Root vegetables have always been known to be a good source of healthy nutrients and are popular as delicious ingredients to various different menus. You may want to know what are the healthiest root vegetables to eat. In this article, we will look at the healthiest root vegetables that can greatly benefit the people looking to improve their overall health and quality of life.
Root Vegetables: A Brief Overview
Root vegetables are technically defined as crops that grow underground such as potatoes, onions, and carrots. While the three (3) mentioned vegetables are some of the more common ones, there are many other root vegetables that may be enjoyed and consumed by individuals to improve their health.
Some of the Healthiest Root Vegetables Available for Consumption
As mentioned earlier, there are numerous root vegetables that people can choose from to enjoy the natural benefits of eating a healthier diet consisting of vegetables. Listed below are some of the healthiest root vegetables available for consumption:
One of the most well known and popular root vegetables. Onion is one staple ingredient for some of the most popular dishes across the world. Aside from being a tasty ingredient for various menu items from different cultures and countries, they are known to have significant amounts or levels of antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber. These antioxidants can help the body fight off certain diseases and protect the body from cell damage. Research also suggests that eating onions can have a wide array of other health benefits.
Evidence suggests that consuming around 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of onions on a daily basis can help people with type 2 diabetes control and manage their blood sugar levels. Other researchers were also able to observe that onions may have some form of strong anti-cancer properties. On top of these health benefits, onions can be added to certain menu items to make them more flavorful such as pasta and rice dishes, soups and salads.
2. Sweet Potatoes
These vibrant, tasty and richly textured root vegetable are full of health benefits and packed with significant amounts of nutrients. Sweet potatoes contain vitamin C, fiber, vitamin A and manganese. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidants such as anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, and the ever-popular beta-carotenes. Studies show that consuming around 4 grams of sweet potato extract of the white variety can help improve and control blood sugar levels especially for those patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Sweet potatoes also contain a significant amount of Vitamin A. It may enhance immune system response, improve skin condition and health, and help prevent and delay the loss of vision.
The beauty of sweet potatoes is that they can be prepared in a number of different ways such as sauteed, boiled, caramelized or roasted based on the taste preference and menu item of individuals.
The turnip is a type of root vegetable that has been grown, cultivated and enjoyed since ancient times. This root vegetable has been shown to contain significant amounts of fiber, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C. Regular vitamin C intake can help with the reduction of common cold symptoms and other respiratory issues or infections. Turnips may also help individuals reduce and lower the risk of developing certain cancers such as lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and stomach cancer. Due to the similarity in the texture of potatoes, turnips can easily replace potatoes in some potato-based dishes. Turnips may be used instead of potatoes for recipes such as coleslaw, salads and french fries.
Ginger is a root vegetable that comes from the same family root vegetables like that of turmeric. It contains a unique antioxidant called gingerol and is being credited for the multitude of health benefits in ginger. Pregnant women can greatly benefit from ginger. It can help lessen the negative effects of morning sickness and nausea. Ginger is also anti-inflammatory and reduces muscle pain especially for women experiencing menstrual pain and people suffering from osteoarthritis. It can also be added to almost anything such as smoothies, stews, soups, and teas.
Another root vegetable is known to provide high amounts of fiber, manganese, and folate in each serving. Beets have also been shown to possibly lower blood pressure and control hypertension due to the presence of nitrates. Nitrates have been shown to help people with high blood pressure It dilates blood vessels which can help with the blood flow. Dilated blood vessels have also been linked to better performance during exercise and physical activities and help improve cognitive functions and response due to increased blood flow to an individual’s brain. Research has also been conducted on animals and has shown to possibly have anti-cancer characteristics and can even help prevent the development and promulgation of cancer cells. Similar to sweet potatoes, beets may be prepared in numerous ways such as boiling, roasting, pickling or juicing.