5 Sweet Facts About Sweet Potatoes

What sets sweet potatoes apart from other spuds? This Thanksgiving Day staple is more than just tasty—sweet potatoes are really good for you too! Read on to find out some sweet, surprising facts about sweet potatoes and why you can feel good about including them on your holiday table.

Sweet Potatoes

Reasons to be thankful for sweet potatoes

#1. Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources for beta-carotene, helping to boost our blood levels of vitamin A. In fact, once single sweet potato can contain 100% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin A! Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against certain cancers, including skin cancer. In addition to protecting your skin, it also helps your vision by reducing the risk of vision loss and macular degeneration. To get the full benefit, top your sweet potato with a small amount of real butter, sour cream, or extra virgin olive oil. Research shows adding a little fat to your sweet potato significantly boosts your body’s intake of beta-carotene and vitamin A.

#2. Sweet Potatoes make you beautiful. In addition to vitamin A, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C and vitamin E. These powerful antioxidants are vital to the health and beauty of your skin and hair, giving you a glowing complexion and healthy locks. Combined with beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are truly a beautiful food!

#3. Sweet potatoes contain almost twice the fiber when compared to other potatoes. Seven grams per serving to be exact! Foods high in fiber help keep you feeling fuller, longer. Fiber also benefits your digestive tract, and helps treat and prevent acid reflux (GERD), inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), and diverticulitis. Fiber also helps keep you regular, which is particularly helpful if you suffer from constipation.

#4. Sweet potatoes are heart-healthy. They contain large amounts of potassium, a natural electrolyte that helps lower blood pressure by eliminating sodium from the body. It also helps regulate heart rhythm and fluid balance, and helps maintain normal function of the brain and central nervous system. Sweet potatoes are also bursting with vitamin B6, which helps prevent the hardening of arteries and blood vessels.

#5. Sweet potatoes support healthy blood sugar. The trace mineral manganese found in sweet potatoes helps your body metabolize carbohydrates and stabilizes your blood sugar. In addition, sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, which can also help keep your blood sugar in the healthy range. White potatoes on the other hand have a high glycemic index, which means their carbs quickly turn into sugar, elevating your blood sugar levels after you eat them. By controlling your blood sugar, sweet potatoes also help control your appetite for hours. So unlike other carbs that offer temporary satiety, sweet potatoes stay with you!

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Resources:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64
http://www.webmd.com/diet/fiber-health-benefits-11/fiber-digestion
http://www.naturalnews.com/035739_sweet_potatoes_beta-carotene_nutrients.html
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/sweet-potatoes-good-diabetics-1614.html

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