The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and nourish the plant. As graduates of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, Lisa Wilson and I both had the opportunity to learn about Chinese Medicine dietary theories and other theories like the Energetics of Food. In both these traditions, it is thought that root vegetables lend their "grounding" properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally "rooted", increasing our stability, stamina, and endurance.
Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate, and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.
Long roots include carrots, parsnips, burdock and daikon radish. Round roots include turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas. Long roots like burdock and daikon are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity. Round roots are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar, moods, and alleviate cravings.
To begin experimenting with food and how it effects your mood and well-being, simply follow the action steps below.
ACTION STEP #1
Try the recipe below for a quick and delicious way to get root vegetables into your diet:
Recipe of the Month: Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 sweet potato
2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga
1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in your favorites, like squash)
salt and pepper
herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and chop all vegetables into large bite-sized pieces.
3. Place in a large baking dish.
4. Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil.
5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.
6. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.
Note: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.
ACTION STEP #2
Watch an easy "how-to" video created by my teaching partner Lisa Wilson to see how easy it is to make Roasted Root Vegetables.
Watch Lisa Wilson's Video of the Month: How To Make Roasted Root Vegetables
ACTION STEP #3
Discover the right foods to heal your body and control your weight by joining our coaching program Weight Loss For Tired People. Enroll by the end of December to get 2009 prices. Prices will be going up in 2010. Classes begin January 12, 2010.
For more information go to the NIHA Nutrition and Wellness Program. Or, for a free consultation to see if the program is right for you, call me directly:
Eve Colantoni (202) 297-3707 or send an email to eve.colantoni@NIHAdc.com