8 Root Vegetables That Are Full Of Good Carbs

By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Last Updated on:

Root vegetables are the edible starchy tubers that are grown underground. They are colorful, full of powerful antioxidants, fiber, and beneficial vitamins. However, root vegetables are often wrongly labeled as “high carb” and often mistakenly avoided. There are lots of varieties of root vegetables, onion, garlic, sweet potatoes, to name a few. But today, let me share the nutritional values of 8 root vegetables that are traditionally used as a vegetable and coincidentally low in carbs.

Root Vegetables Nutrition Poster

List of Root Vegetables with Pictures

Although there is a peak season for root vegetables, many varieties are indeed available year-round. Choke full of nutrients, here is a list of root vegetables to try.



Beetroot is known for its distinct ruby red color, but it actually can be found in many shades from white to purple. The most well-known nutrient found in beetroot is certainly nitrates, a plant compound that can dilate blood vessels, effectively lowering blood pressure and improving sports performance. Studies also suggested the nitrates in beetroots may help slow tumor growth. Beetroot are commonly used in salads and have a fresh, almost nutty taste; they can be boiled, steamed, roasted, or even pickled. 

One cup of cubed beetroot provides:

  • Calories: 59
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Fiber: 3.8 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Potassium: 442 mg
  • Vitamin C: 11% of the DV



As part of the cruciferous family, turnips are a great source of Vitamin C, fiber, potassium as well as manganese. Just like other vegetables within the cruciferous family, turnips also contain sulfur-containing compounds, a type of potent antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative stress. Turnips are bulbous and white with a purple color on top. They look like red onion, but without the layers. When cut open, it is entirely white inside. It usually tastes best if peeled before use. To serve, quarter the turnip and either roast, steam, boil or mash for a great tasting side dish to any meal. The leaves on a turnip are also edible and are commonly used in salads or as a side dish.

One cup of cubed turnip provides:

  • Calories: 36
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Potassium: 248 mg
  • Vitamin C: 45% of the Daily Values



Rutabaga is a cousin of the turnip, and is sometimes known as the “yellow turnip.” It is also a member of the cancer-protective cruciferous family. Rutabaga provides even more vitamin C than turnips, quite impressive indeed as a root vegetable. It too is easy to prepare and is often used in stews and as a side dish. It is said that rutabagas are tastier than turnips when mashed for a side dish. Similar to carrots, rutabaga tastes sweeter when roasted.

One cup of cubed rutabaga provides:

  • Calories: 53
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Potassium: 427 mg
  • Vitamin C: 58% of the DV



Radishes are one of my favorites! Not only do their eye-catching white and pink colors brighten up a dish, its distinct spicy with a hint of sweetness add an interesting taste profile.  For a root vegetable is so low in carb and calories, its fiber and vitamin C content is quite impressive. The best way to enjoy radishes is to eat raw – simply slice or dice.

One cup of radishes provides:

  • Calories: 18
  • Carbohydrates: 3.9 g
  • Fiber: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 0.8 g
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Potassium: 270 mg
  • Vitamin C: 28% of the DV



Yes you guess it right; it’s related to celery. Also known as celery root, celeriac should deserve more attention. The most stellar nutritional profile of celeriac is its high vitamin K content, an important vitamin for bone health.  A one-cup serving provides an impressive 80% of daily needs. Just like most other root vegetables, celeriac can be eaten raw, and also works well boiled, roasted or sautéed.

One cup of celeriac provides:

  • Calories: 65
  • Carbohydrates: 14.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.8 g
  • Protein: 2.3 g
  • Fat: 0.5 g
  • Potassium: 468 mg
  • Vitamin C: 21% of the DV



Perhaps the name doesn’t sound familiar. But if you are a fan of Japanese cuisine, you would have come across this white, crispy vegetable. Often shredded to top a salad or accompany raw fish sushi, daikon is yet another radish family member (hence a cruciferous vegetable). If you find regular radish too spicy, this milder version may be more pleasant to you.

One cup of daikon provides:

  • Calories: 21
  • Carbohydrates: 4.8 g
  • Fiber: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 0.7 g
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Potassium: 263 mg
  • Vitamin C: 43% of the DV



One of the most asked questions about root vegetables is indeed, what’s the difference between parsnip and turnips? Although they have similar beige/yellow color, their taste is quite different. Parsnip is close to carrots, so it’s sweet; turnip is in the cruciferous family and it is less sweet. Unpeeled whole parsnips will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Peel parsnips just before cooking, because their exposed flesh will darken when exposed to air.  Parsnips works well in casserole dishes, and can be steamed and mashed.

One cup of parsnip provides:

  • Calories: 100
  • Carbohydrates: 24 g
  • Fiber: 6.5 g
  • Protein: 1.6 g
  • Fat: 0.4 g
  • Potassium: 499 mg
  • Vitamin C: 38% of the DV



This list will never be complete if carrots are not on it. And carrots shouldn’t need any introductions; we all have eaten them. The usual orange carrots get the color from beta-carotene antioxidants, which has been linked to cancer-protective benefits. For better absorption of beta-carotene, it’s best to cook carrots; the absorption rate can be increased up to 6.5-fold!

One cup of raw, sliced carrots provides:

  • Calories: 50
  • Carbohydrates: 11.7 g
  • Fiber: 3.4 g
  • Protein: 1.1 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Potassium: 390 mg
  • Vitamin C: 12% of the DV

Root vegetables should be making a comeback among food lovers and health-conscious consumers. They are a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, particularly blood pressure-lowering potassium; they are also much lower in carbs than you think. With a little creativity, these veggies are easy to incorporate into a healthy meal plan and lifestyle.


beetroot, carrots, good carbs, parsnip, radish, root vegetables, rutababa, turnip

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