Health Advice



Getting to the root of your heart health -- with root vegetables

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

What's soft, slightly sweet, old-fashioned-sounding and brimming with goodness? Well, yes, that could describe your grandmother. But it also describes winter's favorite root vegetables: sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips and beets. They give you unconditional love, too, because they're loaded with heart-happy nutrition, whether you roast or puree them, make soups from them or add them to casseroles.

Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, which helps control lousy LDL cholesterol levels. They also have antioxidant-polyphenols (beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid and anthocyanins) that ease inflammation, helping protect your blood vessels from plaque buildup. And how much immune-strengthening, heart-friendly vitamin A does 1 cup of baked sweet potatoes deliver? It's 769% of the recommended daily value!

Rutabagas belong to the mustard family and have a good supply of heart-helpful potassium, vitamin C and fiber as well as manganese, which is involved in healthy blood clotting.

Turnips also have plenty of heart-healthy vitamin C, fiber, manganese and potassium. They also provide blood-vessel dilating nitrates and potassium that help lower blood pressure.

Beets are one of the most healthful root vegetables. Loaded with nitrates that dilate blood vessels, lower blood pressure and boost heart health, a serving also has 17% of the daily value for folate and 13% for manganese. One study even found that they increase blood flow to the brain!

So put these front and center on your wintertime dinner plates. Choose olive oil for roasting and pureeing. And check out the recipes for Root Vegetable Medley and baked Parsnip Fries at



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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