If you’re looking for a healthy carbohydrate to add to your diet, look no further than the sweet potato. Not only are they sweet and delicious, they are also loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Sweet potato nutrition includes fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and more. Thanks to these nutrients, sweet potato benefits include the ability to stabilize blood sugar levels, boost brain function, support vision health, aid in weight loss and give the immune system a natural boost.
Sweet Potato Benefits
1. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Sweet potato benefits include the ability to naturally stabilize blood sugar levels, making them a great addition to a diabetic diet. Sweet potato nutrition has been studied extensively for its anti-diabetic properties. Research has shown that sweet potato consumption can help improve insulin sensitivity and fight high blood sugar levels. The fiber sweet potatoes contain works to prevent dips and spikes in blood sugar levels. (1)
2. Provides the Body with Antioxidants
Sweet potato benefits include the ability to provide the body with powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants work to protect the body from free radical damage. Sweet potato benefits include protection from heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other conditions. Sweet potato nutrition includes beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy vision. Studies have shown that purple sweet potatoes in particular contain the highest amount of antioxidants. (2)
3. Boosts Brain Function
Thanks to the antioxidants they contain, sweet potato benefits include the ability to boost brain health. A 2010 animal study found that purple sweet potato extract helped protect the brain against aging. The study also found that purple sweet potato nutrition helped to improve spatial learning and memory ability. Research suggests that sweet potato benefits include the ability to prevent oxidative damage in the brain, improve memory an enhance cognitive performance. (3)
4. Enhances Immunity
Sweet potato nutrition includes about 438% of the daily requirement of Vitamin A. Vitamin A plays an important role in helping the immune system fight off diseases and infections. Thanks to the Vitamin A it contains, sweet potato benefits include the ability to naturally boost the immune system and kill off harmful cells.
5. Promotes Vision Health
Sweet potato benefits include the ability to promote vision health. The Vitamin A abd beta-carotene in sweet potatoes work to maintain healthy vision. A Vitamin A deficiency is linked to dry eyes, night blindness and even vision loss. Beta-carotene is known to help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration to prevent vision loss.
6. Aids in Weight Loss
Sweet potato benefits include the ability to aid in weight loss, thanks to the many nutrients it contains. Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, which helps promote a feeling of fullness to reduce snacking and overeating. Studies suggest that adding sweet potatoes to a healthy, nutrient-dense diet can help boost weight loss. (4)
Sweet Potato vs. Yams
If you’ve ever confused yams with sweet potatoes, you’re not the only one. The two look and taste similar, but they have some slight differences. Sweet potatoes are believed to have originated in Central and South America, while yams are native to Africa and Asia. Sweet potatoes have smoother skin and tapered ends. They can be white, orange or purple. Yams have rough skin and taste slightly more dry, instead of sweet. Sweet potatoes also finish first when it comes to the most nutrient-dense of the two!