Root vegetables are simply the roots of a plant.  They are easy to prepare and nutritious; high in vitamins and minerals that are absorbed from the ground as they grow.  Root vegetables contain vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidant qualities give root vegetables healing properties to help fight disease and aid in athletic recovery.  They are an excellent source of fiber.

Fight disease and boost healing with these 5 root vegetables:

1. Sweet Potato

Although named “sweet,” this delicious root is lower on the glycemic index than regular white potatoes and even aid in stabilization of blood.  Rich in potassium, vitamin B5 and vitamin C, sweet potatoes are high in fiber and slow in absorbing starch.

2. Russet or Yukon (White) Potato

White potato nutrition benefits include a high source of potassium, important for building strong bones and supporting heart health. White potatoes also contain manganese, antioxidants and other important nutrients.  To maximize the nutrient density benefits, eat the skins and only lightly cook the potato. NO FRENCH FRIES!

3. Carrots

Carrots can be consumed raw, cooked or juiced.  They get their orange color from antioxidants called carotenoids, which protect the eyes and skin. Carrots have high levels of vitamin A, C, D, E and K and are excellent sources for magnesium, potassium and calcium.

4. Parsnips

A member of the same plant family as carrots, parsley and celery, parsnips are great sources of fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C.  Parsnips’ fiber is soluble, which decreases the risk of diabetes and high blood cholesterol.

5. Beets  

Beets can increase endurance during athletic performance and aid in recovery from intense exercise.   They contain nitrates, used by the body for muscle recovery, improved circulation, lower inflammation and increased physical performance.  Beets alkalize and detoxify the body, support hormonal health, and provide high levels of phytonutrients called betalains. 

Want to keep your root vegetables fresher longer? Before storing them in the refrigerator, cut the leafy green tops off carrots, turnips, beets, radishes, etc. The green top will constantly draw moisture from the root leaving it dry and flavorless.

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