5 Common Root Vegetables that are Good for You

Brandie Freeman

Brandie Freeman, Marketing & Communications Manager at Wholespire

Fall and Winter provide a great assortment of vegetables that are good for and comforting and the same time. Most of the vegetables on my top 5 list are root vegetables, which means they grow underground, allowing them to absorb more nutrients from the soil. All of the vegetables listed below are in season during the fall and winter months, so they’re widely available in grocery stores and at farmer’s markets.

  1. Carrots
    Raw carrots have become that “go to” snack for many of us who try to eat healthy these days. But, cooked carrots taste just as good. As we’ve all heard our parents say, carrots are good for your eyes. But they’re also good for your heart and digestive tract. Carrots are loaded with Vitamin A! Carrots can be boring when served cooked and alone, but add them to a pot of beef stew, vegetable soup, or chicken noodle soup, and you’ve jazzed up your warm and cozy meal.
  1. Rutabaga
    These lovely vegetables are a staple for many older generations. They’re white and purple on the outside, with a wax coating to protect the flesh during handling. Rutabagas are high in fiber and help with digestive health, not to mention high in Vitamins C, B-6, Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium. This root veggie is a real health booster. Rutabagas aren’t easy to peel and slice because they’re rather hard. I like to cube them and boil them in water with a little salt and pepper. Sometimes, I’ll roast them with potatoes for something different.
  1. Sweet Potato
    Who doesn’t like sweet potatoes? This is another root vegetable and staple in many homes. Sweet potatoes are packed with Potassium and Vitamin A and C, fiber, and many other nutrients. By eating sweet potatoes, you help improve your digestive health, immune system, and control diabetes, among other benefits. Sweet Potatoes are easy to cook. You can make baked sweet potato fries and soup. You can bake, mash, and roast them. But my favorite is wrapping them in foil and baking them. When they’re done, open them up and season them with a little margarine and pumpkin pie spice. That’s a yummy treat!
  1. Turnips
    If you don’t like turnips, you’re not alone. Do you remember that says about your taste buds changing as you get older? That’s what happened to me and turnips! They’re not quite so bad, and they’re very good for your health. Turnips are related to rutabagas and provide more nutritional value than any other vegetable that I’ve noticed. Turnips have a rich nutritional value comprising of vitamins K, A, C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, B2, folate, fiber, potassium, magnesium, etc. The list goes on and on! The health benefits of turnips range from digestive and heart health to skin and anti-aging. Cooking turnips is fairly simple. The root can be boiled or roasted like potatoes and rutabagas. The leafy greens can be used in salads or sautéed for a side dish. What’s your favorite way to prepare turnips?
  1. Cabbage
    Cabbage comes in two colors – green and red – and, in the South, we often eat it in coleslaw. Cabbage is synonymous with the Irish, as it became a staple in the mid-1800s. As the Irish found out, cabbage is good for you. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. By eating cabbage, you’re improving brain health, bone health, and blood pressure. Cabbage is affordable and it tastes good. I like it because my mom cooked it often for our family. I simply chop it and sautee it with a touch of water until it’s tender and season it with a little salt and pepper. I’ve used cabbage in a tomato-based vegetable soup, which is comforting during cold weather months. I’ve even seen recipes for roasted cabbage, so it seems to be a versatile vegetable.