted from Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Cathy is a certified Wellness Educator and Coach with a strong passion to help her clients in their journey to improve their overall health and vitality by searching for the sources of their illness and imbalance.  As a Healthy Lifestyle Planner, Cathy shares all of the practical ways people can reduce stress, recover their lost energy, restore their immune system function and manage and maintain their health goals over the years.  She empowers people to hit the pause button in life and become more in tune with their bodies by using evidence-based lifestyle interventions to prevent lifestyle related diseases. This type of approach empowers individuals with the knowledge and life skills to make effective behavioral changes that address the underlying causes of their condition.  

Cathy is also the creator and director of the Holistic Wellness Academy; an online training platform. The site offers clients and practitioners step-by-step courses that are short and actionable.  Each course is loaded with scientifically-backed information, ideas and practical, time-saving tips that empower and motivate people to successfully navigate through all the distractions life throws at us. Participants can also converse with fellow students for extra encouragement. She is finalizing her newest program, “RESTORE Your Immune System.”  This program explains why people are struggling to stay healthy and the steps they can take to balance and restore the body back to its natural homeostasis. Today it is so important for people to take back control of their health in order to reverse dis-ease.

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