Sweet potatoes are great sources of both vitamin A and vitamin C. In fact, one cup of sweet potatoes provides you with almost half of the vitamin C to meet your daily needs. Additionally, one cup of sweet potatoes provides you with an outstanding 400 percent of the vitamin A you need each day. Vitamin A and vitamin C supports the immune system, which is important during flu and cold season. Vitamin A also helps maintain healthy skin, improves organ function, and enhances your vision.
In addition to vitamin A and vitamin C, sweet potato is filled with a number of other nutrients. When you eat a serving of sweet potatoes, you will receive 33 percent of your daily allowance for manganese. Manganese is a mineral used to improve collagen production and promote bone and skin health. In addition to this, sweet potatoes contain B vitamins as well as minerals, including potassium for optimal health.
Sweet Potatoes Provide Antioxidant Protection
Both vitamin A and vitamin C act as antioxidants. Antioxidants help protects cells in the body from disease and aging. To further improve the antioxidant protection of sweet potatoes, opt for purple sweet potatoes. The pigment in these sweet potatoes provides particularly potent antioxidants.
Sweet Potatoes Provide Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Low-grade inflammation increases the risk of developing chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. The natural anti-inflammatory properties in sweet potatoes aid in decreasing systemic inflammation. Research has shown that consuming purple sweet potatoes help reduce inflammation in nerve and brain tissue.
Sweet Potatoes are Diabetic-Friendly Vegetables
Unlike other starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes do not spike blood sugar levels. Although sweet potatoes do contain starch, they have high fiber content, which prevents glucose levels from spiking. One cup of sweet potatoes provides approximately 6 grams of fiber (more than 25 percent of your daily recommended minimum.
Sweet Potatoes Regulate Blood Pressure
Sweet potatoes, when baked in their skins, provides 950 milligrams of potassium in each one-cup serving. That is twice the amount of potassium found in a medium-sized banana. Potassium removes excess fluids and sodium from the body, which reduces the strain on your heart and lowers your blood pressure. Potassium has been shown to regulate heart rhythms and muscle contractions. The National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey reports that less than two percent of American adults get the recommended daily amount of potassium.
Sweet Potatoes May Help with Weight Loss
Twelve percent of the starch found in sweet potatoes is resistant starch. This fiber-like starch is filling and is not absorbed by the body. One study reported replacing a mere 5 percent of carbs with resistant starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes can increase fat burning by 20 to 30 percent. Resistant starch also increases the amount of satiety inducing hormones in the body. After reading about the benefits here then you’ll want to try something with sweet potato in it – with this in mind why not try these healthy sweet potato brownies?
How to Increase Sweet Potato Consumption
Sweet potatoes are delicious when they are baked and then drizzled with maple syrup and cinnamon. Sweet potatoes can also be baked, mashed and folded into oatmeal for a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Sweet potatoes can be pureed into a smoothie or used a soup base. Chunk some baked sweet potatoes and add them to a salad, or make oven-baked sweet potato wedges to satisfy your French fry craving. Finally, add sweet potatoes to your desserts for a delicious and nutritious dessert.