10 Healthiest Root Vegetables


 

Last time I posted an article on why root vegetables are healthy to include into your weekly menus.  This article lists the 10 healthiest root vegetables and why they are so great for you.

With winter coming on, creating warm, hearty meals with root vegetables will give you the fuel your body needs to cope with the cold. Watch your portions but enjoy the rich, savory flavors and full, content,  feeling they provide.

And be sure to try the recipe at the bottom of the post.

Christine Hunt


 

10 Healthiest Root Vegetables

by Dr. Josh Axe

Root Vegetables

1. Sweet Potatoes/Yams

These are probably most people’s top pick for a tasty root vegetable that has so many uses. Sweet potato benefits include a very high supply of vitamin A (they’re one of the best sources on Earth), potassium, vitamin B5 and vitamin C — in addition to fiber and slow-absorbing starch. Even though they’re called “sweet,” they’re actually lower on the glycemic index than regular white potatoes and help stabilize blood sugar better.

What’s the difference between yams and sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes are lower in calories and higher in antioxidants, but yams contain higher levels of potassium. They have a similar taste and texture, so both make great choices.

2. Russet or Yukon (White) Potatoes

White potatoesWhite potatoes might get a bad rap, but the truth is they do provide plenty of antioxidants and nutrients. Potato nutrition benefits include being a very high source of potassium, which is important for building strong bones and supporting heart health. In fact, potatoes can help lower your risk for dangerously low potassium even more than bananas and sweet potatoes. They have about 20 percent or more of your daily potassium in every potato.

 

White potatoes also contain a good dose of manganese — about 22 percent of your daily value in one potato — which is important for bone and nerve health. To preserve their potassium and other nutrients best, eat the skins and only lightly cook them — which means no deep-fried French fries!

 

3. Carrots

Carrots are one of the most popular veggies worldwide and can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. Carrots and carrot juice get their signature orange color from antioxidants called carotenoids, which are known for protecting the eyes and skin. They also supply lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants. In addition to high levels of vitamin A, carrots also provide a good dose of vitamins C, D, E and K — plus magnesium, potassium and calcium.

 

4. Parsnips

As a member of the same plant family as carrots, parsley and celery, parsnips have a lot of the same benefits of celery, carrots and parsley. They’re a great source of dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. About 1/2 cup of cooked parsnips provides three grams of dietary fiber, about 12 percent of the fiber you need daily. A high percentage of parsnips’ fiber is soluble, which is linked to a decreased risk of diabetes and high blood cholesterol. This same size serving also provides about 11 percent of your daily folate, which is important for energy, metabolism, nervous system health, synthesis of DNA and red blood cells formation.

 

5. Beets

BeetsBeet benefits are plentiful. Some evidence shows that beets can enhance your endurance during athletic performance and help you recover from exercise better. Beets naturally contain nitrates, which the body easily uses for muscle recovery, improved circulation, lower inflammation and increased physical performance.

Studies show that supplementing with the type of nitrates found in beets allows athletes to shave minutes off of their race times and experience less bodily stress from the exercise. Beets also naturally alkalize and detoxify the body, support hormonal health, and provide high levels of phytonutrients called betalains.

 

6. Turnips

Turnips are a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, so they’re related to cancer-fighting veggies like broccoli, collard greens, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. Like other cruciferous foods, turnips and turnip greens nutrition contain a type of phytonutrients called indoles that are known to reduce your risk for cancer, especially of the prostate, lungs, stomach and colon. High in calcium, magnesium and potassium, they’re also a heart-healthy food that supports balanced blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.

 

7. Rutabaga

RutabagaRutabagas are essentially a cross between cabbage and turnips, so they provide many of the same benefits. They’re high in fiber and a great source of vitamin C, with about 47 percent of your recommend daily intake. Additionally, they’re a high source of zinc, which plays a role in immune health, brain function, mood regulation, metabolism and protection from physiological stress, and help fight zinc deficiency. With a similar taste to turnips and white potatoes, they come out great when roasted and caramelized.

 

8. Butternut Squash

With a high supply of beta-carotene, butternut squash not only tastes great, but it’s a cancer defender and immune system booster. Generally speaking, the darker the orange hue of vegetables, the higher the content of beta-carotene.

 

Like other carotenoids, beta-carotene can help turn up communication between cells that destroy cancerous tumor growth and promote lower levels of toxicity. Butternut squash tastes great roasted but can also work in baked goods to take place of sugar or excess butter and dairy.

 

9. Winter Squash

Winter SquashJust like closely related butternut squash, winter squash provides protective antioxidants, including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin. These are considered essential for eye health and preserving vision into old age since they protect the cornea, macula and retina from damage.

Winter and butternut squashes both have high starch contents, which means they contain polysaccharides found in their cell walls. These polysaccharides include pectins and other starch-related components that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties.

