Chances are you?ve been enjoying sweet potatoes but haven?t given much thought to their nutritional and health-promoting qualities. Here are 11 reasons to love sweet potatoes:
1. Beta Carotene ? Their orange color is the giveaway that they are high in beta carotene, which is the precursor to vitamin A in the body and helps ensure a healthy immune system and great skin. A small amount of natural fat like extra virgin olive oil helps increase absorption of beta carotene.
2. Batatosides ? Recently researchers discovered a related group of nutrients in sweet potatoes called batatosides that have been found to have antibacterial and antifungal properties.
3. Cyanidins and Peonidins ? New research shows that cyanidins and peonidins found in sweet potatoes may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals.
4. Antioxidants ? A particular type of protein found in sweet potatoes called sporamins are potent antioxidants that help reduce the effects of aging and disease.
5. Inflammation Reduction ? Compounds found in sweet potatoes reduce inflammation. In animal studies consuming sweet potatoes reduced inflammation in the brain and nerve tissue throughout the body.
6. Reduced Fibrinogen ? Sweet potatoes appear to reduce the amount of fibrinogen in the body, which means it may be helpful for diseases like multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.
7. Blood Sugar Levels ? Sweet potatoes regulate blood sugar levels even in diabetics, according to research.
8. Strong Immune System ? Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C which helps maintain a strong immune system which is important for healthy bone and tooth formation, digestion and wound healing. Our stress glands, the adrenals, use high amounts of vitamin C when we are under stress.
9. Antibodies ? They are also high in vitamin B6 which helps build antibodies to fight disease, maintain normal nerve function and build hemoglobin ? the substance in the blood that carries oxygen to organs and tissues. It has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
10. Minerals ? High in minerals like potassium, iron and magnesium, sweet potatoes are nutritionally superior to white potatoes.
11. They taste great.
How to Enjoy Sweet Potatoes
-Try them roasted, pureed, steamed, baked, or grilled.
-You can add them to soups and stews.
-Grill them and place on top of salad greens for a delicious and appetizing twist on salad.
-Grill with onions and red peppers and use as sandwich or wrap ingredients.
-Make baked sweet potato fries instead of French fries