Some think that sweet potatoes are confined to Thanksgiving, but they are best enjoyed all throughout the holiday season! Stay tuned throughout the month of December to find new exciting was to prepare your sweet potatoes. I hope that for your next party or gathering you can bring along one of the recipes featured this month and share some of these wonderful health benefits with your loved ones!
Not only do sweet potatoes taste like dessert, but they provide some surprising health benefits. When adding this delicious tuber to your dinner plate, avoid buying sweet potatoes with soft skin, wrinkles, cracks or soft spots. You can store them in a cool, dry place for up to 3-5 weeks without loosing any flavor or spoilage.
Try them roasted, puréed, steamed, baked, or grilled. You can add them to soups and stews, or grill and place on top of leafy greens for a delicious salad. Puree them and add to smoothies and baked goods. Roasting sweet potatoes brings out their natural flavor. There is no need to add in marshmallow topping or loads of butter because sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet and creamy taste that can be enjoyed all on their own. To add a little spice without extra calories, try sprinkling on cinnamon, cumin or curry powder.
Heart Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes:
According to Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure (hypertension) can quietly damage your body for years before symptoms develop. Left uncontrolled, you may wind up with a disability, poor quality of life or even a fatal heart attack.
Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults are meeting the daily 4,700 mg recommendation for potassium. One medium sweet potato provides about 542 milligrams.
Immune Boosting Benefits of Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C. The most prominent role of vitamin C is its immune-stimulating effect which makes it important for defense against infections such as common colds. It also acts as an inhibitor of histamine, a compound that is released during allergic reactions.
While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essential to helping us cope with stress. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer.
Sweet potatoes also help fight stress by being a good source of magnesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the population in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.
Blood Sugar and Sweet Potatoes:
White potatoes, whether you have them mashed, baked, as french fries or potato chips, have a high glycemic index, which means that their carbohydrates are quickly turned into sugar, which elevates your blood sugar levels after your meal. The glycemic index of sweet potatoes is a lot lower, which is better for diabetes control, according to a 2002 article in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Eating sweet potatoes in moderate amounts will help you keep your blood sugar levels in the healthy range even if you have diabetes.
Sweet potatoes do not cause blood sugar spikes. They are naturally sweet-tasting but their natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue and weight gain.
So enjoy sweet potatoes as a staple of your diet! For more information on Sweet Potatoes check out these following source articles: