What vegetable food group do many dieters avoid but which is actually quite nutrient-packed and even helps reduce cravings? If you answered "root vegetables", you would be correct! Unfortunately, many people shy away from these hearty vegetables due to their starch content because they believe eating them will cause weight gain. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Root vegetables are literally the tasty roots of a plant (hence the name "root vegetable") that are edible and highly nutritious. You can even eat or juice the greens of the plant, which are also dense in nutrients. Some common root vegetables are sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, beets, carrots, turnips, radishes and rutabagas.
Not only are many root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots high in vitamin A or beta-carotene, which improves the health of the skin and prevents acne and other skin disorders, but they are also high in vitamins C, D, E, and K as well as fiber and other phytonutrients.
Eating root vegetables can aid in weight loss as they reduce the craving for sweets. Root vegetables contain natural sugars that elevate blood sugar gradually rather than delivering a quick, unhealthy jolt as would be provided by simple, refined carbohydrates.
Root veggies are also healing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and aid in the removal of toxins from the body. Some claim that eating these vegetables may relieve menstrual cramps and PMS as well as even help lactating women produce more milk.
Ayurvedic doctors and practitioners believe that root vegetables literally "root" you to the earth. When it gets colder and you feel the need for more warm, grounding foods, adding root vegetables to your family's diet can deliciously benefit both your body and soul.
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