The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

As far as I’m concerned, it’s always sweet potato season, but here we are in the first week of November, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to get our sweet potato on. 

Mash them, bake them, roast them, or take a bite into a raw one just like an apple–which we highly do not recommend but still have to mention as an option–sweet potatoes are a versatile root vegetable for any snack or meal. Yes, they can be incorporated into desserts, but going there would defeat the purpose of a “Health Benefits Of” blog post. 

Alrighty then; let’s dive into the health benefits of this delicious dicot. 

Perk Up Your Peepers

Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, and if you’re a regular reader of this blog, it shouldn’t take you longer than a nanosecond to identify what kind of compound beta-carotene is. You are correct! It’s an antioxidant! Beta-carotene happens to convert into vitamin A and promotes eye health. 

While eating sweet potatoes won’t cure existing vision problems, it will help protect your eyes from further unnecessary deterioration. If you’re hoping to increase your vitamin A intake, consider bulking up on sweet potato, which has 200 grams of beta-carotene per cup.

Improve Your Immune System

Improving vitamin A absorption does more for your body than keeping your vision sharp–vitamin A is also linked to a healthy immune system. As the seasons change, and crisp fall air turns to a winter chill, avoid the seasonal illnesses circulating by ensuring your body gets enough vitamin A.

Add Fiber to Your Diet

 Your digestive and heart health both depend on fiber-rich diets, but it’s not always easy to find healthy fiber which is also tasty and versatile. 

Bored with oatmeal breakfasts and smoothies for your main source of fiber this fall? Sweet potatoes are full of both soluble and insoluble fiber and can be eaten in fun ways, like sweet potato pie (with no added sugar) and sweet potato fries (that are baked, not fried, but calling them sweet potato bakes sounds half-baked). 

High in Antioxidants

We can’t help ourselves. Antioxidants will always have a dedicated paragraph in these blog posts. 

It’s not just your eyes that benefit from the antioxidants in sweet potatoes. Antioxidants help reduce free radicals in your cells, decreasing risks of cancer and aiding in macular degeneration.

While you can’t stop aging, antioxidants have shown promise in reducing signs of early aging. They combat inflammation and encourage better circulation.

Natural Energy Booster

Not all carbs are bad. Sweet potatoes are a source of complex carbohydrates, which the body breaks down and uses as energy. Sweet potatoes also help keep you from feeling sleepy or dizzy due to healthy levels of iron.

Low iron leads to a variety of health problems and causes fatigue. Sweet potatoes increase iron absorption, ensuring your body gets the iron it needs to keep you alert and healthy.

Reduce Insulin Resistance

For sufferers of diabetes, monitoring blood sugar is an important part of planning a healthy diet. Planning meals can get frustrating when so many carbohydrates cause insulin spikes.

Being low on the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are a great ingredient for those with diabetes because they help maintain blood sugar while decreasing insulin resistance. 

Of course, like all good things, sweet potatoes should be eaten in moderation. Oh, you are allowed to indulge in sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving dinner, and you can make it a little guilt-free by scraping off the marshmallows. The next person in line will appreciate it. 

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