From reduced inflammation to beauty benefits, sweet potatoes are super good for your body. This post shares the top 8 virtues of this delicious and nutritious root!
If ya’ll don’t already know…I’m a HUGE fan of sweet potatoes. As well as an advocate for easy, tasty, and healthy dishes. *Tips hat.
This explains why I have a thing for sweet potatoes and include a bunch of recipes throughout the blog. Seriously. There are my Easy Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipes. And this post on Quick Sweet Potato Meal Prep.
And oh yeah! Easy Sweet Potato Hash. Mmm.
As you can see, they’re versatile. A descendant of the morning glory family, the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), is a starchy root vegetable grown and appreciated worldwide. You may see them called yams, but yams are different and actually native to Africa and Asia.
I’m mostly excited for you to learn more about the virtues of this superfood, so let’s get to it!
Is Sweet Potato Good for Your Body?
Yes, yes, and yes! Studies show that sweet potatoes are the BEST sources of Vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene, which boosts immunity and helps support healthy vision). Vitamin C, minerals like potassium and thiamin, and antioxidants improve brain function and work against free radicals that cause illness and disease. These unstable molecules can cause cellular damage.
They’ve also got a whole array of medicinal benefits. Let me break them down for you below…
- Contains anthocyanins (protect against the slow growth of certain cancer cells).
- Not only does the nutrient Beta-carotene help your vision, but it’s also an antioxidant that helps your body fight toxins.
- Sweet potatoes are anti-inflammatory Hooray!
Does Sweet Potato Reduce Belly Fat?
Sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates that can help reduce belly fat because their high fiber content aids in promoting smooth digestion and helps prevent constipation. This reduces uncomfortable bloating in the stomach area as well.
Sweet potato is also a low-calorie yet highly satisfying food. So yes, a superb food to bring along on your weight loss journey!
Benefits of Sweet Potato
Now let’s get to the real meat and potatoes of this post. The 8 health benefits!
1. Sweet Potatoes Can Help Reduce Stress And Anxiety
A deficiency in magnesium (which MANY people have) is linked to a higher risk of depression, stress, and anxiety. Full of nutrition, sweet potatoes are a good natural source of magnesium which keeps you in tiptop mental shape.
Some studies show magnesium can even help boost exercise performance. So eat some sweet potatoes, go on regular walks, and you’re golden!
2. They Can Help Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to fight off any attacks against your body (be it coming from bacteria, viruses, or even a simple splinter).
But when your body is in a constant state of inflammation you’ll want to load up on anti-inflammatory foods like sweet potatoes. They contain choline and anthocyanins which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Sweet Potatoes Can Help Prevent/Manage Cancer
Yep, surprise, surprise this orange root vegetable can actually help manage deadly diseases. As mentioned before, It contains beta-carotene. Interestingly this compound is especially helpful in protecting men from prostate cancer.
It also contains anthocyanin, which is linked to anti-cancer activity with regard to types of cancers like breast and gastric cancers.
4. Sweet Potatoes Can Help Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency
Being vitamin A deficient can make you more susceptible to infectious diseases. Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, helping you stay well equipped to fight off infections. Vitamin A also reduces the chances of macular degeneration, often characterized by blurry vision.
5. They Can Help Manage Diabetes
Looking for ways to better the stability of your blood glucose? Essential fibers and magnesium in sweet potatoes help prevent and manage diabetes. Because cooked sweet potato has a low glycemic index, it won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.
6. Beauty Benefits! Sweet Potatoes = Better Hair And Skin
Vitamin A, C, and E are abundantly present in sweet potatoes. This trio happens to be amazing at boosting your skin and hair health! Along with helping you age well, these vitamins repair damage from UV light exposure.
7. Great Source Of Fiber (Wonderful for Digestion)
Having good digestion impacts your entire overall health. Fiber, for example, is an important dietary component that protects against colon cancer and more. Which is why I’m always preaching the importance of fiber and where to get it.
Being a rich source of soluble fiber, sweet potatoes are one of the best things you can eat regularly. They’ve got both soluble and insoluble fibers which help to keep your digestive system humming.
8. Sweet Potatoes Help You Lose Weight
Continuing the point about fiber, this is a food with resistant starch that extends your feeling of fullness for longer periods. AND they are also great for your gut health, helping to curb snacking tendencies throughout the day.
Sweet potato also contains pectin, one of the soluble dietary fibers in sweet potatoes. Studies show that pectin is linked with reducing weight gain.
Will They Help Me Sleep Better?
Sweet potatoes are a great source of magnesium, potassium, and calcium. This trio can help you relax and slide into a deeply restful sleep. They’re also low in saturated fat and a potent source of vitamins A, C, zinc, and B6.
And the way I see it, the better your overall health…the better you’ll sleep!
Can I Eat Sweet Potatoes Every Day?
Yes, you definitely can! Here’s a fun fact, people from Okinawa, Japan, get 60% of their calories from sweet potatoes. I mean apart from their mostly plant-based diet and minimal meat, dairy, eggs, and processed foods.
Sweet potato, with its nutritional orange flesh, is one of THE most versatile foods that can accommodate a wide range of dietary restrictions. If you are vegan, vegetarian, nut-free, lactose-free, or gluten-free, this is one powerhouse of a superfood that will be there for you.
What Are The Best Ways to Eat Sweet Potatoes?
There’s nothing wrong with a plain baked potato, but I’ve also got 19 different sweet potato recipes you can try! It’s amazing really, when you consider they’re just a single ingredient packed with fiber!
Some other ways you can cook them to enjoy the sweet flavor…
- Enjoy sweet potatoes in 4 different ways for your next meal prep.
- You can bake them.
- Enjoy them in a lasagna.
- Slice and dice them, turning them into a yummy hash.
- Make ’em into fries.
- Baked into a scrumptious pie.
Can’t stop, won’t stop! Now that you know about the terrific health benefits and sweet potato nutrition facts, I bet you’re gonna want to eat them often. Here are just a few more ways to gain from the health benefits of sweet potatoes.
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