Why You Should be Eating More Sweet Potatoes
You probably like sweet potatoes, but maybe they aren’t your first go to when you’re grocery shopping for the week. What to do with them anyway? Well in fact there’s a lot that you can do with sweet potatoes, and even more reasons why they’re really quite good for your health.
A lot of people shy away from carbohydrates of all types in a effort to keep the empty calories down, but we need some carbs for energy and to keep us from craving all the nasty junk. The key is to get the good kind. (There’s still no argument for eating processed white bread, sorry.) Sweet potatoes are a form of carb that contain plenty of fiber, which will help keep you feeling full and even out your blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes might taste sweet, but their natural sugars are released slowly into the blood stream.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of iron which is good when you don’t want to add any more red meat to your diet. Iron is important for energy, cell function, and metabolizing protein. They are also a great source of magnesium which we need for the healthy function of pretty much every system in the body, as well as promoting relaxation.
They also contain plenty of vitamin B-6, C, D, potassium, and antioxidants, all of which do a body really good.
Carotenoids are the things that turn into vitamin A in the body and do everything from protect your eyes to prevent cancer and reduce the effects of aging. (This is also what gives them that orange color.) One study found that a diet rich in carotenoids could reduce the risks of developing lung cancer by 32 percent.
Okay maybe not a million ways, but sweet potatoes are super versatile and easy to cook. You can bake your own sweet potato fries or chips, mash them, slice and grill them, bake them, puree them…pretty much anything you can imagine. And being naturally sweet they don’t require much as far as add-ons or condiments go to be delicious. Often a little salt and pepper is all you need, or a dash of olive oil or Greek yogurt to moisten things up a bit.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has rated sweet potatoes as the number one most healthy vegetable based on being an awesome mixture of dietary fiber, natural sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein, calcium, carotenoids, vitamin C, and iron. You know you like a winner.
Despite being chock full with tons of good stuff, sweet potatoes only clock in at a little over 100 calories in a 5 inched size. That also contains about 2.3 grams of protein, around 4 grams of fiber, and hardly any fat at all.
About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.