Root vegetables are diverse, simple, and easy to cook. They also offer essential elements like vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, and fibre.
Strong evidence currently suggests that root vegetables may be beneficial for preventing and managing inflammatory diseases like heart disease and arthritis, as well as cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
The information provided in this article will provide you with additional knowledge about the best root veggies to eat.
What are Root Vegetables?
Root vegetables grow underground at a plant’s base. Technically speaking, not all of them are roots; some are nutrition-producing bulbous growths that provide the plant with food during the winter. The underground plant portions that are used as food are known as root vegetables or edible roots. In theory, they are not true roots. They are classified as tubers, bulbs, corms, and rhizomes in botany, but they are not roots.
They serve as nutrient warehouses, keeping the plant fed and nourished during the colder months. Since the beginning of time, when there were no agriculture systems, edible roots have been a staple of our nutrition.
Digging for these vegetables was indeed a skill acquired by our ancestors, who later learned to preserve and protect them. They were included in most of the world’s cuisines as soon as it was discovered that they could survive cold temperatures and had a delectable flavor.
In this article, we explore 9 of the healthiest vegetables and offer ideas for how to include them in a balanced diet.
Some examples of common varieties of veggies include
Even though we generally think of ginger, garlic, and turmeric as spices, they are all types of root vegetables.
List of root vegetables with pictures
Here are the root vegetables you should eat more of because they are the healthiest.
Carrots are one of the most popular root vegetables and one of the healthiest as well.
They are overflowing with the important antioxidant beta-carotene, vitamins A and K, and other nutrients. Eating carrots has been associated with higher antioxidant status and lower cholesterol in both people and animals.
Other studies suggest that consuming more carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, may reduce the chance of creating specific cancers, such as stomach, breast, and prostate cancer. The most common cause of vision loss, age-related vision problems (AMD), may be prevented by carotenoids.
However, they can also be cooked and served as stir-fries, stews, or side dishes. Carrots are a terrific snack when eaten raw or dipped in hummus.
This time of year, these orange-colored roots are a common sight in kitchens everywhere. During the winter, people enjoy eating the delicious gajar ka halwa, but they also enjoy adding it to salads. Beta carotene, which is found in carrots, has a number of health benefits.
Turnips are a tasty root vegetable that have been grown for many years.
They are a fantastic source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and potassium and have a remarkable nutritional profile. You may increase your immunity by including vitamin C in your diet. According to one study, having sufficient amounts of this vitamin could help decrease the symptoms and duration of respiratory infections like the common cold.
Studies also suggest that eating more cruciferous vegetables, like turnips, may lower the risk of developing stomach, breast, colorectal, and lung cancer.
You can use turnips with potatoes in almost any recipe. Make the salad, stir-fry, coleslaw, or turnip fries.
The winter season makes it easy to find these long, white roots. One of the most popular breakfasts in many Indian homes is bread packed with radish, or “muli ka paratha.”
This vegetable has a lot of vitamin C, which helps to improve immunity and ward off infections. Other nutrients, such as calcium, and magnesium, as well as other antioxidants, offer additional advantages, like improving bone health and avoiding free radical damage. The protein in the area helps with digestion.
The root vegetable celeriac, also referred to as celery root, is incredibly adaptable, delicious, and simple to cook. It packs a healthy amount of vitamins C, phosphorus, and vitamin K into a single one-cup (156-gram) serving, providing 80% of the daily recommended value.
Vitamin K is a crucial nutrient for healthy blood clotting.
Additionally, it is necessary for osteocalcin, a glycoprotein hormone that is essential for the health of your bones.
Celeriac’s nutty flavor and crisp texture make it an excellent addition to salads. Also, it may be used in almost any dish in place of potatoes by boiling, roasting, baking, or mashing it.
Root vegetables known as rutabagas, which are members of the mustard family, are frequently grown for their edible roots and leaves.
Rutabagas are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and disorder antioxidants in every serving.
Also, rutabagas are a wonderful source of fiber, which promotes digestive health and lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
They also include glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing chemicals that are typically found in green vegetables and may give protection against the growth and development of cancer cells as well as reducing oxidative stress.
