Roots form the anchor and foundation for all plants, and they are essential for the plant’s support and nourishment, which make them rich in antioxidants. When we consume root vegetables we also benefit from the root’s properties as they make us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina and endurance.
Roots, which are antioxidant foods, are also full of fiber and nutritious complex carbohydrates, which:
- digest slowly
- provide a steady source of healthy sugars to the body
- are often considered to be sweet, but regulate blood sugar levels, unlike processed or refined foods
- increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts, the same way they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients.
Long roots, like burdock, carrots, parsnips and daikon radish:
- are excellent blood purifiers
- can help improve circulation in the body
- can increase mental clarity
- carrots contain a high amount of beta-carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A. This is beneficial for the immune system, bone growth, skin, eyes and mucous membranes
- parsnips contain folate (also known as vitamin B9) which is beneficial for healthy brain function, production of red blood cells, and the production of serotonin (our body’s natural feel-good chemical that also regulates mood, appetite and sleep)
Round roots, like turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas:
- nourish the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs
- can help regulate blood sugar and moods
- can alleviate cravings
- turnip is high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps our body absorb iron and help our body produce collagen for bones and cartilage
- beets are high in antioxidants and contain iron, copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Potassium is beneficial for cell metabolism and can help lower the heart rate. The phytonutrients in beets can reduce inflammation.
Not only are root vegetables highly nutritious, but they are incredibly versatile as well. They can be made into juice, put into smoothies, chopped into salads or other side dishes, steamed, baked, or roasted. There is lots of variety and so much to enjoy about root vegetables!
Are you interested in learning more about which healthy foods can benefit you, your unique body and your lifestyle? Contact me – I can help you to increase your energy, regulate your blood sugar, and reach your ideal body weight through good nutrition and healthy lifestyle.
writings shared by Institute for Integrative Nutrition