Root vegetables may not be known for their beauty but their healing powers are known to many. No matter how artsy the display in your grocery store, root vegetables look as if they should remain planted. They have long stems with sprouting leaves, weird looking skin and because they are root vegetables, they often have visible traces of dirt on them.
Don’t let the appearance of these natural sources of healing turn you away, root vegetables grow underground so they absorb a vast amount of nutrients from their soil. They are packed with antioxidants and vitamins. Though we live in a time where many people are counting carbs, root vegetables are great sources for carbohydrates and fiber.
There are many root vegetables to choose from; something for every taste, but here are our six favorite root vegetables known not just for their great taste but also for their healing power.
Sweet Potatoes – They are a great source of beta-carotene. They are loaded with antioxidants and are extremely valuable because of their anti-inflammatory and blood sugar regulating nutrients.
Parsnips – One can tell from their appearance that Parsnips are related to the carrot family. They are white or cream in color and they contain more sugar than carrots; this makes them more comparable to bananas. Parsnips are a great source of the “B-complex” family of vitamins as well as a good source of potassium. They possess anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal qualities.
Turnips – Turnips will probably never be a popular food to children but moms might like that they are low in calories. Turnips are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. The top greens are a great source of “B-complex” vitamins. Studies show that turnips are packed with plant compounds that act as a great aid in converting body fat into fuel.
Carrots – Carrots are one of the most popular root vegetables in the U.S. They are best known as a major source of beta-carotene, but they are also a great source of antioxidants, cardiovascular benefits and anti-cancer benefits. Carrots are known to be a major staple in eye health and wellness. While we are most familiar with the orange variety, there are also purple, yellow, white and red varieties. If you are fighting a cold, think carrots, like oranges, they are good a source of Vitamin C.
Red Onions – There are many different types of onions but red onions are one of the best sources of Quercetin, a bioflavonoid well suited for scavenging free radicals. Quercetin contains anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It is also said to aid in fighting colds and cold sores. When cut or chopped, it releases Allicin which helps fight regenerative diseases and fungi.
Ginger Root – Many things come to mind when talking about ginger. One of the major uses of ginger or ginger root is for gastrointestinal distress. It is great matters that ail the stomach and digestive system. It contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called Gingerols, which makes Ginger a great asset to those suffering from arthritis. Ginger contains very concentrated substances; a little goes a long way.
It would take a long time to list all of the qualities of these root vegetables but keep in mind that they are energy and immune system boosting, disease fighting and are offer a wealth of culinary variety.