They are high in vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homo-cysteine in our bodies. Homo-cysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including heart attacks.
They are a good source of vitamin C.
While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essential to helping us cope with stress. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer.
They are a good source of vitamin D, which helps build healthy bones.
Vitamin D is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year. Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal effective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
Sweet potatoes contain iron and support a healthy immune system.
Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper immune functioning, and the metabolizing of protein, among other things.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of magnesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral.
Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the population in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.
They are a source of potassium.Potassium is one of the important electrolytes that help regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. Like the other electrolytes, potassium performs many essential functions, some of which include relaxing muscle contractions, reducing swelling, and protecting and controlling the activity of the kidneys.
Sweet potatoes do not cause blood sugar spikes.
Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet-tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain.
Sweet potatoes help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.
Their rich orange color indicates that they are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body. Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.
Studies at Harvard University of more than 124,000 people showed a 32 percent reduction in risk of lung cancer in people who consumed a variety of carotenoid-rich foods as part of their regular diet. Another study of women who had completed treatment for early stage breast cancer conducted by researchers at Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) found that women with the highest blood concentrations of carotenoids had the least likelihood of cancer recurrence
They are versatile.
Roasted, puréed, steamed, baked, or grilled. You can add them to soups and stews, or grill and place on top of leafy greens for a delicious salad. I enjoy grilling them with onions and red peppers for amazing sandwich or wrap ingredients. Puree them and add to smoothies and baked goods.
They provide kind carbohydrates that don't induce a sugar crash
Sweet potatoes fall lower on thehigh glycemic index which means that their carbohydrates are quickly converted into sugar and a corresponding elevation in blood sugar levels, sweet potatoes are different. They fall much lower on the glycemic index which is better for avoiding sugar crashes and better for diabetes control, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
They may keep some cancers at bay
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. Sweet potatoes have the highest amount of beta carotene of all fruits and vegetables.
They’re a prize for the eyes
All that beta carotene is great for the eyes as well. Ophthalmologist Jill Koury, M.D., says that vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye's photo-receptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision. Sweet potato’s high antioxidant levels from vitamins C and E are also very kind to the eyes and may prevent degenerative damage.
To understand the weight loss properties of this tuber, it is important to know more about its nutritional value.
Serving Size: One Baked Potato (3 oz)
Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 21 g
Protein: 2 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 36 mg
Vitamin A: 19,218 IU
Folic Acid: 6 mcg
Pantothenic Acid: 1 mg
Vitamin B6: <1 mg
Vitamin C: 20 mg
Vitamin E: 1 mg
Calcium: 38 mg
Magnesium: 27 mg
Potassium: 475 mg
Copper: <1 mg
Manganese: 1 mg
Carotenoids: 11,552 mcg