Winter: Time for Root Vegetables

Winter:  Time for 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?

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. Did I hear you say corn as well?  Well, corn is actually a grain, but Americans eat it as a vegetable a lot.  You may find that some root vegetables turn brown once cut.  Just place pieces in some lemon water until ready to roast, boil or mash.

Here are a few other root vegetables that I hope you’ll explore the next time you venture into the produce section of the market:

  • Beets sweet and contain an abundance of antioxidants and are highly detoxifying.  These can be eaten cooked, roasted and shredded raw to give salads pops of color.
  • Burdock is considered a powerful blood purifier. This long, thin veggie is a staple in Asian and health food stores.  It easily mingles with carrotsonionsparsnips and should be eaten cooked.
  • Celeriac, also known as celery root, is rich in fiber and with a respectable amount of antioxidants.  This root can be eaten cooked or raw and can be mashed and added to potatoes for a new twist.
  • Jicama is also known as yam bean.  Raw jicama has a sweet succulent apple-like fruity taste.  It’s crunchy and refreshing and contains a generous amount of vitamin C. It’s a favorite in its native Mexico and South America.  Use in salads, slaw, stews, stir-fries, soups…etc.
  • Onions are rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making them prized for their ability to strengthen the immune system.  They are also known to help prevent 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. Raw parsnips add unique sweet flavor to salads, coleslaw, and toppings.
  • Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also rich in calcium, molybdenum, and folic acid.  Radishes can be white, red, purple or black, and in terms of shape, it can be long and cylindrical or round.  Radishes are diuretic and help reduce inflammation, cleans out kidneys, and helps with weight control.
  • Sweet Potatoes contain over 300% of the recommended daily intake of beta-carotene and are also rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients, and fiber.  Be sure to eat your sweet potatoes with a little fat for better absorption.

And then there were more…

There are many other root vegetables you can try such as those used as spices: garlic, ginger, horseradish, and turmeric. And if you want to be a little more adventurous, you can try daikon radishes, turnips, rutabagas, Jerusalem artichokes, kohlrabi, yuca, maca root, and more.

Get even healthier!

Are you curious about how to choose root vegetables and other nutritious foods?  Would you like help learning to think differently about food.  Let’s face it, you know you need to eat healthier, but if you don’t know where to start, it can stop you in your tracks.  Schedule an health discovery assessment with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about!


© Integrative Nutrition – adapted from

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