Nothing says healthy winter food more than beetroots, carrots, celery and squash; grown beneath the earth, root vegetables seem to have absorbed all of mother nature’s natural healing benefits. Be it carrots in your salad, onion in a stir fry or a side of sweet potato, these wonderful warming veggies do everything from boosting cancer-fighting beta levels, to warding off diabetes, obesity and inflammatory-based disorders like heart disease and arthritis.
Add in that root vegetables are all gluten-free and low in both calories and glycemic index load – exact nutrition content differs between vegetable types, but most root veggies have about 50-100 calories per half cup and three or more grams of fiber – and making them part of your daily diet is a sure way to thank your body in the long-term.
To celebrate root vegetables’ healing properties, Dubai’s leading healthy-eating hub Flow is introducing a limited-edition ‘Roots Menu’ this November that’s jam-packed with delectable dishes created in-house by Chef Chris Kinsley and his team. Here’s exactly what you need to try, and why:
One of nature’s most action-packed vegetables, beetroot boasts unique phytonutrients and betalains, which provide support for the body’s antioxidant and detoxification process. What’s more, beetroot is perfect for gym buffs as studies prove its nitrate content can lead to improved use of oxygen which in turn increases exercise stamina.
Adding carrots to any of your favourite dishes lets you take full advantage of their beta-carotene properties – your body converts this antioxidant into Vitamin A, which is important for both vision and bone-growth, while also helping to regulate the body’s immune system.
TRY: Beetroot crusted baked cod with celeriac puree and roasted baby root vegetables, Dhs35 (small) and Dhs65 (large)
Not only do squash and pumpkin add nutritious colour to any autumn meal, they can even help curb the growth of cancer cells thanks to their beta-carotene and carotenoid concentration. Our bodies also use these to make Vitamin A, which is important for vision, bone growth and reproduction – the more intense the colour the better!
An often unsung veg, celery has a growing list of lovers thanks to its low calorie content – one large stalk contains just 10 calories – making it a great choice for anyone watching their weight. Celery has been proven to reduce inflammation (perfect for those suffering from joint pains, lung infections or acne) while aiding digestion because its high water content and insoluble fiber works wonders on your system.
TRY: Seared chicken breast with squash, celery and lentil broth, Dhs35 (small) and Dhs65 (large)
Fennel’s essential oils offer huge nutritional benefits – not only are they adept at helping with indigestion, constipation and respiratory disorders, but fennel is often used as a natural treatment for anemia because it increases red blood cells count.
Proven to increase bone density – especially in older women – these tear-inducing vegetables are packed with anti-inflammatory properties which lower the risk of mouth-cancer. If cooking at home, always make sure you peel off as little of the outer layers as possible – this is where the flavonoids, which provide its antibacterial properties, live.
TRY: Sea bream with braised fennel, baby onion and citrus tomato herb dressing, Dhs35 (small) and Dhs65 (large)
Flow’s new Roots Menu is available until November 30 and as the chef uses only fresh, seasonal ingredients, dishes will be available when ingredients allow