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3446 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA 94549

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Although they have a humble beginning, growing in dirt and darkness, root vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – not to mention flavor and sometimes even color!

 

We need to incorporate root veggies and their life-sustaining nutrients into our diets and to help you do that here’s an exhaustive list of root vegetables and their primary nutrients.

 

We’ve divided the veggies up into 5 categories based on what type of root they are and are including some easy recipes to help you use them. Enjoy!

 

Bulb Vegetables

 

Bulb veggies almost always have layers or clustered segments that store nutrients for the plant to use during dormancy. Most bulbs grow just below the surface of the ground but there are a few that develop partially above ground.

 

Examples:

 

  • Garlic
    Nutrients: Manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and an organosulfur compound called allicin.
    Benefits: Reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, boosts immunity.

  • Onions
    Nutrients: Vitamin C, folic acid, iron, calcium, and antioxidants.
    Benefits: Helps prevent disease and aging, reduces blood sugar.

  • Scallions
    Nutrients: Antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and magnesium.
    Benefits: Reduces the risk of some cancers, combats aging, strengthens bones.

  • Leeks
    Nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, iron and manganese.
    Benefits: Supports heart health, boosts immune function and encourages a healthy thyroid.

  • Fennel
    Nutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
    Benefits: Strengthens bones, lowers blood pressure, aids metabolism and decreases inflammation.

Recipes with bulb vegetables: Spinach & Garlic Turkey Burgers and Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa Stew

 

Corm Vegetables

 

Corms are relatively rare in the plant kingdom. They are a short section of swollen stem located immediately above the plant’s roots. Corms serve two primary purposes: transporting water and nutrients from the roots to the upper stem and leaves, as well as storing excess nutrients.

 

Examples:

 

  • Celery root (Celeriac)
    Nutrients: Antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.
    Benefits: Boosts immunity, helps regulate blood pressure, encourages heart health.

  • Water chestnut
    Nutrients: Riboflavin, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, and manganese.
    Benefits: Increases energy levels, supports healthy cell production, aids muscle function.

  • Taro root
    Nutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.
    Benefits: Helps regulate blood sugar, promotes eye and skin health, boosts immune function.

 

Recipes with corm vegetables: Leek and Celery Root Soup and Homemade Taro Chips

 

Rhizome Vegetables

 

Strictly speaking, rhizomes are not roots, but stems. They are often called roots because they grow horizontally under the ground. Many plants use their rhizomes to put down new roots that will find fresh nutrients and also for reproduction.

 

Examples:

 

  • Ginger
    Nutrients: Antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
    Benefits: Decreases inflammation, increases immunity, aids digestion and cardiovascular health.

  • Turmeric
    Nutrients: Antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, iron, and manganese.
    Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, improves digestion and helps protect the liver from toxins.

 

Recipes with rhizome vegetables: Turmeric-Ginger Tea and Ginger chicken

 

Taproot Vegetables

 

A taproot is a large central root that grows directly downward from the plant. Taproots are crisscrossed by large and small veins that transport nutrients and water from the roots to the plant. They also serve as an anchor for smaller secondary roots and provide some storage space for starches and nutrients that the plant needs to grow.

 

Examples:

 

  • Beets
    Nutrients: Fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, iron, potassium, and manganese.
    Benefits: Improves digestion, increases energy, boosts blood flow, supports immunity.

  • Turnips
    Nutrients: Fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, calcium, and phosphorus.
    Benefits: Helps regulate cholesterol, promotes eye and skin health, boosts immune function.

  • Radishes
    Nutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and manganese.
    Benefits: Helps combat free radicals, aids immune function, encourages good digestion.

  • Carrots
    Nutrients: Antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, calcium and magnesium.
    Benefits: Helps regulate blood pressure, promotes good vision, can reduce the risk of cancer.

  • Parsnips
    Nutrients: Fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin B6, thiamine, folate, zinc, and phosphorus.
    Benefits: Boosts digestion, helps regulate blood sugar, promotes cardiovascular health.

Recipes with taproot vegetables: Winter Veggie Spring Rolls and Roasted Turnips

 

Tuberous Vegetables

 

Tubers aren’t exactly roots, but they are very close to it. They are enlarged structures that grow off the lower stem of a plant or the sides of its roots. Tubers serve as storage organs for starches and essential nutrients, as well as a means of reproduction.

 

Examples:

 

  • Sweet potatoes
    Nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.
    Benefits: Helps regulate blood sugar, supports immune function and heart health.

  • Yucca (Cassava)
    Nutrients: Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
    Benefits: Supports healthy gut flora, boosts energy levels and helps regulate blood pressure.

    (Yucca roots have small amounts of naturally occurring cyanide and should never be eaten raw. Always boil or bake them thoroughly before eating.)

  • Potatoes
    Nutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and potassium.
    Benefits: Encourage heart health and immunity, supports the production of blood cells.

  • Jerusalem artichokes
    Nutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and magnesium.
    Benefits: Boosts the immune and circulatory systems, encourages bone health.

  • Jicama
    Nutrients: Vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
    Benefits: Improves circulation and energy levels, decreases blood pressure, aids immunity.

  • Yams
    Nutrients: Antioxidants, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, thiamine, folate, copper, and magnesium.
    Benefits: Aids metabolism, combats free radicals and boosts immunity, strengthens bones.

 

Recipes with tuberous vegetables: Beef and Vegetable Chili Recipe and Sautéed Jerusalem Artichokes

 

Root vegetables have many wonderful nutrients and benefits, but keep in mind that many of them also have a lot of starch so they should be eaten in small amounts.