For many of us, the hardest part of eating healthily is fighting carb cravings. But are you eating the nutrient-rich, high fiber, complex carbs that are good for your body? Have you tried root vegetables?

Root vegetables are the vegetables that grow as roots underground: like carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, radishes, and beets. They’re the hearty veggies we like to roast in the oven with olive oil and herbs. Simple, starchy goodness that has its place on the healthy plate. For example…

Keep Calm and Carrot On

Carrots are packed with antioxidants called carotenoids, which give them their signature orange color and give you a boost for your eyes and skin. They’re also high in vitamins A, C, D, E and K, and a good source of magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Carrots are an adaptable bunch. They can be enjoyed raw on their own, chopped up in salads, or dipped in a delicious hummus. They sometimes play a supporting role in soups and stews and have an irresistible sweetness when roasted in the oven.

Spud Muffin

White potatoes sometimes get a bad rap, but they’re actually packed with potassium, which is important for maintaining strong bones and supporting heart health. They also contain a good dose of manganese, which is important for your bones and nerves.

To preserve these nutrients, keep the skin on and cook them lightly. French fries don’t pack the same punch! Our favorite recipes put them in a roasting pan with other root vegetables and a light coating of olive oil and herbs.

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a yam.

Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse: high in vitamin A, potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin C, and fiber. Even though they’re called sweet, they’re actually lower on the glycemic index than regular white potatoes and help stabilize blood sugar better. Oh yeah, and they’re DELICIOUS.

Sweet potatoes and yams are close cousins, with similar tastes and textures. Yams are a little higher in calories, but they’re also higher in potassium, so you’re golden either way.

You look simply radishing!

Radishes are low in calories, and high in nutrients. They’re packed with vitamin C and have good amounts of folate, fiber, riboflavin, potassium, copper, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and calcium. They’re also a great source of anthocyanins, which have been linked to cardiovascular risk reduction and have shown anti-inflammatory properties.

Like carrots, radishes are root vegetables you can eat raw. Their peppery flavor goes great in a salad or with avocado on toast. They are deliciously pickled, and you can even cook them! Braising and roasting bring out mellow and sweeten this punchy vegetable, making it extra-yum.

If you can’t beet ’em, join ’em.

Beets are high in vitamin C, fiber, folate, and essential minerals like iron, potassium, and manganese. Their high nitrate content can help with your blood pressure. They’re also rich with betalains, a class of potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that battle chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, and possibly cancer. In short, they’re hard to beat.

They also do amazing things in the oven. Try our recipe for balsamic-roasted beets today.

There are so many great ways to rock root vegetables on your healthy plate.

What are your favorites? Talk to your Health Advisor and get more recipe recommendations. If you don’t have a Health Advisor yet, click here to become a member. We’re here to make healthy eating work for your tastes and your schedule.

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