Sweet potato


cdc7a9808c2290a51afabc75c716423cSweetpotatoes belong to the Morning Glory family and are one of the oldest vegetables in the world.  They are rated the number one nutritious vegetable by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Sweetpotatoes are most commonly orange, but are also found in other colors, such as white, red, pink, violet, yellow and purple.  The antioxidant activity and nutrient content of Sweetpotatoes increases with the color intensity of the flesh. Sweetpotatoes are healthier than regular potatoes. They have a lower glycemic index and more fiber.

1. Sweetpotatoes provide kind carbohydrates that don’t induce a sugar crash

Sweetpotatoes fall much lower on the glycemic index which is better for avoiding sugar crashes and better for diabetes control.  They contain manganese, a little-discussed trace mineral is a pivotal component in the metabolism of carbohydrates in moderate amounts can help support and maintain healthy blood sugar levels even for those with diabetes.  This can also help stabilize the appetite for hours.

Mayo Clinic explains “Because low glycemic index foods are absorbed more slowly, they stay in your digestive tract longer. This is why these foods are sometimes called slow carbs. These foods may help control appetite and delay hunger cues, which can help with weight management. Balanced blood sugar also can help reduce the risk of insulin resistance.”

2. Sweetpotatoes keep your digestion running and help beat disease

One medium sweet potato with skin provides roughly between 4 to 6 grams of fiber just enough to be included as a good source of fiber. The National Institute of Medicine set the Dietary Reference Intake for fiber at 21 to 25 grams a day for women while men should get 30 to 38 grams per day. Fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease and constipation.

3. Sweetpotatoes may keep some cancers at bay

Sweetpotatoes have the highest amount of beta carotene containing more beta-carotene, by weight or by volume, than any other fruit or vegetable, according to “The Color Code,” by Taylor Hartman, Ph.D., a book about the health benefits of colorful foods.

Vitamin A is useful in the prevention of several different types of cancer as it is one of the most potent antioxidants out there.   A study by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition found that for younger men, beta carotene, a fat-soluble plant pigment that can be converted into vitamin A, could provide protection against prostate cancer. Meanwhile, a Japanese study revealed that beta carotene may decrease the risk of colon cancer.

4. Sweetpotatoes are a prize for the eyes

All that beta carotene is an excellent nutrient for the eyes linking to preventing vision loss and macular degeneration. Ophthalmologist Jill Koury, M.D., states that vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision.

Sweetpotatoes high antioxidant levels from vitamins C and E are also very kind to the eyes and may prevent degenerative damage. Beta-carotene also helps to internally protect your skin from sun damage by both deflecting and repairing cell damage caused by excessive UV exposure.

5. Sweetpotatoes could help conquer PMS blues

Experts estimate that up to 37 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of manganese in their diet. Along with promoting good bone health, one study found that boosting manganese intake from 1 mg to 5.6 mg of dietary manganese per day helped women with PMS to have fewer mood swings and cramps.  The trace mineral manganese is important for growth, development and metabolism.

6. Sweetpotatoes are a boon for childbearing.

Plant-based iron, like that found in sweetpotatoes, can potentially promote fertility, according to the Harvard Medical School. The vitamin A from sweetpotatoes beta carotene is also important for hormonal health during pregnancy and lactation.

7. Sweetpotatoes may tame inflammation

They are a good source of choline, a micronutrient in the B-vitamin family. Choline helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory, among other things, but it is also important in reducing chronic inflammation.

8. Sweetpotatoes help blood pressure!

A medium Sweetpotatoe contains almost 500 mg, making it one of the higher potassium vegetables. Potassium is an important electrolyte that helps regulate the natural rhythm of the heart, and maintains normal function of the brain and central nervous system by helping nerves and muscles communicate and by transporting nutrients into cells and moving waste products out of them, among other tasks. A diet rich in potassium is important in offsetting sodium’s harm to blood pressure. Medical News Daily notes that a high potassium intake is associated with a 20 percent decreased risk of dying from all causes!    Vitamin B6 helps keep the walls of these important blood passageways flexible and healthy which allows blood to flow freely.

Sources:

  1. https://draxe.com/sweet-potato-nutrition-facts-benefits/
  2. http://foodfacts.mercola.com/sweet-potatoes.html
  3. http://www.naturalnews.com/035739_sweet_potatoes_beta-carotene_nutrients.html
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates
Promoting a lifestyle of preventative care!
WELLNESS PRINCIPAL:  Health comes from within.  You cannot buy it in a bottle.

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