4 Reasons Why You Should Eat Sweet Potatoes

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sweet potatoes are popular eats around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

It feels like something is missing if there is no sweet potato pie, sweet potato souffle, and candied yams (not the same as sweet potato) for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Did you know that the sweet potato is one of the healthiest true roots that you can eat?

Eat sweet potatoes year round, not just on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day because they are nutritious and have health benefits that you do not want to miss.

History of the Sweet Potato

The sweet potato has been one of the most popular foods of tropical and subtropical countries for centuries.  They are native to Central America and is one of the oldest vegetables known.  There is evidence from relics that date back 10,000 years, that they were consumed since prehistoric times.

Columbus and his men were fed boiled roots by the natives of the West Indies.  This new food was carried back to Spain, and from there was introduced to European countries.  De Soto found sweet potatoes growing in the gardens of the Indians who lived in the territory that is now called Louisana.

During the Civil War, troops short of food found they could live indefinitely on sweet potatoes alone.  The Japanese in Okinawa could have not held out as long as they did if they had not been able to raid sweet potato patches at night.

Do Not Skip Eating Sweet Potatoes

Many people skip eating sweet potatoes or any potato for that matter, because they think  the potato will make them fat.  Potatoes do not make you fat; it is the preparation of those potatoes that makes the difference.

Do not eat your potatoes fried and do not load the potato with tons of butter, sugar and sour cream.  It is what you add to the potato that makes you fat and not the potato itself.

The sweet potato is one of the healthiest potatoes that you can eat.  They offer many health benefits that you do not want to miss.  They not only offer health benefits, but they are also one of the most budget friendly vegetables that you can buy.

Here four reasons why should you should eat sweet potatoes all year round:

1.  Sweet potatoes have antioxidant nutrients.  Antioxidant nutrients help prevent or slow the oxidative damage to the cells in your body.  These antioxidants enhance the immune system which help lower your risk of cancer and infection.

2.  Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory nutrients.    Anti-inflammatory nutrients help prevent inflammatory health problems.  Health problems associated with inflammation are arthritis, gout, autoimmune disease, and more.

3.  Sweet potatoes have blood sugar benefits.  Helps improve blood sugar regulation.  The high soluble fiber content helps aid in lowering and regulating the blood sugar.  If you are diabetic, the sweet potato is the best potato you can eat.

4.  Sweet potatoes are good for the digestive tract.  A good source of soluble dietary fiber which aids in helping move waste out of the system.  Good for the eliminative system.

Sweet Potato Nutrient Information

Sweet potato, raw, uprepared, 100.0 g

Source:  (USDA National Nutrient data base)

  • Water, 77.28 g
  • Energy, 86 kcal
  • Protein, 1.57 g
  • Total Lipid (fat), 0.05 g
  • Carbohydrate (by difference), 20.12 g
  • Fiber (total dietary), 3.0 g
  • Sugars (total), 4.18 g
Minerals Nutrient Value
Calcium 30 mg
Iron 0.61 mg
Magnesium 25 mg
Phosphorous 47 mg
Sodium 55 mg
Zinc 0.30 mg

 

Vitamins Nutrient Value
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 2.4 mg
Thiamin 0.078 mg
Riboflavin 0.061 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.209 mg
Folate 11 ug (micro-grams)
Vitamin AVitamin A (RAE) 14187 IU709 ug
Vitamin E 0.26 mg
Vitamin K 1.8 ug

 

Lipids Nutrient Value
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.018 g
Fatty acids, total monosaturated 0.001 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.014
Cholesterol 0 mg

If you have problems viewing the video below, please click here.

Information Source

Foods That Heal

(http://www.whfoods.com)

(http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sweet_potato.html)

(http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/)

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

4 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Trinity says:

    I love baked sweet potatoes. I knew they were nutritious, but I didn’t know about the anti-inflammatory properties.

  2. msfullroller says:

    I love eating sweet potatoes as a sweet snack. I can’t wait ’til it cools off sl I can star back eating them again.

    You’ve inspired me to do a post sharing how I prepare them.

    • Evelyn says:

      Hey Msfullroller,

      There’s nothing better than a warm sweet potato plain or loaded. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing how your prepare them and for the mention. Quick and easy, we can’t beat that.

      Take care,

      Evelyn

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