Before taking a look at the benefits of eating root vegetables, let us know what all vegetables are exactly classified as root vegetables. Potato, sweet potato, yam, turnip, onion, carrot, radish, ginger, garlic, turmeric, arrowroot, shallot, fennel bulb, beet, etc. are the commonly consumed root vegetables. The root of a plant is its storage part which is used to store energy. Therefore, root vegetables are rich in carbohydrates of various kinds like sugars, starches, etc. Let us now take a look at the health benefits of these vegetables in detail. First we will take a look at the general uses of root vegetables and then go through the individual properties.
- All root vegetables are excellent sources of carbohydrates. Most of these root vegetables contain complex carbohydrates which are essential for gaining energy. You must be aware that complex carbohydrates are digested in the body very slowly and hence, there is a long-lasting supply of energy.
- Most of the root vegetables are very low in calories (except potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes), and hence, they can be easily included in the diet of people who wish to lose weight.
- Along with carbohydrates, most of the root vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals; making them wholesome vegetables.
- Root vegetables are also very attractive to the eye (e.g., carrots, beet, etc.) and are delicious. Root vegetables can also be used for making a variety of dishes. e.g., a potato can be used for making jacket potato, potato salad, potato soup, potato pancakes, potato casserole, etc. Therefore, including these vegetables in your daily diet is quite simple.
- Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants and are beneficial for improving the heart health. They are also good sources of energy like potatoes and yams.
- You might be knowing that carrots are very good for the eyes and should be consumed regularly. This is because it contains beta-carotene which is beneficial in providing essential nutrients to the retina of the eye. The beta-carotene in carrots also helps in fighting off the free radicals that damage the body.
- Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C and is believed to have anti-cancer properties. Secondly, radish is good for the liver and also helps in purification of blood.
- Similarly, another root vegetable, beet is a rich source of iron and is also good for heart. It helps in prevention of birth defects and stimulates proper function of the liver.
- Onion is one of the best root vegetables because it is loaded with anti-allergic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agents. Onions and shallots are good for the heart and also help in prevention of liver cancer.
- Garlic also has anti-bacterial properties and is rich in antioxidants. It helps in lowering blood pressure, promotes heart health and also keeps several infectious diseases at bay.
- Ginger helps in reducing pain and inflammation, helps in treatment of morning sickness, helps in treatment of cold and flu, and also aids in lowering high cholesterol.
- Turmeric can be used for the treatment of wounds, skin problems, stomach problems, cough, flu, cold, asthma, etc. It also has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
- The modest looking turnip is also good for health, as it contains vitamin C, beta carotene and lots of fibers.