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Healthy and Versatile Sweet Potatoes

By Amy Silva

Sweet potatoes are considered a superfood and come in various colors such as yellow, purple, white and brown. They contain antioxidants that are found in some vitamins and minerals and may have health benefits. Sweet potatoes are often thought to be the same vegetable as yams, but they aren't related. A lot of people associate them with Thanksgiving since that's a popular time of year for eating sweet potato pie, but there are plenty of recipes that make them a great choice to include in your diet all year long.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients our bodies need such as Vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin C, iron, fiber, and folate, among others. The vitamins and minerals found in sweet potatoes may help give your immunity a boost and reduce inflammation, which could help those who are trying to lose weight. It's possible they can even lower the risk of certain cancers, such as lung cancer, because of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Beta carotene is also good for eye health. Sweet potatoes could help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol that might lower the risk of heart disease.

Sweet Potatoes Are Versatile

Replacing regular potato fries with sweet potato fries is a fun twist and adds a hint of sweetness. Sweet potatoes can be also be used in place of your regular mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and soups and stews. They can be chopped and included in wraps and quesadillas for variety and made into the popular sweet potato pie. Cooking is simple because you can use various methods. These include baking, boiling, frying, slow cooking, microwaving to save time, or if you have newer gadgets such as an air fryer or instant pot, those work as well.

Simple Sweet Potato Recipe

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Optional herbs and spices to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a glass baking dish with non-stick spray or use a non-stick baking sheet. Wash, peel, and cut the sweet potatoes into medium chunks and add them to the baking dish or sheet. Turn the pieces to coat them in the olive oil on them and add the salt, pepper and optional herbs and spices to taste. Bake for about an hour or until they are soft, turning after 30 minutes.

Adding sweet potatoes to your diet could improve your health and may help prevent certain diseases. There are many types of food dishes from savory to sweet that use sweet potatoes, and there are various cooking methods to prepare them.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hayward, Calif.

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