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When thinking about sweet potatoes, most people will envision the ooey gooey, marshmallow-covered, candied concoction served at many Thanksgiving tables. It might surprise you that not only is the sweet potato a superior spud to its white counterpart, but it is also one of the healthiest foods of all time according to Time. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals that aid in everything from eye health to heart and muscle function. Here are five reasons why you should load up your plate with these super tubers.
beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects against cell damage and has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers according to Medical News Today. Beta-Carotene is also converted into Vitamin A in our bodies, which is essential for good eye health.Beta-carotene/vitamin A: Most people are probably familiar with the orange color of sweet potatoes. Although not all sweet potatoes are orange, they are high in
>> Check out this recipe for Slow Cooker Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Vitamin B6: B6 is an important nutrient for everyone as it aids in metabolizing carbs, fats and protein and protects against degenerative diseases. It is especially important for pregnant women and nursing mamas. According to Baby Center, B6 is important to developing your baby’s brain and nervous system and helps to form new red blood cells, neurotransmitters and antibodies. Not only that, it makes a great first baby food according to the Wholesome Baby Food Guide.
Potassium: Sweet potatoes are high in potassium. Potassium is crucial to muscle strength and heart health and helps your nerves function. (via Women’s Health) A baked sweet potato contains more potassium than a banana. Yum! Avoiding muscle cramps and fatigue is important for those daily workout sessions.
The sweet taste: Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, so you don’t need all that brown sugar, butter and marshmallows. That makes them an ideal snack for those of us with just a little bit of a sweet tooth. Okay, maybe not so little. An added bonus to their sweet taste is that they’re a great source of soluble fiber for diabetics which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar.
They’re versatile: Sweet potatoes are the kings of versatility. They can be baked, boiled, roasted, steamed, mashed and pureed. They can be added to soups, salads, sandwiches and smoothies. You can have them at any time of day in breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dish or dessert. There really is no end to what you can do with these super tubers! That’s what makes them my favorite vegetable.
>> Click here for more than 30 ways to cook with sweet potatoes.