I love visiting my sister's ranch in southern Utah. Her vegetable garden spans boldly across an open field, row by row. It appears endless. I love the potato patch. For us city folk it is a little mind blowing to take a shovel and "dig up" what's for dinner. But, neatly tucked underground where they can absorb hefty amounts of nutritional goodness, are this time of year's nutritional powerhouses — root vegetables.
For centuries root vegetables have been used for their healing properties. Garlic regulates the immune system, is anti-fungal and has been shown to enhance the activity of natural killer cells, which can destroy tumor cells. Beets also contain anti-cancer properties and are loaded with phytonutrients, which we can tell by their bright red color. A good rule of thumb is: the brighter the vegetable's color, the more phytonutrients it contains.
Sweet potatoes are actually not even potatoes. They're in a completely different botanical family, but a super food nonetheless. They're loaded with vitamins C and A, minerals and fiber.