Rooting for Root Vegetables

Easily digestible, food-for-thought from Eat Well Halifax, Nicole Marchand!

As the fall and winter approach, we naturally begin to crave foods higher in carbohydrates (sugar). Although this was historically done to help build insulation (extra fat stores) under the skin for protection throughout the winter months, root vegetables are still an excellent addition to our modern day diet as they are a fantastic source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Fibre is required for blood sugar stability and digestive health, while vitamins and minerals are required by our body’s cells to perform everyday functions.

Root vegetables are available in Nova Scotia year around as they are harvested in the fall and stored in cool cellars. They are high in anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants which reduce our risk of heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory illnesses, such as arthritis and cancers. They are also an excellent source of nutrients such as manganese, required for healthy bones and skin and chemical reactions at the cellular level; Vitamin C, which enhances the immune system and iron, required for healthy red blood cells and oxygen transportation. Root vegetables are also a source of B vitamins, required for energy production, a healthy immune system and for brain health. Furthermore, all root vegetables have their own unique nutrient make up which provides our body with an abundance of essential nutrients. For example, carrots and sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, required for healthy eyes and for a strong immune system and protection from cancers. White potatoes are a source of vitamin B5 which is an important nutrient in mental health and definitely required during the colder, darker winter months and beets are an excellent source of folate, a B vitamin required for a healthy nervous system.

Root vegetables are inexpensive, easy to use, tasty and incredibly versatile. Use root vegetables in soups, stews, casseroles or roast/bake for a delicious, nutrient rich side dish. Eat root vegetables this winter to ensure adequate nutrient intake, digestive system health and to reduce sugar cravings! Want to know more? Contact me at or visit my website at


Eat Well, Halifax!

Nicole Marchand, RD