If you are struggling to eat more vegetables and get more natural fiber in your diet, think about returning to your roots. Fifty years ago, many black families had gardens — even if they lived in urban areas. They grew staples from down home: turnips, carrots, beets and onions among other delicacies. Getting your hands in the earth was both financially and physically beneficial. Even if you are green thumb-challenged, getting these super vegetables on your table is as easy as hitting the local farmers market or the corner grocery. If you live in a food desert, where stores that sell fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce, think about planting some of these root vegetables yourself.
The health benefits are extraordinary. Carrots are high in beta-carotene and other anti-oxidants that help the body fight off disease. Beets are high in minerals and vitamins, including A, B, C and folic acid. Beets are also high fiber and rich in iron that strengthen the blood. They help to cleanse the body and can help with sex drive as well. Turnips can keep blood pressure low and help decrease the risk of diabetes, obesity and hearth disease. Onions are high in Vitamin C and they can also assist in regulating blood sugar. For centuries they’ve been used to heal infections and reduce inflammation.
For middle-age people looking to maintain their health, adding these root vegetables can lower the risk for so many disease that can plague you in your elder years. Keep your knees and heart healthier by incorporating root vegetables in your diet. These vegetables can also help with the very problems that are known to increase your risk of dementia – obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Curious? Try this super simple recipe for roasted root vegetables, courstesy of the U.S. Agriculture department.
Photo courtesy of Gunnar Magnusson – Root Vegetables and licensed under CC 2.0