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Vegetables are quite popular in summer as they are used in salads but people tend to abandon them in winter. Root vegetables are the ideal winter vegetables, providing plenty of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Root vegetables are low in calories and fat but high in carbohydrates. They are also very filling so if you eat them you are less likely to crave high-fat snacks.

Here's a look at some common root vegetables

Carrots have a strong flavor and a firm texture. They can withstand robust cooking methods, making them ideal for stews and soups. They are particularly rich in carotenes which are converted to vitamin A by the body and act as antitoxidants.

These are the swollen roots of a plant native to Europe. They vary widely in size, shape and color. Turnips are good for soups and stocks and the white spring turnips taste the best.

Potatoes are very high in carbohydrate and give a controlled release of energy therefore reducing hunger pangs. They contain vitamin C, thiamin and folic acid.

Swedes can be baked, roasted, fried or boiled. They contain vitamin C and betacarotenes, but boiling reduces the latter considerably.

Radishes are mostly eaten raw in salads, but they can also be boiled. They are 95% water and due to their strong flavor are only eaten in small quantities. They add more taste than nutrition to the diet.

Beetroot can be boiled or baked and served hot or cooled and pickled. It contains a unique pigment called betanin but this has not been found to have any particular nutritional value as yet.

These provide a good balance of simple and complex sugars which make them ideal for atheletes and active people. They are best eaten with some added oil as they have a tendency to be rather dry.