A lot of people have the misconception that potatoes are not healthy due to the high amount of starch, calories and acrylamide it contains. The negative reputation that potatoes have earned spreads over to sweet potatoes as well. It is important for people to realize that potatoes are good for the body as long as they are cooked in the right manner. The calorie count is not as high as people think it is. The starch is not going to be a problem as long as the potatoes are a part of a balanced meal. As for the acrylamide, it only comes into play when you process potatoes or cook them at a high temperature.
Sweet potatoes are actually a great ingredient for the pantry. This is because they are readily and easily available, quite inexpensive and extremely delicious. Most importantly, they offer a plethora of health benefits that you should be aware of. Here are nine of them:
1) High in Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is one the most useful nutrients that your body can absorb from food. Vitamin B6 is needed to lower the amount of homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine is a chemical that has been linked with a few degenerative diseases, one of which includes heart attacks. Since sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin B6, there is no reason why you should leave them out of your plate, especially if you are worried about suffering from heart problems in the near future.
2) Good Source of Vitamin C
Most people are well aware of the fact that Vitamin C is incredibly helpful in keeping the body healthy, strong and safe from cold and flu viruses. What people do not know is that Vitamin C also plays a very important role in the formation of our bones and teeth. This is why a Vitamin C deficiency can lead to brittle bones and teeth. It is also worth noting that Vitamin C contributes to the process of digestion and blood cell formation. Wound healing is accelerated in the presence of Vitamin C. This is because it leads to the formation of collagen that is needed to maintain the youthful elasticity of your skin. Furthermore, Vitamin C absorption makes it easier for people to cope with stress. Last but not the least, Vitamin C is needed to ward off toxins that are potentially linked to cancer.
3) Offers Plenty of Vitamin D
Sweet potatoes have plenty of Vitamin D on offer. Vitamin D is a very important to maintaining the function of the immune system. It also has a positive impact on your overall health. People who have inadequate amounts of Vitamin D in their bodies due to a lack of sunlight exposure can develop seasonal affective disorder. Eating sweet potatoes can easily solve this problem. Vitamin D enhances our energy levels, uplifts our mood, keeps our heart healthy, keeps our skin glowing, nourishes the nerves and helps build healthy bones and strong teeth.
5) Decent Magnesium Content
There is a good amount of magnesium to be found in sweet potatoes. For those of you who are not aware, magnesium is referred to as the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. The lack of magnesium can compromise the function of the arteries, the bones, the heart, the muscles and the nerves. Despite that, experts believe around 80% of the people in North America are deficient in this essential mineral.
6) Contain a Good Mount of Potassium
Similar to magnesium, potassium is considered to be important in maintaining a healthy and functional human body. It is particularly useful in regulating heartbeat and nerve signals. Like other electrolytes, potassium can perform several important functions which include muscle contractions, reduction of swelling and regulation of kidney activity.
7) High In Carotenoids
Sweet potatoes are orange in colour. This indicates that they have high caretenoid content. Caretenoids are considered to be the precursor to Vitamin A in the body. In the presence of carotenoids, vision is improved significantly and immunity is boosted considerably. Furthermore, cartenoids can be regarded as powerful antioxidants that are specifically helpful in protecting the body from cancer and slowing down the effects of aging.
8) Steady Stream of Energy
Just because they are sweet potatoes does not mean that they are going to give you a short-lived sugar rush. The natural sugars contained within sweet potatoes are released very slowly into the bloodstream. This allows the sweet potatoes to serve as a source of steady and consistent energy. You are not going to experience blood sugar spikes. You are certainly not going to suffer from fatigue that follows brief sugar rushes. Most importantly, you do not have to worry about weight gain even if you eat sweet potatoes every single day of the week.