Sweet potatoes are amazing and at the moment are underappreciated, although recently they are getting more attention.
Fact: Did you know that the diet of highlanders in Papua New Guinea consists of 90% sweet potatoes and they had no signs of malnutrition or heart disease?
Compared to normal potatoes, sweet potatoes are a real “superfood”.
According to the USDA, if half your diet was solely baked sweet potatoes with no salt you would get all of the following nutrients (for 1000 calories of sweet potatoes):
- 36.7g of fiber – 150% of daily rec.
- 422mg of Calcium – 42% of daily rec.
- 300mg of Magnesium – 75% of daily rec.
- 5277mg of Potassium – 150% of daily rec.
- 218mg of Vitamin C – 360% of daily rec.
- 3.2 mg of Vitamin B6 – 159% of daily rec.
- 213512iu of Vitamin A – 4270% of daily rec.
Let’s face it, half your diet won’t be only sweet potatoes, but check these numbers again. Those are the numbers for one single food. One single vegetable and it even tastes delicious.
Besides all those nutrients, sweet potatoes also contain lots of anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-oxidantial nutrients, while at the same time they might also help you to regulate your blood sugar.
To get all the health benefits of sweet potatoes there are several things to watch out for, i.e. the cooking methods.
Steaming or baking sweet potatoes is usually the way to go since it increases the bioavailability of nutrients of the sweet potato.
Knowledge base: Bioavailability is the degree to which nutrients are absorbed from the foods and are available for normal body functions.
While cooking sweet potatoes might be an option for some people, usually, I advise against this since most of the nutrients will be lost in the water.
Peeled sweet potatoes are susceptible to oxidation, which will show itself with dark spots on their surface. That’s why it’s advised either to use them immediately after peeling or place them in water to prevent oxidation.
Since sweet potatoes contain a lot of beta-carotene, they contain even more than carrots, and beta-carotene is fat-soluble, it is good to eat some fat with your sweet potatoes. Grass-fed butter or olive oil are my favorite.
Maybe sweet potatoes are something you already eat on a regular basis and if you do you should definitely continue with that, but if you never made sweet potatoes in your life, it’s time to start with this now.
There are many recipes for sweet potatoes and you can even make fries out of them (which are delicious).
Don’t use them only as a thanksgiving treat, but use them more often in your diet. Your health will benefit from them!
Steps to take:
- Find a place where you can buy sweet potatoes.
- Make a meal with them, e.g. baked sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries.