Wondering if root vegetables are good to include in your diet? The answer is yes. Root vegetables are some of the most versatile and nutritious vegetables that grow underground. Root vegetable examples include potatoes, carrots, and beets, which have many flavours and contain various vitamins and minerals. You can add them to your daily meals. There are countless ways in which you can prepare them. You can roast them, boil, mash or puree; it’s up to you and your taste buds.
This blog will explore some of the most popular root vegetables, their nutritional value, types, benefits, and delicious recipes you can make with them.
Root Vegetables Types
Root vegetables are available all year round and add a variety to your diet. These include bulbs, corms, tubers, and root crops. Types of root vegetables under these categories are:
- Bulbs: Garlic, onions and shallots.
- Corms: Celery root, water chestnut (Singhaada) and taro (Arbi).
- Tubers: Potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes.
- Root crops: Carrots, radishes, turnips and beetroot.
Nutritional Advantages of Root Vegetables
Root vegetables are great for immunity as they contain fibre and antioxidants. People on a diet can also eat these veggies as they are low in calories, cholesterol, and fat.
The nutrients that root vegetables include:
- Complex Carbohydrates
- Vitamins A, B, and C
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Root vegetables also have historical significance. During World War, these vegetables gained prominence as they were easy to grow, providing a vital food source during times of scarcity.
Health Benefits of Various Root Vegetables
Listed below are some of the best health benefits of root vegetables:
Onions are high in antioxidants and vitamin C. They help in fighting infections and reduce your blood pressure levels. They also help minimise the risk of certain cancers. Onions can be added to your pasta dishes, lentils, scrambled eggs, and salads.
- Sweet Potatoes
High in vitamin A, sweet potatoes help improve vision, skin health, and immunity. They also aid in controlling blood sugar levels. You can bake this veggie for a nice smoky and sweet flavour. These can even be enjoyed in sandwiches or as a side dish.
These veggies have immune-boosting vitamin C in them. This helps in reducing the risk of respiratory infections. Turnips are also known as cruciferous vegetables and eating them may lower the risk of certain cancers. Use them in salads or add them to stir-fry dishes.
Beets have a good amount of nitrates that improve exercise performance, help in blood pressure, and help minimise the growth of cancer cells. These can be relished as a salad, in sandwiches, rolls, or even as a juice ingredient.
Garlic is one of the healthiest root vegetables known to have medicinal properties due to a compound known as allicin. This veggie improves immunity, controls blood pressure, and decreases triglyceride and cholesterol levels. You can amplify the flavour of your dishes with garlic. Adding them to soups, sauces, or curries makes the taste richer.
This root vegetable has fibres and vitamin C. They are also known to have antifungal properties and protect against stomach ulcers. Use them in tacos, sandwiches, or as a pickle.
This root vegetable has high beta carotene, which helps lower the risk of vision issues and certain cancers. Eating carrots also reduces cholesterol levels. These can be eaten raw with hummus or stir-fried with garlic and potatoes.
They are a nutritious vegetable and have fibres, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium. These veggies are high in starch, which makes them very filling.
It has an essential component called curcumin, which helps improve joint pain, blood sugar levels, and signs of depression. Add a pinch of turmeric to your dishes to get the medicinal qualities of this veggie in your diet.
The heaviest potato ever grown weighed over 10 pounds (4.9 kg), making it one of the largest root vegetables on record.
Cons of Root Vegetables
Apart from the health benefits, one should also know that all root vegetables have starch in them. This means they have carbs, which are used by our bodies for energy. Eating large servings will cause your blood sugar to increase. Repeated intake of large portions will cause repeated blood sugar spikes, leading to diabetes. Therefore, eating these veggies in moderate amounts is good for your health.
In conclusion, we now know that there are different types of root vegetables, each with unique advantages for your health. Using them in your daily meals with other vegetables will help you eat a balanced diet. However, make sure to eat them in moderation.