The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Today I wanted to share with you the health benefits of sweet potatoes, or as some people call them, yams.  Many people think about sweet potatoes around the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas,IMG_20140330_134657_623 but they are great food to eat anytime of year.

Sweet potatoes make a great side dish and go great with chicken as the main course.  Sweet potatoes are also a nice switch from regular potatoes when thinking about a baked potato.

I like sweet potatoes because they do have a natural sweetness and are great with a little bit of butter and brown sugar, but not too much of either one of those things.  Moderation, remember.  🙂

The information below about the health benefits of sweet potatoes comes from the website Natural News.  Thanks to the them for the information.  It is much appreciated.

1.  Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes.  Contributing close to 7 grams of fiber per serving, they make an excellent starchy addition to any meal.  The hibh fiber content gives them a “slow burning” quality.  This basically means their caloric energy is used more slowly and efficiently than a low-fiber carbohydrate.

2.  Sweet potatoes contain a large amount of vitamin B6, which is crucial in breaking down a substance called homocysteine.  Homocysteine contributes to the hardening of the arteries and blood vessels.  Vitamin B6 helps keep the walls of these important passageways flexible and healthy which allows blood to flow freely.

3.  Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of potassium.  Potassium plays an important role in lowering blood pressure by ridding the body of excess sodium and regulating fluid balance.  It is also an important electrolyte that helps regulate the natural rhythm of the heart, and maintains normal function of the brain and central nervous system.

4.  Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, which is also known as vitamin A.  One medium sweet potato provides your body with the complete recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and then some.  Vitamin A is useful in the prevention of several different types of cancer.  Beta-carotene also helps to internally protect your skin from sun damage by both deflecting and repairing cell damage caused by excessive UV exposure.  It also is an excellent nutrient for eye health and has been linked to prevention of vision loss and macular degeneration.

5.  Sweet potatoes contain manganese, which helps to support healthy blood sugar levels.  Healthy blood sugar levels can help stabilize the appetite for hours opposed to the temporary satisfaction that comes with most other carbohydrates.

6.  Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C and E.  Both of these vitamins are potent antioxidants that play an important role in disease prevention and longevity.  Both vitamins also play a huge role in the health and beauty of your skin and hair, making them popular supplements.  The combination of beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C in one food makes the sweet potato one heck of a “beauty food”.

As you can see sweet potatoes are packed with health benefits.  I would encourage you the next time you’re at the store to pick a few up.  They are not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Below are a few recipes that contain sweet potatoes.

Baked Sweet Potato Sticks

Slow Cooker Chicken Marrakesh

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Muffins

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