Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes

It's not Thanksgiving. It isn't even November. So why on Earth are we talking about sweet potatoes? While most people only associate sweet potatoes with pies and casseroles around the holidays, they actually have a wealth of health benefits to offer us all year long.

Did you know that in 1943 the average American was consuming 21.5 pounds of sweet potatoes a year? Either they were baking some huge sweet potato pies, or they treated themselves to this delicious orange superfood on more than just a few special occasions. Today, that average number has decreased to a measly 4.5 pounds.

Due to their association with sugary dessert dishes and starchy potatoes, sweet potatoes often get a bad rap. Fortunately, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Sweet potatoes are bursting with vitamins, minerals, and all kinds of other goodies that your body desperately needs. Scroll down to read about the top six health benefits of sweet potatoes and learn why you should make them a year-round staple.

1. Weight Management

Mike Mozart

When you think of potatoes, one of the first words that probably comes to mind is "carbs." Carbohydrates have become synonymous with "unhealthy" for many eaters, but it turns out carbs are a lot more "complex" than we give them credit for. Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates due to the high amount of fiber contained in each one. Unlike regular carbs, these complex carbs burn way slower so that your body can make better use of them over time.


2. Heart Health

Amy Ross

Sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin B6, which helps our bodies break down a chemical known as homocysteine. This chemical is one of the factors that can contribute to hardened arteries that lead to serious health issues later in life. Plus, they lower blood sugar thanks to their potassium.

3. Prevent Diseases

Micah Sittig

When we talk about healthy foods, the term "antioxidant" gets thrown around pretty often ... but what does it mean? When a superfood like the sweet potato is high in antioxidants, that means that it contains molecules, like Vitamins C and E, that prevent the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a reaction that produces something called "free radicals," which can potentially damage cells in your body and lead to disease. On top of this, sweet potatoes carry beta-carotene, which has been known to help fight cancer.

4. Skin Protection


It's only fitting that one of the few veggies with skin is great when it comes to protecting your own. By eating just one sweet potato, you can supply your body with its daily amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays and produces collagen, the protein that keeps your skin looking young and healthy.


5. Eye Health

Gloria Cabada-Leman

Vitamin A is also helpful when it comes to keeping your eyes in tip-top shape. Risk decreases for both macular degeneration and loss of vision when you eat sweet potatoes.

6. Stress Relief


Sweet potatoes also contain Magnesium and Vitamin D, which have been known to contribute to more consistent moods, lower stress, and increased energy levels.

Check out the video below for a more detailed look at how sweet potatoes are an unexpectedly healthy food with a fascinating history!

H/T: watchsuperfoods

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