Health benefits of sweet potatoes

Health benefits of sweet potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes are in season from autumn to winter, which makes them perfect foods for the holidays. They can also be enjoyed year around.
  • Let’s look at their health benefits.
  • Antioxidant rich:
  • Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, which gives them their orange hue, and vitamin A. Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of oxidative stress, which may help strengthen the immune system and ward off diseases.
  • Dr. Andrew Weil explains, “oxidative stress is the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear (natural and artificial radiation, toxins in air, food and water; and miscellaneous sources of oxidizing activity, such as tobacco smoke).” The effects of oxidative stress are often linked to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and many types of cancers.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties:
  • Anthocyanin and other pigments are very important ingredients because of their anti-inflammatory properties. They inhibit the messenger molecules in the body that cause inflammation. One of the major risk factors for serious diseases like heart disease and cancer is inflammation, making anti-inflammatory foods a must.
  • Blood sugar benefits:
  • Starchy foods are often considered bad for blood sugar. What makes sweet potatoes so unique is their ability to regulate blood sugar, even with their high starch content. They have a low glycemic index, meaning they put a lesser load on blood sugar. They are also high in dietary fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar.
  • Eye health:
  • Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is known to be great for overall eye health. Beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant, protecting the eyes from age-related diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Heart health:
  • They are a great source of vitamin B6. This vitamin is crucial for heart health because it breaks down homocysteine, which is known to harden arteries and blood vessels. Sweet potatoes are also rich in potassium, known for its ability to lower blood pressure.
  • Weight loss:
  • Sweet potatoes are fairly low in calories, with only 180 calories per cup. They are also rich in fiber, providing 6.6g per cup, which is 26% of the recommended daily value. Foods that are low in calories and high in fiber are ideal when it comes to helping with for weight loss.
  • For the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
  • For a homemade carrot chips recipe.
  • REFERENCES:
  • 1. “Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Sweet Potato, Cooked, Baked in Skin, without Salt [Sweetpotato].” Self Nutrition Data. Self Nutrition Data, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
  • 2. Weil, Andrew. “Stumped by Oxidative Stress?WEIL. Dr. Andrew Weil, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

 

 

 

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3 Comments

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