You’re undoubtedly familiar with the sight of the vibrant orange sweet potato on your Thanksgiving table, but did you know there’s a cornucopia of reasons why you should be regularly chowing down on these tasty tubers?
Make no mistake, the sweet potato is chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals and boasts plenty of other benefits which elevate it to superfood status.
Sweet potato season is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to look at all the reasons this starchy, delectably sweet tuber deserves to be in your diet.
Rich in Nutrients, Rich in Flavor
Sweet potatoes are positively brimming with a wide variety of nutrients. As far as your daily intake goes, a serving of sweet potato will cover vitamins B, C, as well as calcium, selenium, iron, and the all-essential vitamin A, which is converted in the body from beta-carotene.
Compare that to the traditional tater. White potatoes, while possessing high amounts of potassium, vitamins C, B6, and various antioxidants, are also higher in calories, carbs, and rank higher on the glycemic index than sweet potatoes. And of course, beyond all of its incredible health benefits, the humble sweet potato makes a delicious addition to any meal.
One Versatile Tuber
Like white potatoes, sweet potatoes are exceptionally versatile and offer a fantastic opportunity to flex your culinary muscles. Boiled or steamed, roasted or fried, you can do almost anything with a sweet potato. You can even eat small portions raw for maximum health benefits.
We suggest adding a touch of sweet potato to a health shake or grating a bit over your favorite dish. Bonus? If you have a sweet tooth and are trying to wean yourself off sugary snacks, a serving of sweet potatoes as a light snack might help stave off sugar cravings.
High in Fiber, Low in Fat
Getting enough fiber in your diet can be tricky. Sweet potatoes are a great way to get a fiber boost throughout the week.
A single medium-sized sweet potato has four grams of fiber. We’ll take another helping, please! Another fantastic trait of the sweet potato is that it’s full of starch, a type of complex carbohydrate. Complex carbohydrates play host to natural (as opposed to refined) sugars, as well as vitamins and minerals like those we’ve already covered.
There is one thing to watch out for if you’re keeping an eye on your blood glucose levels. Sweet potatoes rank medium to high on the glycemic index, the exact level may vary. If blood sugar is a concern, keep your sweet potato portions small and opt to steam or boil them rather than popping them in the oven. Baking sweet potatoes increases their GI levels.
The Long-term Benefits of Sweet Potato
In addition to helping you reach your daily micro and macronutrient goals, there’s a potential long-term benefit to adding sweet potatoes to your regular diet.
Several studies have indicated that sweet potatoes may have anti-cancer properties.
Suffer from high blood pressure? The potassium found in sweet potatoes may help lower blood pressure and risk for heart disease – when incorporated with other healthy changes in your lifestyle, of course.
Sweet potatoes are easy to prepare and with all of their potential health benefits, you’d be remiss not to add this wonderful root vegetable to your diet.
If you want to get a little more sweet potato in your life but find yourself with limited time to spare in the kitchen, Fresh n’ Lean offers incredibly tasty, all-natural, plant-based meals delivered straight to your home and you can bet that you’ll find sweet potato featured in our weekly menus.