Though sweet potatoes are typically thought of as a Thanksgiving food, these sweet orange (or purple) treats are fantastic any time in the fall—well, really any time year round. In case the taste of sweet potatoes wasn’t enough to make you want to eat them year round, there are some great other reasons to indulge in these sweet treats (and some great sweet potato recipes too!).
1. Lower Glycemic Index than the White Potato
Though sweet potatoes are pretty high in carbs, which I like to keep to a minimum, they are much lower on the glycemic index that their counterpart: the white potato. What does this mean? It means that the carbs from a sweet potato impact your blood sugar levels at a slower rate than that of a white potato. That’s good because it won’t be as apt to cause a huge blood sugar spike.
2. Packed with Vitamins
Sweet potatoes are an unsurpassed source of beta carotene. Beta carotene provides Vitamin A to your body and just one serving of sweet potatoes may include as much as 700% of your vitamin A needs. Wow! Not only that, but the vitamin A that is in sweet potatoes is more bio-available than the vitamin A found in a lot of other veggies.
In addition to vitamin A, these orange beauties also are loaded with vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and folate. They also contain a bit of vitamisa D and E!
If you want to take full advantage of all of the amazing vitamins in sweet potatoes, please don’t try to make it a fat free meal. Many of these vitamins need fat in order to be absorbed into the body. So fry up some sweet potatoes in coconut oil, slather some butter on it, and enjoy!
3. Good for Your Skin
You can spend way too much moola on expensive lotions and serums for your skin that contain retinol. Or you can just eat sweet potatoes. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, and it’s a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight skin damage and aging. Remember how much vitamin A sweet potatoes have? Yeah, is it any wonder why they are great for your skin?
4. Heart Healthy
Sweet potatoes have some nutrients that can help keep your heart healthy. They are high in vitamin B6 which helps reduce a substance called homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine contribute to the hardening of blood vessels in our bodies. But, getting adequate amounts of B6 helps combat this by keeping the walls of those blood vessels healthy and flexible.
In addition to B6, sweet taters also have tons of potassium—close to 700 mg for just one sweet potato. Potassium is important because it rids the body of excess sodium and helps regulate the fluid balance in our bodies, thus playing an important role in lowering blood pressure.
4. Lower Inflammation
Inflammation is bad. Why? Because it contributes to many of our modern diseases: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and the list goes on and on. High amounts of the powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E, and of bioavailable beta carotene, along with a special protein in sweet potatoes, work together to decrease inflammation in the body. So, swap out an inflammatory causing side like the dinner roll for the sweet potato, a side that will help combat inflammation!
And of course, sweet potatoes just make a tasty addition and can add more dimension to any meal. So check out this list of 10 fantastic sweet potato recipes. What’s your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes?
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