9 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Not only are sweet potatoes readily available, inexpensive, and delicious, they have many other benefits for your health. Here are 9:

9 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

1.  They are high in vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including heart attacks.

2. They are a good source of vitamin C

While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essential to helping us cope with stress. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer.

sweetpotatoes

3.  They are a good source of vitamin D, which helps build healthy bones.

Vitamin D is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year.  Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.

4.  Sweet potatoes contain iron and support a healthy immune system.

Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper im­mune functioning, and the metabolizing of protein, among other things.

5.  Sweet potatoes are a good source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral.

Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the popula­tion in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.

See: 15 Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes

6.  They are a source of potassium.

Potassium is one of the important electrolytes that help regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. Like the other electrolytes, potassium performs many essential functions, some of which include relaxing muscle contractions, reducing swelling, and protecting and controlling the activity of the kidneys.

7.  Sweet potatoes do not cause blood sugar spikes.

Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet-tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain.

Sauteed Sweet Potatoes

8.  Sweet potatoes help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.

Their rich orange color indicates that they are high in carotenoids like beta carotene and other carotenoids, which is the precursor to vitamin A in your body.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.

Studies at Harvard University of more than 124,000 people showed a 32 percent reduction in risk of lung cancer in people who consumed a variety of carotenoid-rich foods as part of their regular diet. Another study of women who had completed treatment for early stage breast cancer conducted by researchers at Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) found that women with the highest blood concentrations of carotenoids had the least likelihood of cancer recurrence.

9.  They are versatile.

Try them roasted, puréed, steamed, baked, or grilled. You can add them to soups and stews, or grill and place on top of leafy greens for a delicious salad. I enjoy grilling them with onions and red peppers for amazing sandwich or wrap ingredients.  Puree them and add to smoothies and baked goods.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD. is the author of The Life Force Diet

Related:
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Spicy Sweet Potato Patties
Sweet Potato Fries
15 Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes

598 comments

Marija M
Marija M24 days ago

tks

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Sharon B
Sharon B27 days ago

thanks

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Ingrid H
Ingrid Habout a month ago

Thank you

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Clare O'Beara
Clare Oabout a month ago

So, Care2, why two ads for sex articles under an article about sweet potatoes in your diet? The heavy pushing of sex articles at me really feels like harassment by now as I have asked you to stop many times. Please set up an opt-in facility for your sex articles ads. I have no intention of ever looking at them so you would do better to advertise to me something else.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare Oabout a month ago

I like that they take less cooking time than ordinary potatoes.

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Danuta W
Danuta Wabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing

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One Heart inc
One Heart incabout a month ago

Thanks!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cABVKIPk_u0

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Peggy B
Peggy Babout a month ago

TYFS

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Kimberly W
Kimberly Wallaceabout a month ago

TY

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Sue H
Sue H1 months ago

Thanks for re posting this article. Beautiful photos.

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