Sweet potatoes, a nutrient dense root vegetable, is nice change from the typical potato that graces most dinner tables across North America. Their remarkable colour and cooking versatility make them a pretty but practical addition to any meal. Not only that, they are also chock full of nutrients! Check out the healing benefits of sweet potatoes and add them to your next meal.
Sweet Potatoes Nutritional Profile
Sweet potatoes are originally native to South America, but this type of tuber only requires 100 frost free days in order to grow so you do not need to live in a tropical climate in order to grow them. They are a great beginner’s garden crop as they have fewer diseases than other types of potatoes, and relatively undemanding due to their limited fertilizer and water needs. So what can you expect for nutrition when you eat a sweet potato? Feast your eyes on the following:
- An exceptional source of vitamin A, with 769% of the RDA in a one cup serving
- A great source of vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and vitamin E
- A rich source of manganese, as well as a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.
- A nice source of fiber, with 26% of the RDA in a one cup serving
- Low glycemic index (17. A white potato is 29)
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, these tubers create many healing benefits.
Healing Action of Sweet Potatoes
Due to its exceptional antioxidant content and comprehensive vitamin and mineral content, sweet potatoes have been known to help with several things, including:
- Helps prevent and relieve inflammation
- Improves heart health
- Regulates fluid balance
- Help relieve anxiety, relax muscles, steady nerves, and balance cognitive function
- Help prevent breast, colon, lung, skin, and oral cancers
- Relieves digestive disorders, such as ulcers and constipation
- Boosts immunity
- Binding to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, copper and cadmium and safely remove them from the body
- Helps prevent heart disease
- Alleviates muscle cramps
- Improves health of skin and hair
- Helps improve vision and prevent macular degeneration
- Improving anemia
- Improving menstrual problems
As you can see, if you want to improve many areas of your health the sweet potato is a good choice!
How to Use Sweet Potato in Your Diet
The sweet potato has a few different preparation methods, many of them being quite simple:
- Baked, steamed, or boiled
- Cooked, cooled, and added to salads
- Puree with bananas, maple syrup, and cinnamon and top with walnuts for a tasty and satisfying meal
- Use spices such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger, chili pepper, or curry for flavour and nutritional boosts
- Add healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado to add creaminess and additional flavour
The sweet potato can be easily substituted anywhere you would use white potato, and more. The even better news is that kids love them due to their starchy sweetness, and you can feel good about the “upgrade” you just provided them with little to no fuss. It’s time to get this colourful tuber into your diet on a regular basis, and enjoy the healing benefits that come with it.