Know Your Roots

Image courtesy of motherearthliving.com

Image courtesy of motherearthliving.com

We’re going underground this week as we take a look at some of the seasonal root vegetables we’ve been serving up lately. After all, it’s still winter, and even though Spring is the season of growing, there are plenty of great natural foods best found in the colder months – all you gotta do is dig ‘em up!

First, let's take a look at what nutrition blogger Julia Mueller has to say about our winter roots:

Roots are some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world. While each root contains its own set of health benefits, they share many of the same characteristics. Yams, beets, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, yuca, kohlrabi, onions, garlic, celery root (or celeriac), horseradish, daikon, turmeric, jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, radishes, and ginger are all considered roots.

Ms. Mueller is right to celebrate the benefits of root vegetables. It's no wonder they're so good for us because they grow underground, right up close and personal with all of that nutrient-rich soil. With that, let's look at some of the root vegetables you can find in our shop, and why you need them:

  • Sweet Potato - these delicious spuds are high in vitamin-B6, vitamin-C, vitamin-D, iron, magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Their sweetness comes from natural sugars that are released into the bloodstream more slowly than processed sugar, which regulates and balances energy levels.
  • Ginger - known as a powerhouse root, ginger contains incredible antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties. It's an immunity booster, and can even help fight certain types of cancer.
  • Turmeric - often found in curry, turmeric is a relative of ginger. Like its cousin, it can also cure heartburn, indigestion, and inflammation. But did you know it also contains elements that can delay the onset of type-2 Diabetes, heart failure, even cancer?
  • Carrots - according to health writer Diana Herrington, "Western culture's understanding of carrots being 'good for the eyes' is one of the few we got right." It's true - the abundant beta-carotene ends up in your retina in the form of vitamin-A, which improves night vision. It's been shown to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, and can also do wonders for your skin.
  • Beets - Julia Mueller points out that beets are unique in the world of roots in that they do best in the Summer, but like all root vegetables, they hold up well year-round. And don't let that deep sanguine color deter you - they're among the healthiest foods on the planet, full of more beta-carotene and anti-oxidants. 

Root vegetables are a hardy bunch, and the benefits we get from eating them are too many to count. They're packed with essential vitamins and minerals, many of which are hard to find in other foods. So as we finish out our Winter season, try to add a serving or two of your favorite roots into your daily routine. If you're in our area, come visit our shop at 1210 Tremont Street for a ginger or turmeric shot, or grab one of our root-based juices from the fridge. And remember, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on our latest products and events.