Many people ask me if sweet potatoes are actually good for you. The health benefits of sweet potatoes offer some pretty impressive health perks. This isn’t surprising considering their name suggests they’re sugar-and-starch bombs.
Even though I’m a big believer in the low carb keto lifestyle, I still enjoy a small portion of carbs. Sweet potatoes are a great way to enjoy some carbs vs eating sugary desserts.
Here are some benefits of sweet potatoes, along with some simple ways to healthfully incorporate sweet potatoes into your everyday meals.
Sweet Potatoes Are A Good Source of Vitamins C and A
One cup of baked sweet potato provides nearly half of your daily vitamin C needs. The same portion also supplies 400% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
Both nutrients are vital for supporting immune function, which is especially important during cold and flu season. Vitamin A is also key for maintaining healthy skin, vision, and organ function.
A serving of sweet potato delivers a third of your need for manganese, a mineral that helps produce collagen and promote skin and bone health.
You’ll also get between 15 and 30% of several energy-supporting B vitamins and minerals, including potassium (more on this below).
We’ve long known that unchecked, low-grade inflammation raises the risk of nearly every chronic disease, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Natural anti-inflammatory compounds in sweet potatoes have been shown to quell inflammation at the cellular level.
Research done on animals has shown reduced inflammation in brain tissue and nerve tissue after purple sweet potato extract consumption.
Sweet Potatoes Are Antioxidant Powerhouses
Vitamins A and C also function as antioxidants that protect cells against aging and disease. For even more antioxidants, choose purple sweet potatoes.
The pigment that gives them their gorgeous hue has particularly potent antioxidant properties.
Don’t Cause Blood Sugar Spikes
Some may regard sweet potatoes as too starchy, but their high fiber content makes them a slow-burning starch, meaning they won’t spike blood sugar and insulin levels.
One cup of baked sweet potato provides about 6 grams of fiber, which is more than a quarter of the daily recommended minimum.
Regulate Blood Pressure
One cup of sweet potato baked in its skin provides 950 mg of potassium. That’s more than twice the amount in a medium banana.
Potassium also helps regulate heart rhythm and muscle contractions. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, less than 2% of Americans meet the daily recommended potassium target of 4,700 mg.
May Help Support Weight Loss
About 12% of the starch in sweet potatoes is resistant starch, a filling, fiber-like substance your body doesn’t digest and absorb.
One study found that replacing just 5.4% of total carbohydrate intake with resistant starch resulted in a 20 to 30% increase in fat burning after a meal.
Resistant starch also prompts the body to pump out more satiety-inducing hormones.
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*Results represented in these images are specific to this individual and may not be representative of your results based upon your diet, exercise, lifestyle, and health factors.
I hope this article on the health benefits of sweet potatoes was helpful! If you have any questions about the information, please reach out.