Root vegetables are not just roots but often they are bulbous growth in the roots. The growths are essentially food storage for the plants to feed themselves through the winter months. Therefore, these nutrition-packed food stores can become power foods for us. They are densely packed with nutrients and antioxidants, but low in calories. Though other root vegetables are available throughout the year, winter brings some more variety and colour in them. Here are a few easily available winter root vegetables and their health benefits.
These long white roots are easily available in the winter months. Radish stuffed bread or muli ka paratha is one of the favourite breakfasts in many Indian homes. The high amount of vitamin C present in this vegetable helps boost immunity and fight off infections. Other nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and other antioxidants supply other benefits like promoting bone health and protecting again free radical damage. The fibre present promotes digestion.
These orange-coloured roots are found in almost everyone’s kitchen at this time of the year. Not only do people love to have the yummy gajar ka halwa during winters, but they also make a great addition in salads. Carrots contain beta carotene, which has various health benefits. It helps prevent heart diseases and improves eyesight. It also contains a ton of fibre, which promotes digestion and keeps you feeling full for a long time. This, in turns, helps prevent excess weight gain.
This magenta pink bulbous root vegetable not only gives a beautiful vibrant pop to the dish but also makes a tasty glass of juice. Beets are popular for being low in fat and high in nutrients. This abundant source of nitrate helps maintain blood pressure levels and improves cardiac health. The antioxidants present in them help detoxify the body, which, in turn, promotes skin and hair health.
4. Spring onion
May it be a little sprinkle to garnish a bowl of hot soup or a main participant in a stir-fried dish, spring onions always help amplify the taste. The fibre-rich spring onions help maintain blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels. They’re loaded with fiber and so can aid digestion - this is why they’re often included in salads. They are also packed with antioxidants that are said to help reduce the risk of developing cancers.
The slightly white and purple bulbous root vegetable is abundantly available in the northern and eastern parts of India. Many traditional delicacies, such as Tchat Goji from Kashmir or Shalgam ka aachar, a north Indian pickle, are made using turnips. This nutrient-rich root vegetable contains vitamin C, potassium, manganese and fibre, all of which help boost the immune system to fight the common cold and its symptoms. The antioxidants present in turnips are also believed to prevent cancer.
6. Sweet potato
This sweeter version of potato makes an excellent snack when roasted and can also be enjoyed in kheer form as a dessert. Sweet potatoes are immensely rich in fibre and nutrients so it keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time, preventing binge eating and helping you lose weight. It is also good for controlling blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. The antioxidants and vitamins present in it also help strengthen the immune system.
For more information, read our article on Vegetables.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.