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Food With Roots
Onions are popular root vegetables, serving as a staple ingredient in many cuisines.
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 shows that eating onions may be associated with a wide array of health benefits.
For instance, one study found that eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw onions per day significantly reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
What’s more, other research observed that onions may possess powerful anticancer properties, with observational studies 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 and can easily be added to salads, soups, scrambled eggs, casseroles, rice or pasta dishes and many more.
Summary Onions are high in antioxidants and may help reduce blood sugar
levels and your risk of certain cancers.
Sweet potatoes are vibrant and delicious root vegetables that are highly nutritious and jam-packed with health benefits.
They’re rich in fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin A and a good source of several antioxidants — including beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid and anthocyanins.
A review of three studies showed that eating 4 grams of white sweet potato extract each day for 12 weeks improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
Due to their vitamin A content, some studies suggest that this root vegetable may also improve immune function, protect against vision loss and support skin health.
Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, roasted or sautéed and enjoyed as a delicious side dish or added to everything from sandwiches to salads to breakfast bowls.
Summary Sweet potatoes may help improve blood sugar control and are
high in vitamin A, which may preserve vision and improve immunity and skin
Turnips are a delicious root vegetable and have been cultivated for centuries.
They have an impressive nutrient profile, being a great source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese and potassium.
Adding vitamin C to your diet can help boost your immunity, with one study noting that getting enough of this vitamin could help reduce symptoms and shorten the severity of respiratory infections, such as the common cold.
Additionally, studies show that consuming more cruciferous vegetables, such as turnips, may be associated with a lower risk of stomach, breast, colorectal and lung cancer.
Turnips can be swapped into nearly any recipe in place of potatoes. Try making turnip fries, coleslaw, stir-fry or salad.
Summary Turnips are high in immune-boosting vitamin C and considered a
root as well as cruciferous vegetable. Eating it may be associated with a lower
risk of certain types of cancer.
Ginger is a flowering plant from China that is closely related to other root vegetables like turmeric.
It’s loaded with antioxidants, including a specific compound called gingerol, which has been associated with a long list of health benefits.
One study in 1,278 pregnant women found that ginger was effective at reducing nausea and morning sickness.
It may also decrease pain and inflammation, with other research showing that ginger extract could help relieve menstrual pain and reduce symptoms in people with osteoarthritis.
Ginger makes a great addition to tea, soups, smoothies and stews and can bring a zesty zing to just about any dish.
Summary Ginger is rich in antioxidants and can help reduce nausea and
decrease pain and inflammation.
Beets are one of the most nutritious root vegetables available, packing a good amount of fiber, folate and manganese into each serving.
They’re also high in nitrates, which are beneficial plant compounds that can help dilate your blood vessels, potentially lowering blood pressure and improving heart health.
Studies also show that eating beets may improve exercise performance and increase blood flow to your brain.
Additionally, animal studies have found that beetroot extract may have anticancer properties and may slow the growth and spread of cancer cells.
To take advantage of the unique health benefits of beets, try roasting, juicing, pickling, boiling or steaming this delicious root vegetable.
Summary Beets are a good source of nitrates and may improve exercise
performance, increase blood flow and decrease the growth of cancer cells —
according to human and animal studies.
Garlic is a root vegetable that belongs to the Allium genus and is closely related to onions, leeks, chives and shallots.
Each serving of garlic boasts a good amount of several important nutrients, including manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
Plus, it’s well-known for its medicinal properties, which are mostly attributed to the compound allicin, which is released when cloves of garlic are crushed, chewed or chopped.
Studies have found that garlic can promote heart health by lowering blood pressure and levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides.
It may also boost immune function, as research shows that it can decrease symptom severity and help prevent infections, such as the common cold.
Best of all, garlic is highly versatile and can be used to amplify the flavor of your favorite savory soups, sauces, side dishes and main courses.
Summary Garlic has potent medicinal properties due to the compound
allicin. It may help improve your immunity, reduce blood pressure and decrease
cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Radishes may be small, but they manage to pack a punch when it comes to nutrition.
They’re low in carbs and calories yet contain a good amount of fiber and vitamin C.
Radishes also have antifungal properties and have been effective against several types of fungus in test-tube and animal studies.
Not only that, but one rat study found that the leaves of the radish plant may protect against stomach ulcers.
Radishes are great for bringing a bit of crunch to your meals or snacks. Try adding slices to slaws, sandwiches, salads or tacos to give your dish a nutritious and tasty upgrade.
Summary Radishes contain a good amount of fiber and vitamin C. They may
also have antifungal properties and could protect against stomach ulcers,
according to animal and test-tube studies.
Known for its licorice-like flavor, fennel is a flowering plant species closely related to carrots.
In addition to supplying very few calories per serving, fennel packs fiber, vitamin C, potassium and manganese.
It also contains the compound anethole, which gives fennel its distinct flavor, aroma and a wide array of health benefits.
One rat study showed that anethole was able to modify some of the enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbs to help reduce blood sugar levels.
What’s more, test-tube studies observed that anethole has antimicrobial properties and may inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Fennel can be enjoyed fresh, roasted or sautéed, as well as mixed into salads, soups, sauces and pasta dishes.