Sweet potatoes are one of the oldest vegetables in the world and the Center for Science in the Public Interest describes them as vegetables with a robust nutritional profile. There are two types of sweet potato: dry and moist.
Huge Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin B6, which is crucial in breaking down homocysteine, a compound which hardens the blood vessels.
High vitamin A and beta-carotene content in sweet potatoes promotes skin health as beta-carotene fight off free radical damage.
- Sweet potatoes contain a solid amount of potassium, which in turn prevents muscle cramps. Potassium also stabilizes blood pressure while antioxidants prevent inflammatory issues like asthma, gout, and arthritis.
- Sweet potatoes have a glycemic load of 17 as opposed to regular potatoes which have a glycemic load of 29, raising the blood sugar quickly by producing insulin in large quantities.
- This vegetable is an excellent source of iron, manganese, folate, copper, calcium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Moreover, only a cup of sweet potatoes provides 65 percent of the minimum RDA of vitamin C.
- As already mentioned, sweet potatoes are abundant in antioxidants which prevent inflammatory problems like gout, arthritis, and asthma.
While sweet potatoes can be found in grocery stores all year round, the season for fresh sweet potatoes is from October to January.
How to Store Sweet Potatoes
The shelf life of sweet potatoes is 1-2 weeks, as long as they are stored in cool and dark place.
How to Prepare Sweet Potatoes
Never boil sweet potatoes since this destroys their beneficial compounds. On the other hand, baking and steaming them boosts the bioavailability of beta-carotene.
The skin is highly beneficial and it has the most fiber content, so make sure you eat it. As a matter of fact, most of the healing properties of sweet potatoes are found in the skin. According to a recent research, boiling or steaming sweet potatoes keeps their glycemic index low.
Sweet Potato Benefits for Skin
Eating sweet potatoes on a regular basis can notably improve the health and the appearance of your skin due to its high beta-carotene content, a compound that turns into vitamin A in the body. It is a well-known fact that vitamin A stimulates the production of new skin cells.
Sweet Potato Scrub:
Make a paste by mixing half a cup of boiled sweet potatoes, a tablespoon organic coffee grounds, and a tablespoon of kefir.
Use this mixture as a scrub in the shower, following up with a coconut oil moisturizer.
Sweet Potatoes For Weight Loss
Sweet potatoes are useful for weight loss as they are low in calories, low on the glycemix index, high in potassium, and high in fiber.
And, according to the Mayo Clinic,
“Because low glycemic index foods are absorbed more slowly, they stay in your digestive tract longer. This is why these foods are sometimes called slow carbs. These foods may help control appetite and delay hunger cues, which can help with weight management. Balanced blood sugar also can help reduce the risk of insulin resistance.”