In the summertime, when every grocery store and farmer’s market seems to be overflowing with fresh produce, it’s easy to stick to a healthy diet packed with the nutrients you need. The winter season is a different story. Not only is it a time for calorie-packed holiday treats to pop up everywhere, but it’s a time when the produce section can feel a little sparse. However, with a little appreciation of root vegetables, you can get back to eating healthier this winter while getting a huge nutritional boost. If you typically think potatoes when you think root veggies, try out these four healthier alternatives to reshape your entire winter diet.
You might think sweet potatoes have too much sugar to be healthy, but studies have actually shown that eating sweet potatoes can improve blood sugar control—as long as they aren’t prepared with marshmallows on top. Try swapping them in any time you would use normal potatoes and get a boost in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Beets are incredibly dense in terms of nutrition. They have high levels of fiber and folate as well as nitrates, and research has indicated that they have unique cancer-fighting qualities. Beets are also a trending vegetable, so you might find them already peeled and roasted in your supermarket. If you find that red beets are too sweet or earthy for your tastes, try golden beets instead. They are milder in flavor but pack in just as much nutrition.
You might not think of ginger as a vegetable, but it is technically a root veggie, and it is loaded with antioxidants that can keep you healthy in the busy holiday season. It can also help reduce inflammation and even relieve an upset tummy. Instead of reaching for dry, powdered ginger, go for the real thing. Use a spoon to peel ginger and then grate with a microplane or cheese grater to add to any of your favorite sweet or savory dishes.
Fennel is a relative of the onion, and it is also one of the lower-calorie root vegetables you will find in the produce section. It has a strong licorice-like flavor, but this becomes milder as the vegetable cooks. You can enjoy the large white bulb as well as the green stalks of the plant.
Caring for yourself doesn’t have to be a chore. When you have medical care at your fingertips, you can do more to stay well. Connect with MeMD to skip the waiting room and feel better without leaving your house this winter.