Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Don’t let their sweet nature fool you! Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and versatile food that can be enjoyed in many different ways.
We all love the sugary, caramelized flavor of sweet potatoes, but the benefits of sweet potatoes are what make sweet potatoes a welcome addition to your diet. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, vegetables and fruits, like sweet potatoes are associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, and may be protective against certain types of cancers.
If you have diabetes, you can also enjoy sweet potatoes as part of your overall healthy eating plan. Sweet Potatoes are considered a “Superfood for Diabetes” according to the American Diabetes Association. Be sure to discuss the best eating plan to help manage your diabetes with your healthcare professional.
Below is the scoop on what makes this spud spectacular:
Benefits of Sweet Potatoes:
- Vitamin A When eaten with the skin on, one medium sweet potato contains over 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, which plays a role in vision, bone development and immune function. For maximum absorption of vitamin A, be sure to pair your sweet potato with foods that contain some fat – such as a pat of butter or avocado.
- Fiber Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, which can contribute to feelings of satiety, or feeling “full” and can aid in digestion, by helping to help keep you regular. Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, and some types of cancer (a disease associated with many factors). A medium sweet potato baked in its skin has 4 grams of fiber, more than a packet of instant oatmeal.
- Potassium Sweet potatoes contain potassium. Diets containing foods that are a good source of potassium and that are low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
- Carbohydrates Sweet potatoes are made of complex carbohydrates that are released at a steady pace for a constant source of energy, so no sugar highs or lows to worry about.
- Low in Calories A medium sweet potato (approximately 2 inches in diameter and 5 inches in length) contains about 100 calories when baked in the skin.
The following is the USDA’s nutritional analysis of a medium sweet potato baked in its skin. For the complete analysis, visit the USDA website.