Should You Avoid Root Vegetables?
When you’re trying to lose weight, you may think you need to leave the root veggies out of your menu plan. However, one study done by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer found that eating various root veggies, such as beets, carrots, turnips, and radishes, can actually be beneficial, helping to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes.
Health Benefits of Root Veggies
Root veggies offer many great health benefits. They are packed with vitamin C and other essential vitamins and minerals, making them a great addition to a healthy diet. Some other health benefits specific to different root veggies include:
- Carrots may help reduce your cancer risk.
- Parsnips have a huge amount of folate.
- Beets may help the body better use oxygen and help reduce blood pressure.
- Sweet potatoes, turnips, and carrots are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C, which may help prevent stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
- Root veggies are packed with fiber, which can keep you feeling full longer, supporting your weight loss efforts.
While more research is needed, many experts feel that you don’t need to avoid root veggies while you’re working to lose weight or stabilize blood sugar. But, account for them in your total daily intake of carbohydrates.
Preparing Root Veggies
The great thing about root veggies is that they are easy to find fresh during the fall and winter, and they’re generally inexpensive as well. These veggies are easy to prepare. Simply toss them in some olive oil, add your favorite seasonings, and roast them in the oven. You can also use your favorite root veggies, such as onions, carrots, jicama, ginger, garlic, and carrots to make a delicious soup.
Controlling Carb Intake
You don’t need to avoid root veggies. The key to losing weight is to control your carb intake instead of trying to completely eliminate carbohydrates. Watch your total carb count for the day. Keep in mind, while potatoes are known for being high in carbs, many other root veggies are not, so choose carefully. Plus, the method of preparation can impact benefits gained or lost. For example, recent research found that fresh beet juice made from raw beets actually lowered blood sugar levels while cooked beets did not. So, overcooking root vegetables or preparing them using too high of heat can affect the nutritional benefits.
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