6 Best Root Vegetables and their Health Benefits
Updated: Jul 22, 2021
Root vegetables are a part of any healthy diet. By definition, it is basically the edible part of the plant that grows underground. The common examples include potatoes, carrots, onions, and so on. Vegetables that grow below the ground generally act as a good source of many nutrients and are high in dietary fiber.
Now let’s take a closer look at a few root vegetables that are widely available in India and their health benefits.
Best Root Vegetables and their Health Benefits:
Onions are one of the most commonly used root vegetables, which is a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine. They’re high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that can protect your cells against oxidative damage and help prevent disease.
Research studies have shown that eating 100 grams of raw onions per day reduces blood sugar levels significantly in people suffering from diabetes.
There are other researches that shows that onions may have powerful anti-carcinogenic properties, linking a higher intake of this root vegetable to a lower risk of common types of cancer.
Onions work well in a variety of meals, cuisines, and salads obviously. It is good as long as you are not going to be intimate with anyone after having an onion-intensive meal.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are one of the more vibrant and delicious root vegetables that have a ton of nutritious and health benefits. They’re very rich in fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin A and like most root vegetables a good source of antioxidants.
Studies show that eating 4 grams of white sweet potato extract each day for 12 weeks improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes. According to a few studies, Vitamin A has been found to improve immune function, protection against vision loss, and also support skin health.
Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, roasted, or sautéed and in general a fantastic side dish.
Ginger is a flowering plant that originates from China that has a close relation to turmeric. It has antioxidants but has a special compound called gingerol, which has a long list of health benefits.
Ginger is also effective in reducing nausea and morning sickness in pregnant women. In fact, it is great for women, in general, since it helps in reducing menstrual pain.
Besides, ginger also makes for a great addition to tea, soups, and even sugarcane juice. It brings that unique zip to the flavor of just about any dish.
Beetroot is amongst the most nutritious root vegetables with a lot of benefits out there. It is rich in fiber, manganese, and folate. They are also a good source of nitrates, which are beneficial plant compounds that can help in dilating blood vessels, potentially lowering blood pressure, and improving the overall health of the heart.
Studies also show that eating beetroot improves exercise performance by increasing blood flow to the brain. To get the unique health benefits of beetroot, it’s best to try roasting, juicing, pickling, boiling, or steaming.
Garlic is another root vegetable that belongs to the Allium genus and it is closely related to onions even though their physical appearance is very similar.
Garlic has numerous medicinal properties due to the compound
allicin. It helps with immunity, reducing blood pressure, and decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Garlic is extremely versatile and can be used to amplify the flavor of soups, sauces, side dishes, and main courses.
Carrots, a well-known vegetable, is often used as the gateway vegetable for their children who refuse to eat vegetables.
Carrots are good for the eyes, as proved in several studies. As carrots are high in beta-carotene and lutein. Beta-carotene is used to make vitamin A, a vitamin that helps the eye to convert light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain.
This gives you what people call night-vision. While Lutein helps in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition where your vision gradually deteriorates into an eventual loss. Besides, eating carrots has also been linked to lowering cholesterol levels and improving antioxidant status.
Carrots can be served as snacks when raw but they can also be cooked and used as side servings for kids and adults alike.
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It is clear that root vegetables have a lot of nutrients and health benefits. These benefits, too, are unique to each root vegetable. From reducing oxidative stress to preventing chronic disease, root vegetables have a ton of benefits. So adding such vegetables to a daily diet can be incredibly beneficial.