5 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes – Photo credit: Eni Best

Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse, and for good reason. Once labelled as just another starchy carbohydrate, foods like sweet potatoes are now widely recognised as an important part of any diet. But what makes them such a “superfood”?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have identified sweet potatoes as one of the top sources of important vitamins and minerals. They are high in Vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision, and have high levels of Vitamin C, which helps to build a strong immune system.

Perhaps the best thing about sweet potatoes is their versatility. They can be baked, boiled, mashed, spiraled, roasted, or even used in a smoothie. Sweet potatoes can be added to soups, salads, side dishes, and even desserts. This makes sweet potatoes an easy and delicious way to add a nutritious punch to any meal.

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Here is a breakdown of the five health benefits of sweet potatoes:

A Nigerian Nutritionist, Dr Kemi Awofeso, has highlighted five outstanding health benefits of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are surprisingly nutritious and are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. Considering the high nutritional value of sweet potatoes, it is a wise health choice for anyone wishing to improve their overall well-being.

The first health benefit of sweet potatoes is their high beta-carotene levels. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant which helps protect the body from harmful free radicals. Sweet potatoes are one of the few vegetables that contain high levels of this antioxidant. In addition, the beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes can be converted into Vitamin A in the body, which is required for healthy vision, skin, and other cellular functions.

The second health benefit of sweet potatoes highlighted by Doctor Awofeso is their low glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food affects the blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, which means they don’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, helping to maintain energy levels and prevent extreme hunger.

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The third health benefit is the high fiber content of sweet potatoes. Fiber is essential for keeping the digestive system functioning properly. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system healthy and can reduce the risk of various health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

The fourth benefit is the abundance of essential vitamins and minerals that sweet potatoes provide. Sweet potatoes contain numerous vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Potassium, and Calcium. These vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy bodily functions and play a role in maintaining overall health.

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The fifth and final health benefit of sweet potatoes is the positive effects that they have on the immune system. Sweet potatoes contain high levels of Vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for a strong and healthy immune system. Vitamin C can help to reduce inflammation and protect the body from illness and disease.

In conclusion, sweet potatoes offer a variety of health benefits. Dr Awofeso has listed the five most important health benefits of sweet potatoes, including their high beta-carotene levels, low glycemic index, high fiber content, abundance of essential vitamins and minerals, and positive effects on the immune system. With all these health benefits, it is no wonder that sweet potatoes are a wise choice for anyone wishing to improve their overall well-being.

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