Sweet potatoes are a great, nutritious addition to our winter diets. A Native American plant, sweet potatoes were a staple in the American diet long before the first settlers arrived in the 'New World.' They are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals easy to prepare with a creamy sweetness that makes them the perfect complement to fish and poultry, yet substantial enough to act as the star of a vegan meal!
And sweet potatoes are the perfect addition to your fitness regimen!
- A medium-sized sweet potato contains almost a third the vitamin C you need, your entire daily requirement of vitamin A, 15 percent of your daily dietary fiber, and 10 percent of recommended potassium.
- Sweet potatoes are the richest low-fat source of vitamin E and contributes to heart health. It can help to regulate high blood pressure and also helps anemia.
- The beta-carotene and vitamin C in sweet potatoes work together to rid the body of harmful free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage when reacting with DNA; antioxidants can lessen and repair damage caused by the free radical exchanges.
- Vitamins A and C are also anti-inflammatory, making sweet potatoes a great choice for preventing or relieving the symptoms of arthritis or asthma.
- The low glycemic index of sweet potatoes make them an excellent choice for diabetics. A low glycemic index allows the body to slowly absorb any gluclose, creating a slow, sustained rise in sugar levels and a gradual return to regular levels.
Their low glycemic index offers sustained energy throughout the day, have a significantly lower glycemic index compared to other starchy vegetables like peas and white potatoes. Additionally, working muscles require potassium to work at their best. Other potassium-rich foods to consider adding in your diet include bananas, apples, kale and mangoes.
Roast slowly in the oven or slice and steam to bring out their flavor while protecting important nutrients. Store in a cool, dark place, their sweetness increases during storage and when they are cooked!
Sweet potatoes ... a comfort food in disguise!