Update: 4/29/2021

Root vegetables have long been enjoyed as a delicious part of a healthy diet.

Defined as an edible plant that grows underground, potatoes, carrots and onions are a few common examples that most are familiar with.

However, there are many other types — each with a distinct set of nutrients and health benefits.

Here are the 13 healthiest root vegetables to add to your diet.


1. Onions

Onions are popular root vegetables, serving as a staple ingredient in many cuisines.

They’re high in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants (1).

Antioxidants are compounds that can protect your cells against oxidative damage and help prevent disease (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

Research shows that eating onions may be associated with a wide array of health benefits.

For instance, one study found that eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw onions per day significantly reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes (4Trusted Source).

What’s more, other research observed that onions may possess powerful anticancer properties, with observational studies linking a higher intake of this root vegetable to a lower risk of common types of cancer (5Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

Onions work well in a variety of meals and can easily be added to salads, soups, scrambled eggs, casseroles, rice or pasta dishes and many more.

Summary Onions are high in antioxidants and may help reduce blood sugar
levels and your risk of certain cancers.


2. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are vibrant and delicious root vegetables that are highly nutritious and jam-packed with health benefits.

They’re rich in fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin A and a good source of several antioxidants — including beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid and anthocyanins (789Trusted Source).

A review of three studies showed that eating 4 grams of white sweet potato extract each day for 12 weeks improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes (10Trusted Source).

Due to their vitamin A content, some studies suggest that this root vegetable may also improve immune function, protect against vision loss and support skin health (11Trusted Source12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

Sweet potatoes can be baked, boiled, roasted or sautéed and enjoyed as a delicious side dish or added to everything from sandwiches to salads to breakfast bowls.

Summary Sweet potatoes may help improve blood sugar control and are
high in vitamin A, which may preserve vision and improve immunity and skin


3. Turnips

Turnips are a delicious root vegetable and have been cultivated for centuries.

They have an impressive nutrient profile, being a great source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese and potassium (14).

Adding vitamin C to your diet can help boost your immunity, with one study noting that getting enough of this vitamin could help reduce symptoms and shorten the severity of respiratory infections, such as the common cold (15Trusted Source).

Additionally, studies show that consuming more cruciferous vegetables, such as turnips, may be associated with a lower risk of stomach, breast, colorectal and lung cancer (16Trusted Source17Trusted Source18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

Turnips can be swapped into nearly any recipe in place of potatoes. Try making turnip fries, coleslaw, stir-fry or salad.

Summary Turnips are high in immune-boosting vitamin C and considered a
root as well as cruciferous vegetable. Eating it may be associated with a lower
risk of certain types of cancer.



4. Ginger