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, 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?

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 of the world, it’s carrots and potatoes.  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

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