 

10. Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem ArtichokesAn extremely good source of fiber, every one-cup serving of cooked Jerusalem artichokes (also called “sunchokes”) provides 10 grams of fiber, in addition to three grams of protein and just 100 calories. They’re also a great source of vitamin A (with about 25 percent of your daily needs in every serving), plus iron and potassium. In fact, as one of the highest plant sources of iron with 28 percent of your needs, Jerusalem artichokes combat iron deficiency and are a great way to support nerve health, red blood cell formation, anemia prevention and a healthy metabolism.


 

Butternut Squash Bake Recipe

Butternut Squash Bake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Time: 60-80 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 cup candied pecans
  • 1/2 cup chèvre goat cheese
  • 1 small butternut squash, roasted
  • 1 tspCinnamon
  • 3 tbspcoconut oil, melted

Directions:

  1. Cook onions in a pan with oil caramelized.
  2. Roast butternut squash in oven at 350 degrees F for 45 -60 minutes depending on size.
  3. Once cooled, gut the squash and cut butternut squash into small cubes.
  4. Combine squash with onions, chopped apple, and pecans. Drizzle with coconut oil and cinnamon.
  5. Add goat cheese and serve.

 

 

Source:  Root Veggies

 

To your health!


 

What is your favorite root vegetable recipe? 

Please share your questions and comments below.

 


 

Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.  Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.

Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.

Lose Weight and Lower Cholesterol with Root Vegetables


Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables.  It seems that’s all you hear about when it comes to losing weight and eating healthy.  Well, there is a good reason for that and this article explains why root vegetables are so valuable to your health.

Long demonized because of their “starchiness” and supposed high calorie count, they have been staples of cultural diets for thousands of years.  Why?  They fill you up faster with less calories than other foods, the are high in fiber, high in vitamins A and C and a host of other reasons cited below.

I hope this information helps you view them with new eyes and that you will reach for them in your grocery store the next time that you shop.

Christine Hunt


 

 

8 Benefits of Root Vegetables

by Dr. Josh Axe

Root Vegetables

1. Provide Complex Carbs and Starch

While the average person consumes way more carbohydrates than may actually be beneficial, most people still feel and operate their best when they consume a certain moderate level of carbs from natural sources. Starchy root vegetables are a great way to obtain fiber and nutrients along with some complex carbs and relatively little sugar. This especially applies if you’re an athlete, child, someone looking to gain weight or if you exercise a lot. Starchy veggies also help to fulfill “carb cravings” or a sweet tooth without bombarding your body with sugar and inflammatory refined grains.

 

2. High in Fiber

Although they contain some natural sugars in the form of starch, root veggies are high in fiber and therefore they’re still mostly considered low glycemic index foods that are absorbed relatively slowly. High-fiber foods stay in your digestive tract longer, and in the process they keep you full.

Part of their fiber also holds valuable polysaccharides, which are found in plant foods and shown to exhibit multiple biological activities, including anticarcinogenic, anticoagulant, immune-stimulating and antioxidant effects. A high-fiber diet not only helps prevent inflammation and disease formation, but it also works wonders for helping with digestion and preventing IBS or naturally relieving constipation.

Fiber

While many grains, especially refined grains and flour products that are low in fiber, are considered “fast carbs” that spike blood sugar abruptly, root veggies are known for being “slower-burning carbs.” According to many large studies, like one that appeared in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2012, higher root vegetable intake is even associated with a reduced risk for diabetes.

 

3. Good Source of Vitamins A and C

Root vegetables are some of the best sources of carotenoid antioxidantsand vitamin A and C in the world. Beta-carotene, a precursor to active vitamin A, is found in high quantities in sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and other root vegetables and is crucial for lowering inflammation, protecting skin and eye health, and fighting free radical damage. Both vitamin A and vitamin C foods benefit the immune system by lowering inflammation that is at the root of most chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

There are two types of vitamin A that we acquire from foods. The type found in root veggies and other colorful fruits and vegetables is called “pro vitamin A,” a type of carotenoid antioxidant that is converted to retinol by the body after the food is ingested. Beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid found primarily in plants, needs to first be converted to active vitamin A in order to be utilized by the body.

 

4. Can Help You Lose Weight

One of the secrets to losing weight fast and easily? Up your fiber intake. While you might be hesitant to include more root vegetables in your diet because they’re starchy and higher in carbs than other veggies, their fiber can actually help you lose weight because it fills you up. Compared to grains, most root vegetables are lower in calories and lower on the glycemic index, which means they won’t spike your blood sugar as quickly or drastically.

Lose weight

The fiber in starchy veggies slows down the release of glucose (sugar), which is important for energy and insulin balance. Starchy vegetables eaten with a balanced meal can help control appetite and delay hunger cues, which is important for weight management, fighting cravings and reducing the risk of insulin resistance.

