Sweet potatoes are known as a simple root vegetable, common around the holiday table. Despite all of the marketing hype, there’s no such thing as a “super food”. But if there was, the myriad sweet potato benefits might put them on the list.
1. Immune Strength
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which, when converted to vitamin A by your body, becomes the building block of so many beneficial functions. In particular, your body uses vitamin A to build a strong immune system. Vitamin A is also linked to healthy mucus membranes and thus, strong gut health.
So many issues are caused by an unbalanced gut biome. Keeping your gut healthy can prevent myriad ailments. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
2. Cancer Preventing Antioxidants
Anthocyanins are antioxidants commonly found in sweet potatoes. Especially orange and purple ones. These antioxidants eliminate free radicals and have been shown to slow the growth of certain cancer cells in lab tests.
One study even showed a decreased colon cancer cells in mice that were fed purple sweet potatoes.
3. Healthy Stools
Sweet Potatoes include tons of fiber. Both the soluble and insoluble kinds. This means the body can and cannot process the fiber (respectively). Both kinds are extremely beneficial to your gut health. Soluble fiber absorb water as they stay in your gut and make your stools softer. Insoluble fibers don’t absorb water and therefore add mass to your stool, making it harder.
4. Vision Health
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, the same orange antioxidant that makes carrots orange. This particular antioxidant is excellent for eye health. How? the beta-carotene is turned into Vitamin A by your body, which is used within the eyes to form light-detecting receptors.
5. Sweet Potato Benefits for Bloat
Sweet potatoes can be bloating in the immediate term. But after the initial effect fades, sweet potatoes enhance your gut health and streamline your digestion. This reduces bloat and can even cut belly fat. This filling and satisfying food also prevents constipation and water retention, which will make you feel and look less bloated.
6. Sweet Potatoes Fight Anxiety
These sweet delights are packed with Magnesium. Many people are deficient in magnesium, which can cause increased stress and anxiety. Consider a magnesium supplement, but you might want to consult a doctor to find out how much you might need to take.
Healthy magnesium levels can even increase exercise performance, making getting and staying healthy even more enjoyable. One of the many sweet potato benefits!
Sweet potatoes contain high levels of choline and anthocyanins, two powerful anti-inflammatories. A regular and healthy portion of sweet potatoes in your diet can significant reduce inflammation over the entire body. Reducing inflammation can have cascading benefits such as increased joint movement, stamina, and better sleep.
8. Sweet Potato Benefits for Blood Sugar
If you’re diabetic, sweet potatoes can be a very effective tool in your toolbox. Because they taste very sweet but have a low glycemic index, they are a great option for managing blood sugar.
There are lots of ways to cook sweet potatoes. For example. roasting thick slices with a little olive oil and kosher salt can yield a very yummy and healthy option. Alternatively, slice them up as french fries and use an air fryer or convection oven to make your own sweet potato fries – just like a restaurant!
9. Healthier Skin
Sweet Potatoes contain plentiful amounts of A, C and E which, when combined, create healthy and beautiful skin. What’s more, these particular vitamins provide exceptional protection against UV light, which has it’s own array of damaging effects on the skin.
10. Losing Weight with Sweet Potatoes
Because these incredibly healthy root vegetables are tasty and rich in fiber, they make you feel full longer. This can be a rudimentary but incredibly effective trick for losing weight. By choosing foods that make you feel fuller, you are less likely to snack in between meals. And by choosing a healthy and filling food, you’re taking care of two very important factors when trying to lose weight.
In conclusion, there are countless sweet potato benefits. From losing weight to fighting anxiety, sweet potatoes can be the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Or, they can be your first step towards making a series of healthy choices.