Rutabaga can be mashed, baked, or roasted and enjoyed in soups, salads, noodles, and even desserts.
One of the most nutrient-dense root vegetables is the beet, which contains important amounts of fiber, folate, and manganese in each serving.
Also, they contain a lot of nitrates, which are healthy plant components that help widen blood vessels, may lower blood pressure, and improve heart health.
Additionally, research suggests that consuming beets may enhance physical performance and boost cerebral blood flow.
Beetroot extract may also have anticancer qualities and may inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells, according to animal studies.
Beets can be cooked in a variety of delicious ways, including roasting, juicing, pickling, boiling, and steaming.
As a member of the same plant family as celery, carrots, and parsley, parsnips share many of their health advantages. They are an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, soluble fiber, and folate.
Cooked parsnips have three grammes of nutritional fibre per half cup. The high soluble fiber content of parsnips is linked to a lower risk of diabetes and high blood cholesterol.
The same-sized serving also supplies 11% of your daily recommended folate, which is crucial for the production of red blood cells, healthy nervous system function, energy, metabolism, and other body processes.
Horseradish is most well-known for its strong taste and aroma. It is a long-used root vegetable that possesses antibacterial and anti-cancer qualities, among other medical uses. Today, people regularly use it as a flavor.
Horseradish is also an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. These vitamins are necessary to keep nails, hair, and skin in good condition. Horseradish also includes minerals like magnesium and potassium.
These minerals aid in maintaining healthy nerve, blood pressure, and muscle function in the body.
Root Vegetable Health Benefits
1. Good Source of Vitamins A and C
Some of the world’s top sources of carotenoid antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C are root vegetables. Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and other root vegetables are rich sources of beta-carotene, a precursor to active vitamin A that is necessary for reducing inflammation, maintaining the health of the skin and eyes, and resisting free radical damage.
Vitamin A and vitamin C meals strengthen the immune system by reducing inflammation, which is the main reason for the majority of chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
We can get two different kinds of vitamin A through our diet. The type of “pro vitamin A” found in root vegetables and other vibrant fruits and vegetables is a carotenoid antioxidant that the body transforms into retinol once the food is consumed.
2. Can Help You Lose Weight
Improving your consumption of fiber is one of the secrets to quick and simple weight loss. Despite the fact that roots vegetables are starchy and higher in carbohydrates than other vegetables, their fiber can help you lose weight by filling you up.
The majority of root vegetables have less calories and a lower glycemic index than grains, so they won’t cause your blood sugar to rise suddenly or greatly.
The fiber in starchy vegetables inhibits the release of sugar, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy level of insulin and energy.
A well-balanced meal that includes starchy vegetables can help control hunger and delay eating, which is important for weight management, battling cravings, and lowering the risk of insulin resistance.
3. High in Fiber
High-fiber foods keep you fuller for longer by lingering in your digestive system. Important polysaccharides, which are included in plant diets and have been found to exhibit a variety of biological actions, including anti-carcinogenic, anticoagulant, immune-stimulating, and antioxidant benefits, are also a part of their fibre.
A high-fiber diet not only aids in digestion and prevents IBS or illness formation, but it also definitely works for reducing inflammation and disease formation.
4. Provide Complex Carbs and Starch
Starch from roots and tubers are regarded as a significant source of energy. Although the average person eats far more carbohydrates than may be healthy, many people still feel and function best when they ingest a specific, modest amount of carbohydrates from natural sources.
Starchy root veggies are a fantastic source of fiber, minerals, some complex carbs, and only a small amount of sugar.
This is especially true if you’re an athlete, a child, trying to lose weight, or you work out frequently. In order to meet “carb cravings” or a sweet desire without overloading on processed grains and sugar, starchy vegetables are also helpful.
In general, root vegetables have more carbohydrates than other vegetables, like leafy greens or green vegetables. Root vegetables are high in fibre and therefore still mostly regarded as foods that are digested rather slowly, despite the fact that they do contain some natural sweetness in the form of starch. Parsnips, carrots, beets, rutabaga, and celeriac are some of the greatest low-carb root vegetable options if you decide to include them in your low-carb diet.