Why the Humble Sweet Potato is My Favorite Health Food

Sweet Potato a Great SuperfoodI love a variety of healthy foods, but if I was to plug a certain food, this would be it—the sweet potato. I eat this amazing food almost every day and continue to enjoy it with my meals, it never gets old.

Yes, sweet potato is still a potato, but it’s very different from the white variety most people eat. The sweet potato still has some similarities to your run-of-the-mill potato. It’s high in fiber, nutrients and starchy carbohydrates. But the carbohydrates in sweet potatoes take more time to digest. The net effects are lower rises in blood sugar and a slower release of insulin.

Improve Your Blood Sugar Regulation

Sweet potatoes and their unique nutritional composition helps to improve blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity as opposed to other starchy carbohydrates like white potatoes, noodles or bread made from refined flour.

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What about the nutrients in sweet potato? Well, I am glad you asked! They are absolutely packed with nutrients to say the least. Sweet potatoes contain high concentrations of betacarotene, a carotenoid pigmented chemical that gives the vegetable its characteristic color. Betacarotene is an important antioxidant that is reputed to decrease cancer cell growth and improve immune response.

This chemical is also very important because it converts to vitamin A inside the human body. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient needed for night vision, cellular growth and a normal functioning immune system.

But that’s not all! Sweet potatoes also contain high amounts of vitamins C and B6 as well as manganese and potassium. Did I say that the average sweet potato contains at least six grams of fiber? Not only this, but it’s mostly the soluble type that can lower cholesterol and improve the flora of your gut.

The regular intake of sweet potato is an excellent idea if you want to lower your risk of developing a chronic disease like type 2 diabetes or heart disease as this food can help control high blood pressure, triglycerides, inflammation and insulin levels typically associated with the intake of high-glycemic carbohydrates.

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It can also be a great idea to eat them if you have diabetes; they can help keep your blood sugar levels in check and insulin secretion at bay.

Great Ways to Get Your Sweet Potato

There are several ways to enjoy these brightly colored potatoes. You can slice them thin and bake them in an oven brushed with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Or you can simply roast them in a pan with your favorite roast.

I just pop them in the microwave. Put them on a microwave-safe plate on high and keep turning them every five minutes until they’re soft. Don’t forget to pierce them with a fork or sharp knife during the cooking process.

After they are cooked, remove the pulp and place it in a bowl and mix with cinnamon, nutmeg and some stevia, a natural sugar substitute. Stir until the mix is nice and smooth.

I eat this food every day with my favorite lean protein and vegetables. They are just such a delicious and nutritionally dense addition to a meal. It keeps me going with plenty of energy for the gym.


Sources:

“What are the health benefits of sweet potatoes?” Medical News Today, August 25, 2014; retrieved from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/281438.php.