Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious, easy to find, and might just be the best carbohydrate for weight loss. This highly nutritious root is from the morning glory family and shouldn't be confused with the common potato.
Besides being widely available and affordable, the sweet potato is versatile and can be prepared in many different ways. Here are the top health benefits of this amazing food:
1. They're high in fiber.
Feeling full on a lower calorie food can lead to a reduced intake of calories during the day, which can lead to weight loss.
2. They're full of vitamins and minerals.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, manganese, potassium, and biotin. They should be eaten with a source of fat for maximum absorption of the nutrients.
Sweet potatoes could also help developing countries combat nutritional deficiencies. In 36 sub-Saharan African countries, the estimated vitamin A deficiency is as high as 19.1 percent; the affordable sweet potato has the potential to prevent such deficiencies.
Sweet potatoes are also well-tolerated by a majority of people, and allergies to this vegetable are rare.
3. They are affordable AND nutritious.
In the scope of affordable nutrition, sweet potatoes rank at the top. The Nutrient Rich Food (NRF) Index scores food based on density of nutrition by gram, per calories, and by cost of each food.
Sweet potatoes ranked at the top, along with dark leafy green vegetables and deep yellow vegetables. Per unit of cost, sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritiously dense and affordable vegetables.
4. They don't spike blood sugar.
The sweet potato is also considered a low-GI (Glycemic Index) food, which means it doesn't spike blood sugar significantly when consumed. Spikes in blood sugar have been linked to weight gain and metabolic diseases.
5. They help with metabolic disease.
Sweet potatoes can increase the hormone adiponectin, which is produced by fat cells in our bodies. An increase in this hormone, which regulates blood glucose, improves insulin resistance and is great for regulating type 2 diabetes.
Another extract known as caiapo, found in white sweet potatoes, is also a promising type 2 diabetes treatment.
In Japan, people eat raw, white sweet potatoes to treat diseases like anemia, hypertension, and diabetes.
6. They reduce inflammation.
Phytonutrients in sweet potatoes (like anthocyanin compounds) can reduce inflammation.
There are many reasons that anti-inflammatory properties are important. Long-term inflammation, especially as we age and it becomes chronic, can lead to diseases like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
Sweet potatoes can also serve as a complementary medicine for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
7. They protect against certain types of cancer.
This superfood is not only easy to find, but it's also inexpensive, making it an ideal food for long-term weight loss and health.
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