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.
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
1 sweet potato
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.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
Tip: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.
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Veggie photo courtesy of: Lindsay Kay Kordick, MS, RD, LN, EPc