 

5. Help Maintain Healthy Skin and Eyes

If you want healthy, glowing skin, consider eating more root vegetables; many are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C that helps build and defend skin cells. A high content of beta-carotene is used to convert vitamin A in your body that triggers DNA to produce new skin cells.

Beta-carotene also helps reverse free radical damage, which can lead to age-related eye disorders, sun spots or wrinkles, UV damage, and potentially skin cancer. In fact, a diet high in vitamin A and vitamin C can act like a natural treatment for macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and skin cancer.

 

6. Contain Anticancer Antioxidants

You might not think of things like potatoes and turnips as high-antioxidant foods, but they definitely are. Many root vegetables are a great source of antioxidant flavonoids, which are actually responsible for some of their deep colors — like the orange of sweet potatoes or purple of beets.

Antioxidants

Considered to be alkalizing and anti-inflammatory foods, nearly all root veggies supply carotenoid antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin — but that’s not all. Purple sweet potatoes contain the antioxidant anthocyanins, which has been shown to preserve cognitive function and stop oxidative damage and degeneration of the brain. And beets contain betalains, which are highly anti-inflammatory.

 

7. Help Lower Cholesterol and Improve Heart Health

A high-fiber diet filled with whole foods containing both soluble and insoluble fibers is key for heart health and balanced cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Eating fiber is a way to naturally lower cholesterol because it binds to cholesterol particles and helps carry them out of the body. This means cholesterol is less able to form sticky plaque buildup in arteries, which can raise the risk of heart disease, heart attacks or strokes. Many root vegetables also are potassium-rich foods, which is beneficial for healthy blood pressure, nerve signaling and fluid balance.

 

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Science Technologyfound that a Paleolithic-type diet improved both cardiovascular risk factors and glycemic control when compared to a standard diet or even “diabetes diet.” While the paleo diet included root vegetables, it did not include any type of grains. The results showed that the group following the Paleolithic diet for three months experienced statistically significant lower mean values of hemoglobin A1c, triglycerides, diastolic blood pressure, weight, body mass index and waist circumference.

 

8. Help Fight Cancer and Cognitive Disorders

Fight CancerVitamin A found in many root vegetables has been correlated with better brain function, cognitive health and cancer protection. Inflammation and oxidative stress are two primary causes of cancer formation, but vitamin A, vitamin C and other antioxidants can act like natural cancer treatments and help lower the body’s inflammatory responses.

 

This means better protection against a dangerous overreaction to things like a poor diet, exercise, UV light, pollution and environmental toxicity. Reduced levels of inflammation are also correlated with a lower risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Source:Root Vegetables

 

To your health!


 

Are root vegetables part of your weekly diet?

How might you incorporate more of them into your meals?

Please share your questions and comments below.

 


 

 

Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.  Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.

Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.

Caffeine: The Good, The Bad and The Scary

What You Need to Know About Energy Drinks

 

Energy Drinks

 

According to many studies, the caffeine naturally found in coffee and tea can have positive health effects. So the caffeine in sodas and energy drinks must be the same, right?

Sorry, but no. Partly, this is because the caffeine used in energy drinks and sodas is a synthetic substance, first created by the Monsanto corporation and now manufactured in China under dubious conditions.

And, partly, it’s due to how completely unregulated this chemical is, even when it’s added to our food supply.

 

 

 

The health benefits of caffeine

Natural caffeine comes from coffee beans and tea leaves (as well as Yerba Matte and a number of other plants) and has been found, in moderation, to provide a number of health benefits. For example:

  • TeaNot surprisingly, low and moderate doses of caffeine have been found to increase alertness and decrease fatigue.
  • Cognitive health.Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that caffeine has the power to enhance long-term memory. Other studies show that caffeine improves attention span, psychomotor performance, and cognitive function.
  • Athletic performance.Caffeine gives endurance exercisers a performance boost.
  • Caffeine can be helpful for some types of headaches.

Of course, even natural caffeine has its downsides, too. When too much is consumed, it can cause anxiety, insomnia, an increase in blood pressure, adrenal stress, and other harmful side effects.

 

Synthetic caffeine

But most of the caffeine in the food supply today is NOT natural caffeine. It’s synthetic.

 

Natural caffeine vs. chemical caffeine

 

Do natural caffeine (which comes from plants) and synthetic caffeine (which is produced in laboratories and manufactured in factories) have the same effect? No. The synthetic kind absorbs faster through the digestive system, causing a quicker spike — and a more sudden crash as well.

As the video above shows, it was Monsanto that first created synthetic caffeine. Now, it’s so widely used in our food, and with so little regulation, that you may be consuming far more of it than you realize.

