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This is the time of year when we start thinking about hearty soup, yummy baking, and warm cozy dinners. A delicious and healthy addition to your winter meals can be root vegetables! Tubers, roots, and bulbs are all root
vegetables which grow underground at the base of the plant and really are buried treasures. Some examples are onions, carrots, beets, potatoes, yams, parsnips, ginger, and turmeric. Root vegetables have extended shelf-life and will keep for several weeks stored in a cool dry place. They are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The skins of root vegetables (and most vegetables) store many of their nutrients, so avoid peeling them unless the skins seem tough or thick. These often-overlooked veggies have both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber which may lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and are nice slow digesting complex carbohydrates to add to your winter meal.

Each root veggie provides something slightly different: potassium (potatoes, radishes, parsnips), magnesium (turnips, parsnips), folate (beets, parsnips), vitamin A (carrots, yams, sweet potatoes), vitamin C (turnips, rutabagas, potatoes) and calcium (turnips). Beets contain particularly healthful phytochemicals called betalains which give beets their distinctive red-violet and even yellow hue. Betalains are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories and may be helpful for cardiovascular health. So, a nice colorful combo of these veggies will provide you and your family with a varied mix of nutrients!