Sweet potatoes can be prepared in a wide variety of delicious ways. Go ahead and enjoy that sweet potato pie or fries because it will do a lot of health promoting effects to your body.
The skin and flesh of the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) may come in colors of white, cream, yellow, orange and pink to deep purple depending on their variety. You can make them into candies, pies, fry them, bake them, steam or boil. Whatever way you want to prepare these nutritious root crops they are always deliciously filling.
Despite the name “sweet,” it is not a no-no for diabetics as studies revealed that sweet potatoes in fact help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance.
Sweet potatoes are one of the highest sources of Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, the best known carotenoid. Carotenoids are what give the red, yellow and orange colors of fruits and vegetables their bright hues. Vitamin A is a potent booster of the immune system, and is commonly known as an important nutrient for healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissues, mucous membranes and skin. It is also an antioxidant which protects cells from damage. Choose darker colored (orange) sweet potato for higher beta-carotene content.
One cup of sweet potatoes is a very good source of Vitamin C, an essential nutrient needed for tissue growth and repair, faster wound healing, and repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth. Vitamin C is also one of the potent antioxidants which help reduce the damage to the body caused by toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke.
Sweet potatoes are rich in manganese, a mineral necessary for healthy bones, normal brain and nerve function, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Research have shown that manganese may be beneficial in increasing fertility and also helps slow down the degenerative process of the body, thus delaying aging.
Eating sweet potatoes can also supply the body a good amount of fiber, vitamin B6, iron, the blood-pressure slashing potassium, and copper, a mineral needed to make an enzyme that keeps arteries from hardening.
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