 

Soda, energy drinks, and other caffeinated products

U.S. coffee consumption peaked around 1950, and then it declined dramatically thereafter. That’s when we started drinking huge amounts of soda, and later, energy drinks.

caffeine_powderThese products are made with synthetic caffeine powder, which is extremely concentrated.  One tablespoon of this powder equals the amount of caffeine naturally found in about 50 cups of coffee.

Here’s a scary fact: One tablespoon of pure caffeine powder can be fatal for an adult. And in 2011, energy drinks caused more than 20,000 U.S. emergency room visits.

 

The federal regulation of caffeine

But despite its power and dangerous potential, synthetic caffeine goes largely unregulated and uninspected. Plus, energy drinks aren’t even required to display the amount of caffeine they contain.

 

Source: Caffeine

 

To your health!


 

Do you drink beverages with natural or synthetic caffeine?

What effect does caffeine have on you?

Please share your questions and comments below.

 

 


 

Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.  Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.

Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.

 


 

 

Crazy Hormones and How They Affect Your Weight and Health


 

More and more research is revealing the additives in our foods are wreaking havoc with our health.   Endocrine disruptors, like those mentioned below, are some of the culprits that are causing hormonal imbalances that contribute to weight gain, infertility, thyroid problems and more.

Christine Hunt

 


 

THE HORMONE DISRUPTING ADDITIVES YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

by James Colquhoun

Crazy hormones

Did you know, more than 3,000 preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients are added to food in the United States? Not to mention the extra additives leaching into foods from the packaging alone such as bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS, and phthalates!

Yet none of them are required to undergo testing for estrogenic activity, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Crazy right?!

A company can simply hire an industry insider to evaluate a chemical, and if it’s determined ‘safe’ according to federal safety standards, it can be deemed GRAS without any involvement from the FDA. No independent third party objective evaluation required.

Whilst further testing is required to assess safety of the individual chemicals in humans, it’s important to realize that it’s more about the chemical cocktail we’re ingesting on a daily basis, and how they could be adding to the total effect of hormone disruption in our bodies.

Many food additives have an estrogen-mimicking effect. These are known as xenoestrogens and have been linked to reproductive problems in animals and perhaps humans. 12 of the worst were listed recently by the Environmental Working Group.

They stated:

Hormone graphicThere is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.

We’ve outlined the top food-related hormone-disruptors to avoid below:

 

1. Phthalates

Such as DEHP interfere with the creation of the male sex hormone, testosterone, and exposure has been linked with birth defects of male genitals, and later in life, poor sperm quality, and infertility. They are of concern because they interfere with the synthesis of the male sex hormone, testosterone, and exposure has been associated with birth defects of male genitals and later in life, poor sperm quality and infertility.
Reduce your food-related exposure by:

a.         Limiting dairy, meats, and cheeses, and non-organic produce.

 

2. Propyl paraben

Infertility

Is a preservative and known endocrine disruptor that is used in processed foods such as Sara Lee Cinnamon Rolls, Weight Watchers cakes, tortillas, muffins, food dyes and more. The European Union (EU) removed propyl paraben from its list of safe food additives in 2006, due to its potential health hazards. Yet tests show more than 91 percent of Americans have propyl paraben in their urine, and around half the tested samples of beverages, dairy products, meat and vegetables sold in the US contained the chemical.  Propyl paraben acts as a weak synthetic estrogen altering the expression of genes, including those in breast cancer cells and has been linked to impaired fertility in women by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Reduce your exposure by:

a.         Limiting processed, packaged foods.

 

3. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

No processed foodsAn additive that the International Cancer Agency categorizes as a possible human carcinogen and the European Union classifies as an endocrine disruptor. At higher doses, it can lower testosterone and the thyroid hormone thyroxine and adversely affect sperm quality and the sex organs of rats. A wide variety of foods contain BHA, including chips and preserved meats as it is added to fats and to foods that contain fats and is allowed as a preservative in flavoring.
Reduce your food-related exposure by:

a.         Limiting processed, packaged foods, especially those high in fat.

 

While we can’t avoid absolutely all additives and hormone disruptors, we can take steps to reduce our daily exposure. It all starts with awareness!

Source:  Hormone Disruptors

 To your health!


 

What types of processed foods are you eating that may contain these endocrine disruptors?

Please share your questions and comments below.

 


 

Christine Hunt is a Wellness Coach and Certified EFT Practitioner and has found that working with the whole person by combining mind/body work, dietary adjustments and movement provides her clients with the tools they need to lose weight (and keep it off), get relief from chronic illness and positively transform their lives.  Contact her for a free, 15 minute consultation to learn why what she does works when other methods have failed.

Christine works with her clients in person, by Skype or phone.  So, if you live away from the Annapolis, Maryland area, she can still work with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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