Thursday, November 26, 2015

Why Sweet Potatoes Are Awesome

Image: Shutterstock
With the holidays coming up, there are going to be lots of recipes to test out. While I advocate for indulging and enjoying food with friends and family, I also want to shine a spotlight on one of nature’s hardiest and most healthful creations: the sweet potato! This tasty tuber offers a lot of health benefits and is home to plenty of nutrients. It’s not pretty to look at, but the sweet potato is a healthy and delicious alternative to the ordinary russet!

They provide the good kind of carbs.
Some carbohydrates are actually good for you because your body has to work to process them. Sweet potatoes’ carbs are lower on the glycemic index so they don’t spike your blood sugar as much as regular potatoes, meaning no sugar crashes and better control for people with diabetes.

They’re high in potassium.
We need more potassium in our lives, guys. It helps the body regulate itself by promoting healthy digestion, nourishes nerves, and gives muscles the strength they need. Additionally, potassium can help offset some of the harm sodium, that ever-prevalent ingredient, does to blood pressure. “A high potassium intake is associated with a 20 percent decreased risk of dying from all causes!” says Mother Nature Network.

Sweet potatoes can fight some kinds of cancer.
Sweet potatoes, which are very high in beta carotene, can help ward off prostate and colon cancers. They contain a fat-soluble pigment the body converts into vitamin A, which can prevent the development of these cancers. Vitamin A can also help keep eyes healthy and prevent deterioration of vision.

They promote bone health.
Because sweet potatoes are also high in manganese, they help keep bones healthy and dense. Getting more manganese in a diet is especially healthy for women, as boosting daily intake can lessen the effects of PMS so that women suffer fewer cramps, mood swings, and discomfort.

Sweet potatoes have a lot of other benefits, too, but one of their most lively is the ways they’re cooked! Try this recipe for classic mashed sweet potatoes, easy maple-baked wedges, or a sweet potato and apple soup. Yum!