What is your favorite root vegetable? When you think about healthy eating, salads and green vegetables usually come to mind. But how about adding a little more variety to your plate? Roots like carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnips, are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods do, they help regulate them. Why Eat More Root Veggies? Long roots – carrots, parsnips, burdock, and daikon radish – are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body. Round roots – turnips, radishes, beets, and rutabagas – nourish the stomach, spleen, pancreas, and reproductive organs. Which root vegetables do you eat most? If you’re like most of the world, it’s carrots and potatoes. Here are a few others to explore: • Beets contain an abundance of antioxidants and are highly detoxifying. • Burdock is considered a powerful blood purifier. This long, thin veggie is a staple in Asian and health food stores. • Celeriac, also known as celery root, is rich in fiber and with a respectable amount of antioxidants. • Jicama is crunchy and refreshing and contains a generous amount of vitamin C. • Onions are rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making them prized for their ability to strengthen the immune system. • Parsnips, which look like giant white carrots, boast a sweet, earthy taste. They’ve also got plenty of fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium. • Radish is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also rich in calcium, molybdenum, and folic acid. • Sweet Potatoes contain unsurpassed levels of beta-carotene and are also rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients, and fiber. Excited to add more roots to your diet? Here’s a fun, easy recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25-35 minutes Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients: 1 sweet potato 2 parsnips 2 carrots 2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga 1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in other favorites, like squash) extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible) Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dice all vegetables into bite-sized cubes. Place in a large baking dish with sides. Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking. Tip: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish. Want to Change Your Life? As a health coach, I will work with you to guide you to healthier nutritional and lifestyle choices. This has been proven to increase focus, improve energy levels, improve sleep patterns and alter chronic health issues. You can learn to decrease food cravings, manage stress, and help maintain a healthier balance in all areas of your life! Whether you are managing allergies, food intolerance, gut health, weight management or elimination diets, you do not have to face these issues alone. As a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Holli Bassin, MBA is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who can help you work through these issues and resolve them. In good health!