A balanced diet is essential for good health, but sometime striking the balance between healthy foods and foods food that will fill you up is tricky.Sweet potato is a great food in that it is low calorie and full of nutrients, but it also has enough carbs, protein and fiber that it won’t leave you feeling hungry shortly after eating, which some other vegetables can do.
Sweet potato is often thought of as a ‘holiday’ food, being eaten only around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the health benefits of it are such that it should be included in your diet all year-round!
Health benefits of eating sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are packed full of vitamins and minerals essential to good health, they are full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and disease fighting compounds.
Sweet potatoes contain a substance called beta-carotene, which gives it its distinctive orange colour. But it also functions as a antioxidant that kills free radicals in the body. It also helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer development.
Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce homocysteine in the body, which is linked to chronic diseases like strokes and heart attacks.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C which is great for your immune system and fighting off colds, especially this time of year.
Potassium is an electrolyte which is essential to body functions like the nerves and controlling your heartbeat. It also helps reduce swelling and inflammation and helps repair the muscles.
An estimated 80% of people in the US suffer from magnesium deficiency, and it is as crucial to your bones as calcium. It also helps blood, heart and muscle functions.
Sweet potatoes are high in iron, which helps the production of blood cells, fights stress and helps the immune system.
Vitamin D is mainly taken from sunlight but in areas where sunlight is scarce, it must be taken from a different source. Eat sweet potatoes to get your fix of vitamin D in the winter to help the immune system and ward off seasonal affective disorder.