The vibrantly coloured sweet potato is not only delicious, it’s also highly nutritious, jam-packed full of vitamins and nutrients to keep your mind and body in peak condition.
Despite the name, sweet potatoes aren’t tubers like their plainer cousin the regular white potato.
They’re actually a root vegetable, and with their bright orange, creamy-textured flesh they’re actually lighter and fluffier than a normal potato â perfect for mash!
Table of Contents
- Why Should I Include More Sweet Potatoes In My Diet?
- 1. They’re a Great Source of Vitamins
- 2. They Help Prevent Iron-Deficiency Anaemia
- 3. They Contain Even More Potassium than Bananas
- 4. They Support Glowing Skin and Eyes
- 5. They’re a Natural Migraine Reliever
- 6. They’re High in Fiber
- 7. They Help You to Breath More Easily
- 8. They’re Versatile and Delicious so it’s Easy to Incorporate Them into Your Diet
Why Should I Include More Sweet Potatoes In My Diet?
With many people nowadays living such busy lifestyles, it can sometimes be easy to turn to food supplements and vitamin tablets as an easy way to stay healthy.
However, the advantages of maximizing our health through the nutrients found in food are considerable, and eating fruit and vegetables is a great way to improve your intake.
Often overlooked in favor of the plainer white potato, sweet potatoes are just as versatile and just as tasty as the regular potato, some would even say more so!
What’s more, although potatoes don’t count towards one of your 5 a day, sweet potatoesÂ do. In fact, the health benefits of eating sweet potatoes are substantial, and here’s why.
1. They’re a Great Source of Vitamins
Sweet potatoes contain large quantities of vitamin B6 which is central to keeping your heart healthy by helping to prevent hardening of the arteries.
They’re also high in vitamin C which protects the body against toxins and strengthens the immune system.
The high level of vitamin D is essential for strong bones and teeth, especially needed during the winter months when we don’t regularly reap the benefits of vitamin D that’s produced in the body through sunlight.
2. They Help Prevent Iron-Deficiency Anaemia
Sweet potatoes are high in iron, so not only do they help if you suffer from anaemia caused by iron deficiency; they’re also full of energy and help to keep stress at bay.
When iron levels in the body are low, the oxygen in the bloodstream doesn’t circulate fast enough and the results can include fatigue, headaches and irritability.
3. They Contain Even More Potassium than Bananas
It’s a well publicised fact that eating bananas are a perfect combination of high potassium levels and low salt levels, but did you also know that sweet potatoes are too?
Containing 694mg of potassium, a sweet potato has almost double that of a single banana. With the essential benefits of potassium including helping the heart to beat, lowering high blood pressure and maintaining kidney function, eating sweet potatoes are the perfect choice to keep the body functioning as it should.
4. They Support Glowing Skin and Eyes
Sweet potatoes are bursting with beta-carotene, a pro-vitamin that our body converts into vitamin A, and as a result gives the immune system a boost and helps to protect cells. Antioxidants like beta-carotene defend our body against damaging free radicals, and are even thought to decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer.
5. They’re a Natural Migraine Reliever
Anyone who suffers from migraines will know that a couple of over-the-counter painkillers just won’t touch the pain.
Among the natural remedies recommended for the prevention and treatment of migraines is magnesium, something that our bodies cannot produce naturally, and studies suggest a daily dose of the mineral is valuable as a preventative measure.
This is where the sweet potato comes in, as they’re naturally high in magnesium.
6. They’re High in Fiber
Crammed full of fibre, easting sweet potatoes is a fantastic way to keep your heart healthy, lower your cholesterol and manage your weight.
Keeping the skin on your sweet potato increases the fibre content even more, so try baking them in their skins or making chunky sweet potato chips with the skin still on.
7. They Help You to Breath More Easily
Sweet potatoes contain the flavanoid quercetin which, along with the magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin B6 found in sweet potatoes, is extremely beneficial in maintaining excellent lung function and health.
A potent antioxidant, natural anti-inflammatory and natural anti-histamine, quercetin can be found in many fruits and vegetables, but sweet potatoes contain especially high quantities of it.
8. They’re Versatile and Delicious so it’s Easy to Incorporate Them into Your Diet
Unlike some other food items that have heaps of health benefits but don’t taste very good (cod liver oil anyone?!), sweet potatoes are truly delicious, which means that you’ll have no problem in making lots of varied and mouth-watering dishes with them.
You won’t need to force yourself to tuck into a tasty meal that includes sweet potato just because ‘they’re good for your health’, and you’ll probably even want seconds!
From baked, roasted, chipped or fried, to steamed, casseroled, mashed, made into soup or curried, there are countless recipe ideas to be discovered using the magnificent sweet potato. You can even make puddings and cakes using sweet potatoes, so they really are a food hero.
Health by choice, not by chance,