You might be under the mistaken impression that you shouldn’t eat sweet potatoes because not only are they potatoes, but they’re sweet to boost! Fact check: a sweet potato is not even a potato, which is a tuber, but actually a root vegetable. It is also highly nutritious with numerous health benefits.
Heart Health and Cancer-fighting – Sweet potatoes are high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which raises your blood levels of vitamin A, as well as vitamins C and E. Antioxidants protect you against aging and chronic disease like cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C also boosts your immune function while vitamin A helps you maintain healthy skin, vision and organ function.
Blood Sugar Control and Weight Loss – Contrary to what you might expect from this naturally sweet vegetable, sweet potatoes do not contribute to spikes in your blood sugar because they are complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber so the natural sugars are released slowly into your blood stream. The fiber also keep you full longer to help you eat less and maintain a healthy weight.
Regulating Blood Pressure – One cup of baked sweet potato provides 950 mg of potassium which helps your body get rid of excess sodium and fluid and helps lower your blood pressure. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate your heartbeat and nerve signals along with many other important functions like muscle contractions and kidney activity.
Improved Brain Health – The vitamin B6 found in sweet potatoes helps reduce levels of homocysteine in your body, thereby lowering your risk of Alzheimer’s and boosting your brain function.
As with any other food, the way you cook it has a lot to do with how much benefit you get from it Go ahead and bake them, roast them or mash them and feel free to add cinnamon or other spices. You can also add them to stews, curries, veggie bowls, casseroles and desserts. Sweet potatoes are a no-guilt, feel good staple that you should eat regularly.