Health Benefits Of Root Vegetables

Health Benefits of Root Vegetables

As the planting season begins, those looking to grow their own healthy vegetables must plan and arrange their garden space.  More space is being dedicated to root vegetables than ever before due to the bounty of nutrition found in them.  Root vegetables offer an array of health benefits and have been an important ingredient in our diets since the dawn of time.

The roots of a plant nourish the whole plant.  They provide a foundation and support for the plant to grow.  In eating root vegetables, these roots offer that same nourishment to us, providing a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates.  By helping us to absorb and process the nutrients in the food we eat, root vegetables help to regulate blood sugar levels while providing long lasting energy.  Some root veggies specialize in purifying the blood while improving blood circulation and which have shown to increase levels of mental clarity.

Root Vegetables Typically Divide Into 6 Categories:

  • Tubers – Potato, yam
  • Tap Roots – Beet, carrot, turnip
  • Tuberous Roots – Sweet potato, yucca
  • Corms – Taro, water chestnut
  • Rhizomes – Ginger, turmeric
  • Bulbs – Garlic, onion

Ginger

Ginger has been used as a dietary aid for thousands of years. Helping to alleviate arthritis, nausea, headaches and more, ginger is nature’s first aid.

Fennel

Fennel is loaded with iron and is used as a natural treatment for anemia.  Used primarily in antacids and toothpaste, fennel aids in the digestion alleviating indigestion and constipation.

Onion

Although we often pull off the outer layers of the onion before use, studies have shown that many of the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits of onions are concentrated in the outer layers, so peel gently.

Garlic

Known as the ‘stinking rose,’ garlic provides an array of health benefits.  Either by eating or by taking supplements, garlic has shown significant results in the treatment of high blood pressure, infections, cancer prevention, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.

Carrot

We’ve all heard that eating carrots makes your eye sight better.  Well, actually, it is the beta-carotene in the carrot which not only turns the carrot orange, but as it breaks down in the body; it delivers precious nutrients to the retina.

Beet

Given a bad rap for years, beets are once again a leader in root vegetables.  Packed with nutrients that support the body’s antioxidant and detoxification process, the red and gold beets will help keep your systems clean from the inside. New research is showing that properties in beets may limit the cell growth in tumors.

Radish

Historically held in high esteem, radishes have long been thought to diminish the effects of intoxication.   High in vitamin content, radishes help lower cholesterol, infusing fresh oxygen into the bloodstream and have had success in curing urinary tract disorders.

Yam

Yams are a great source of vitamins and potassium with more than 200 varieties to choose from.  Properties in yams are being studied as a possible hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. However, the known benefits of yams for centuries have been the herbal treatment to improve organ functions.

Perhaps root vegetables don’t get the attention they deserve since they are so good for us.   They contain healthy fiber and slow digesting carbohydrates while providing many other nutritional benefits.  These humble veggies are generally easy to grow, are more economical to buy and they store for long periods of time.  Roots can be used in almost any fashion you choose:  roasted, fried, boiled, and sautéed, grilled, and even raw.

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