1. At the top of the list is the fact that sweet potatoes contain large amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein, which help protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals. According to WebMed, com: An apple slice turns brown. Fish becomes rancid. A cut on your skin is raw and inflamed. All of these result from a natural process called oxidation. It happens to all cells in nature, including the ones in your body. The body fights free radicals with substances that neutralize them. Think Vitamin C and E as well as beta carotene and to a lesser degree – lutein. These antioxidants fight inflammatory problems like arthritis, asthma and a host of other bodily annoyances.
2. Diabetics must follow a low carbohydrate diet and sweet potatoes are a great alternative to the white foods such as white potatoes, rice, refined wheat and sugar. Sweet potatoes are fibrous roots that actually help regulate your blood sugar level and they are known to prevent resistance to insulin. Ever tried a slice of sweet potato pie? Yummm …
3. As I mentioned above, sweet potatoes are a fibrous root, which means an abundance of dietary fiber. Fiber in the diet is a suggested cholesterol preventative that provides numerous benefits to the digestive tract as well. Some studies suggest that the fibrous content of sweet potatoes prevents constipation and may even help in the prevention of colon cancer.
4. While many people depend on supplements to make up for limitations in their regular diet, but sweet potatoes are literally jam-packed with some of the most important vitamins and other nutrients-all of which are major boosters of our body's immune system.
5. Ecver surprised what folate is necessary for? Well if you are trying to get pregnant or you are pregnant, then folate is a must to help with healthy development of fetal cells and tissue.
6. Sweet potatoes are considered vital in the quest for methods for preventing heart disease. The sweet potato is high in the essential mineral – potassium. The task of potassium is that it fills a maintenance role by establishing and maintaining the fluid / electrolyte balance. Good electrolyte balance stabilizes your blood pressure and heart function.
7. Another bonus provided by the potassium content is its ability to prevent muscle cramps like the Charley Horse we sometimes experience in the middle of the night. Potassium also gives us an energy boost when your lifestyle includes proper exercise. The added potassium will result in fewer physical injuries during exercise and a reduced frequency of muscle cramps.
8. Although the FDA will not come right out and say it (nor will the major drug companies) sweet potatoes are good for treating stress-related symptoms. The body functions tend to burn a lot of potassium and other important minerals during stressful episodes. This wonderful root provides many important minerals that will help maintain that electrolyte balance throughout the body during stressful times.
9. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the lowly sweet potato ranks highest in nutrition among all vegetables. Now that really says a lot. Imagine one vegetable that is an abundant source in dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates, natural sugar, protein, Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and carotenoids.
10. And best of all-these sweets are abundant in the marketplace and therefore are low in cost.
Sweet potatoes vs. Yams: Do not confuse the two. They are two totally different vegetables. Yams are native to Asia and Africa. They grow best in tropical regions. Yams are dark (almost black) skinned with a white or reddish purple flesh. We are often confused about these two vegetables because of government interference, but as usual, the government can not always be counted on to get it right.