The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Learn more about the benefits of sweet potatoes, which are high in antioxidants, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and more!
Sweet potatoes are not the same as yams, although they are similar in taste, color, and texture. There are 400 varieties of them, and some species may not be orange but white on the outside and inside. One reason most sweet potatoes have an orange color is due to their beta-carotene content, which is one of the main reasons they are considered such a healthy food. Let’s take a look at some of their health benefits now.
List of Benefits
- Beta-carotene – Like carrots and tomatoes, sweet potatoes have plenty of beta-carotene in them – a powerful antioxidant that transforms into vitamin A once it enters your body. Beta-carotene also assists your body in cancer prevention, fighting heart disease, and healing arthritis and other inflammatory illnesses. Beta-carotene is also good for your vision.
- Carotenoids – The carotenoids in sweet potatoes help to regulate your blood sugar levels and increase the insulin levels in your body. To get the best health benefits from sweet potatoes in this regard, you could roast them in the oven and eat them with baked chicken or grilled fish.
- Fiber – If you have indigestion or a digestive disorder, you will need fiber to regulate it, and sweet potatoes happen to contain enough fiber for this purpose. Therefore, eating sweet potatoes is a good idea if you cannot handle, or choose to avoid, fiber supplements.
- Vitamin C – Sweet potatoes contain lots of vitamin C, an important vitamin that boosts your immune system, reduces your chances of getting cataracts and glaucoma, and reduces the risks of various cancers throughout your lifetime.
- Potassium – If your doctor tells you that you are at risk for muscle atrophy, you might need to get more potassium in your body, and sweet potatoes also happen to contain large amounts of this essential trace mineral. Potassium strengthens your muscles and reduces your chances of receiving muscle-related illnesses.
- Good for skin health – Vitamin E is necessary for skin and hair health, and sweet potatoes are rich in this powerful antioxidant. Indeed, for this reason, some skin and hair products contain sweet potato extracts.
When preparing sweet potatoes for consumption, you should resist the temptation to overload them with heavy cream, refined sugar, or table salt, because these unhealthy ingredients can compromise their nutritional value. If you like your sweet potatoes with extra sweetness, you could add molasses or other healthy substitutes to molasses instead. Ultimately, sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness, and if you tamper with their natural taste too aggressively, their delicate natural flavor will be taken away.