Chapter 13

Root Vegetables Do‘s and Don‘ts

Yes, I am well aware that red & purple are OK on some foods and NOT on some others

* G = contains significant glucaric acid or decreases beta-glucuronidase activity

* RS = Resistant Starch (reduce/minimize/avoid)


  • Potatoes:

White, Purple, Red or Cream-colored flesh

  • Sweet Potatoes & Yams:


  • Carrots:


  • Other Root Vegetables

Parsnips (G), Turnips (G), Radishes (G), Horseradish (G), Rutabagas (G), Celeriac/Celery root (G), Water chestnuts, Arrowroot

G = contains significant glucaric acid or decreases beta-glucuronidase activity


  • Potatoes: Yellow flesh
  • Sweet Potatoes & Yams:

All of them: White, Cream Colored, Orange, Yellow, Purple, Red flesh

  • Carrots: Orange, Yellow, Red, Purple
  • Other Root Vegetables

Chicory, Beets, Jerusalem artichokes/Sunchokes, Manioc/Yuca/Cassava root (RS), Jicama (RS), Taro root, Lotus root

RS = Resistant Starch (reduce/minimize/avoid)


Root vegetables should always be peeled.  The peel is where nearly all of the plant defenses are, so get rid of that part! The SKIN color of root vegetables DOESN’T MATTER, because you are NOT going to eat it, you’re going to PEEL it off!

Conventionally grown (non-organic) potatoes are the only ROOT vegetable on the current EWG “Dirty Dozen” produce list. This means that when you eat out at a restaurant and get non-organic potato anything, you are getting one of the most toxically-grown vegetables there are.  If they leave the skin on for you to eat, that’s the worst.

If you have potatoes that have greened (green skin or green under the skin), sprouted, or are bruised/damaged, you should AT THE VERY MINIMUM deeply peel or cut those areas off. Do NOT eat any of the greened, sprouted, or bruised areas, they have concentrated/elevated glycoalkaloids and are toxic! It is better to peel or cut off MORE/DEEPER than it is to not do enough. Stories of toxicity from people eating greened/sprouted potatoes here:

Horrific Tales of Potatoes That Caused Mass Sickness and Even Death.

If after reading that, you wonder why anyone would take the risk to eat any greened or sprouted potatoes at all, I’m not going to argue with you.

If you know you don’t feel good on potatoes, then DON’T EAT THEM. They are a nightshade, but when they are properly prepared (peeled and cooked), many people tolerate them fine.  They are the ONLY nightshade I consider OK for people, and only if they are well-tolerated.

Any root vegetable that is soft (not firm any longer) or that has shriveled or wrinkled should NOT be eaten, or the part that has shriveled/wrinkled should be completely cut off.

Root vegetables are starchy, so you should watch my Resistant Starch video to learn more.  Also, if you don’t feel good on starchy foods (bloating after starchy carbs is the most common sign of this), then DON’T EAT THEM and stick with other sources of carbs like fruit.


The above list is about the ROOTS of plants, and does NOT refer to the tops/greens of these same plants at all.