Getting Back to Your Roots by Lisa Johnson, RD

Fall is definitely my favorite food season! Garden goodies are still available, but of the warm and weighty kind. Most of what is in season now grows underground in shelter from the cooler elements. You may have heard we ought to consume foods in season for their best health benefits. This is true. Fall and winter foods will be the most effective at keeping us well over the next few months.

The fall garden highlights root vegetables. There are actually many more than you commonly think of. Potatoes are pretty standard, as well as carrots and even parsnips. Here are a few others you may not have thought of:

  • Daikon Radish
  • Turnip
  • Rutabaga
  • Celeriac
  • Kholrabi
  • Yuca
  • Jicima
  • Jerusalem Artichoke
  • Maca Root

How many of these have you tried? This fall, you should make it a goal to experiment with more exotic roots!! These foods have many health benefits. They are high in vitamins A and C and loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants. They also are mineral-rich coming from the earth! Because they are so nutritious and also full of fiber, they help curb appetites and even control blood sugars even though they are satisfying starches.

One unusual benefit of root vegetables is their ability to form resistance starches or their levels of prebiotic fibers. That means they feed your good but bacteria promoting a healthy microbiome.

These will be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving table and much healthier than stuffing or macaroni and cheese. The roots are not only healthier, but more traditional too! I am not sure they had macaroni and cheese on the Mayflower! Here are some recipes to try in case you want to join me in getting back to your roots!

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