WellWell caught some grief in November for a piece we ran on the taste and nutritional differences of various potatoes because the listing did not include sweet potatoes. There was a good reason they were left out. Sweet potatoes aren’t really potatoes. Yes, like traditional potatoes they do grow in the ground, but that’s where the similarities end. This, of course, in no way diminishes the worth of regular spuds or sweet potatoes. Both have a lot going for them. Sweet potatoes may even have a leg up on their cousins in-name-only. Read on and find out.
The purple-fleshed sweet potato is believed to be effective in the fight against cancer. This variation of the sweet potato appears to particularly inhibit breast, gastric and colon cancer. The vegetable’s high anthocyanin is probably the reason behind its anti-cancer properties.
As a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, sweet potatoes improve gut health. In fact, they hold about 6.5 grams of fiber per cup of cooked flesh and skin. Soluble fiber, like the pectin in sweet potatoes, also helps increase feelings of satiety. This can encourage individuals to eat less, while also enjoying bowel regularity and fewer instances of constipation.
Eating sweet potatoes is a good way to maintain healthy blood sugar levels because of their low glycemic index. One study even suggested that sweet potatoes improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for people with type II diabetes. Want to learn more? Click here for fruits to eat and avoid for diabetics).
These “potatoes” are loaded with vitamins A, C, and E, all of which are great for boosting healthy skin and hair. These vitamins not only support healthy aging, but they can also repair damage from UV light exposure.
Sweet potatoes are great immune system boosters—and that’s critical for helping the body defend against numerous problems. They are not only high in antioxidants and vitamins, but they also provide significant dollops of manganese, magnesium and phosphorus, all of which can strengthen immune systems.
Cells need folic acid to growth and sweet potatoes provide it. This is especially important for pregnant women and the healthy development of their babies.
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