Nutrition: Onions come in a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes. The common types are red, yellow, and white onions. These vegetables are high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants while being low in calories. Research shows that eating onions can have a positive effect on several aspects of one's health.
Benefits: For example, one study found that consuming 100 grams of raw onions daily helped reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Other studies have discovered that onions may possess powerful anti-cancer properties. A 2015 review showed that eating allium vegetables like onions can decrease the risk of cancers of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. As per the authors of the study, there are compounds called organosulfurs in onions that suppress tumor growth.
How to Eat: Onions are easy to add to your meals. Add them to salads, scrambled eggs, soups, or rice dishes to get their benefits.
Nutrition: Carrots are one of the most well-known root vegetables and are also incredibly nutritious. They contain plenty of fiber and micronutrients, including vitamin A in the form of the antioxidant beta-carotene.
Benefits: Research indicates that eating carrots can lower cholesterol levels and improve antioxidant status in humans. Other studies also show that higher consumption of the antioxidant beta-carotene might lower the risk of breast, prostate, and stomach cancers.
How to Eat: Carrots can be easily eaten raw as a tasty nutritious snack. Alternatively, you can add sliced carrots to salads or smoothies.
Nutrition: Beets are one of the healthiest root veggies. They are packed fiber, folate, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese, among other nutrients. They are also significantly high in nitrates - plant compounds that can help dilate blood vessels and help lower blood pressure.
Benefits: According to studies, adding beets to your diet may help increase blood flow to your brain and boost exercise performance. Additionally, beets are rich in antioxidants like betalains, which reduce inflammation and help detoxify the body.
How to Eat: Beets can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Add them to your salads during lunch or make beetroot juice in the morning to avail the full benefits of these great vegetables.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Nutrition: These delicious tubers are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and beta-carotene.
Benefits: A review of three studies showed that eating white sweet potatoes every day can improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Moreover, because of their vitamin A content, this vegetable can protect against vision loss, improve skin health, and also boost immune function.
How to Eat: Sweet potatoes are incredibly versatile. They can be baked, boiled, or roasted, and also go well with side dishes like salads or sandwiches.
5. Jerusalem Artichokes
Nutrition: Jerusalem artichokes are underrated root vegetables rich in iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. They even provide vitamin C, a variety of B-vitamins, calcium, and a few other nutrients in small amounts.
Benefits: Jerusalem artichokes are among the richest sources of prebiotic fiber. This fiber isn't digested by the body, but it can help the growth of good bacteria in the gut. While Jerusalem artichokes are high in natural sugars, these vegetables have a negligible effect on blood sugar levels. In fact, they have a lower glycemic index (GI) score than potatoes (from 53 to 111) and aren't fattening.
How to Eat: Jerusalem artichokes have a slightly sweet earthy flavor and are light and crisp. Adding them to your salad will give them a delicious crunch. They can also be peeled, roasted, and mashed.
Nutrition: Turnips are delicious and are packed with fiber and vitamins K, A, C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, B2, and folate, along with minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and copper.
Benefits: A 100 gm serving of turnips contains 21 mg of vitamin C. Studies have shown that adding this vitamin to your diet can help boost your immunity and also reduce symptoms of respiratory infections like the common cold.
Apart from that, these vegetables are also rich in glucosinolates - a group of bioactive plant compounds that can inhibit the development of hormone-sensitive cancers. Glucosinolates have also been shown to have liver-protecting effects.
How to Eat: Turnips are easy to add to meals. Just slice them like apples to eat with dips or toss them into your salads.
Nutrition: Celeriac, also called celery root, is a great source of vitamin K, according to the USDA. It also contains vitamins B6 and C, along with phosphorus.
Benefits: Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and a single one-cup (156-gram) serving of celeriac provides about 80% of the daily recommended value of this vitamin. It is also rich in fiber, which encourages healthy gut bacteria and helps keep the digestive system functioning smoothly.
How to Eat: Celeriac has a nutty taste and crunchy texture, which makes it work perfectly well in salads. You can also add it to stews, soups, or roasted veggie medleys.
Nutrition: Radishes are low in calories and carbs but contain a decent dose of fiber and vitamin C.
Benefits: Studies have shown that these vegetables have antifungal properties and can be effective against several types of fungal infections. There’s even evidence to suggest that the leaves of the radish plant can provide protection against stomach ulcers. Apart from this, they also contain natural nitrates that improve blood flow.
How to Eat: Radishes come in colorful shades of red, pink and purple, and are great for adding a little nutritious crunch to your salads, sandwiches, or tacos.
Nutrition: This flavorful bulb vegetable boasts an impressive nutrient profile. Each serving of garlic contains manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, along with calcium and selenium.
Benefits: Studies have found that garlic can significantly lower blood pressure, along with levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides. There’s also sufficient research to suggest that garlic can boost immune function and help prevent infections like the common cold.
How to Eat: The best thing about garlic is its versatility. It adds a lot of flavor to dishes like soups, sauces, side dishes, and dressings. Just give it a crush with the side of your knife and then mix it with extra virgin olive oil. It can also be eaten raw, but be aware that it has a strong, pungent smell.
Nutrition: Parsnips look like white carrots, but they are a member of the parsley family. They have a crunchier and fibrous texture and a sweet and mellow flavor. Parsnips are packed with vital nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, potassium, folate, zinc, copper, and magnesium.
Benefits: Parsnips supply many antioxidants and are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. According to some studies, increasing your fiber intake can help treat digestive conditions and intestinal ulcers.
This root vegetable also has a high water content of about 79.5%, and studies show that water-rich foods can useful in decreasing one’s calorie intake and aiding weight loss.
How to Eat: Parsnips can be eaten raw, but a tasty way to eat them is to roast them alongside a joint of meat. You can also mash parsnips and mix with lemon and herbs for a yummy, light meal. Another simple way to have them is by chopping and cooking them into stews and soups.
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