Sweet potatoes are tasty, nutritious, and great for your health. Their skins and insides can be white, yellow, brown, red, pink, and purple. The range of color brings different nutrients to the table. For example, purple-fleshed sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. Antioxidants destroy free radicals which are harmful to cells.
Sweet Potatoes: Vitamin A
Just one medium baked sweet potato can give your body a whopping 400% of the vitamin A it needs to keep your eyes and skin healthy and help hold off illness.
Sweet Potatoes: Beta-Carotene Boost
Deep-orange sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that fights bacteria, such as cancers and eye diseases.
The way you cook you them makes a big difference in the nutrition you’ll get from the dish. One study measured how many carotenoids, like beta-carotene, stayed in the food afterward. The simplest method, oven baking, turned out to be the best.
Scientists found these colorful spuds have a unique protein called a protease inhibitor. When tested against cancer cells, it stopped its growth.
Vitamins and Minerals
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C, which revs up your immune system. High potassium levels help control blood pressure, while calcium strengthens your bones.
Regulates Blood Sugar
White potatoes, the ones you normally eat baked or as french fries, rank high on the glycemic index, which measures how quickly food affects your blood sugar. Sweet potatoes rate lower. They also have more fiber, for example, about 5 grams in a 3/4 cup serving. This slows digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer.
If you’re trying to lose weight down, sweet potatoes are stuffed with filling fiber. For a satisfying meal, bake them in the skin. Or serve them on the side, mashed, roasted, or chopped into a savory stew.
Iron In Abundance
Sweet potatoes are a great source of iron. That makes them star material for vegetarians and vegans. Here’s why: Meat has heme iron, which your body absorbs more easily than the non-heme type found in fruits, veggies, and nuts. But if you eat foods with lots of vitamin C, like sweet potatoes, your body can absorb the non-heme iron better.
Available All Year
You might link sweet potatoes with holidays like Thanksgiving, when they play a starring role in casseroles and pies. Why limit them to a couple of months when you can enjoy them anytime? Most supermarkets carry raw and canned potatoes all year. You can also find them in newer products like potato chips and frozen fries.
Watch this interesting video on sweet potatoes: