5 Reasons To Eat More Sweet Potatoes
February 22nd is National Cook a Sweet Potato Day, so now is the perfect time to learn about a few of the amazing health benefits of sweet potatoes! The large, starchy, sweet-tasting vegetables are very nutritious, and while they are popular in the fall season, they are a great addition to any meal year-round. Continue reading to learn five important reasons why you should add more sweet potatoes to your diet.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber- especially when you consume the skin of the potato. Fiber is essential for your digestive health, as it prevents serious disease from developing, such as colon cancer. By eating one medium sweet potato, you will take in six grams of dietary fiber. They also contain a starch called resistant starch, which helps feed your body’s “good” bacteria.
The high fiber content of sweet potatoes can also lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol levels, which helps to prevent cardiovascular disease and heart issues. Sweet potatoes are high in potassium, which helps to maintain healthy blood pressure. Lastly, they are high in copper, which is essential for making red blood cells and keeping your heart healthy, as low levels of copper have been linked to very high blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.
Sweet potatoes are extremely high in vitamin C- just one cup of baked sweet potato contains 52% of your daily value! They are also rich in antioxidants that help to prevent free radical damage in your body. The vitamin A in the potatoes assists your body to make immune cells that fend off infections and disease.
Good For Eyes
Sweet potatoes are also great for your eyes, as they contain several nutrients and power carotenoids, including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, that have been linked to improved vision. Beta-carotene can cause imbalances when it’s taken as a supplement in isolation from the carotenoids, but when it’s eaten in foods with a balance of various carotenoids, it has powerful anti-cancer and vision-enhancing properties.
While you may not think of food as a way to ease your stress and anxiety, foods that are high in magnesium are helpful for calming the brain and help your body to relax. Sweet potatoes are high in magnesium, as are avocados, legumes, tofu, nuts, and leafy greens. The next time you have a stressful day, a baked sweet potato dinner may be all you need to relax and unwind!
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