Most people only associate sweet potatoes with pies and casseroles around the holidays, but they actually have a wealth of health benefits to offer us all year long.
Sweet potatoes are bursting with vitamins, minerals, and all kinds of other goodies that your body desperately needs. Scroll down to read about the top six health benefits of sweet potatoes and learn why you should make them a year-round staple.
1. Weight Management
When you think of potatoes, one of the first words that probably comes to mind is “carbs.” But it turns out carbs are a lot more “complex” than we give them credit for. Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates due to the high amount of fiber contained in each one. Unlike regular carbs, these complex carbs burn way slower so that your body can make better use of them over time.
2. Heart Health
Sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin B6, which helps our bodies break down a chemical known as homocysteine. This chemical is one of the factors that contribute to hardened arteries that lead to serious health issues later in life. Plus, they lower blood sugar thanks to their potassium.
3. Prevent Diseases
When we talk about healthy foods, the term “antioxidant” gets thrown around pretty often … but what does it mean? When a superfood like the sweet potato is high in antioxidants, that means that it contains molecules, like Vitamins C and E, that prevent the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a reaction that produces something called “free radicals,” they can potentially damage cells in your body and lead to disease. Sweet potatoes also carry beta-carotene, which has been known to help fight cancer.
4. Skin Protection
Sweet potatoes are great for your skin too! By eating just one sweet potato, you can supply your body with its daily amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays and produces collagen, the protein that keeps your skin looking young and healthy.
5. Eye Health
Vitamin A is also helpful when it comes to keeping your eyes in tip-top shape. Risk decreases for both macular degeneration and loss of vision when you eat sweet potatoes.
6. Stress Relief
Sweet potatoes also contain Magnesium and Vitamin D, which have been known to contribute to more consistent moods, lower stress, and increased energy levels.
Check out the video below for a more detailed look at how sweet potatoes are an unexpectedly healthy food with a fascinating history!
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