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The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

By Sara Butler

If you ask any random person on the street if sweet potatoes are healthy, you'll probably be met with a resounding "Yes!" In this case, they'd be correct. These tubers should get a very enthusiastic two thumbs up from anyone who is concerned about their health and nutrition. Need more convincing? Here are just a few of the many health benefits of sweet potatoes.

They're High in Vitamins A and C

Just one cup of sweet potatoes provides you with almost half of the Vitamin C your body needs per day to stay healthy. That same cup offers you over 400 percent of the Vitamin A your body needs to help support immune function. It's a good thing sweet potato season coincides with cold and flu season -- your immune system needs the help!

They're Full of Antioxidants

Every day your body is bombarded by free radicals. These free radicals attack you on a cellular level and the antioxidants in sweet potatoes can help your body to protect itself and keep your cells healthy. If you want an extra boost, choose purple sweet potatoes. These have a particularly potent form of antioxidants that help you stay healthy.

They're a Great Anti-Inflammatory Food

Chronic inflammation is a big problem for your health. Researchers are beginning to understand now how much chronic inflammation contributes to the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Sweet potatoes contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds that help to reduce inflammation in the body.

They're Good for Your Blood Sugar

The goal of everyone should be to keep their blood sugar levels consistent. Eating sweet potatoes helps you with that since they're a slowly released starch that doesn't spike insulin levels or blood sugar. The 6 grams of fiber you get in each cup of sweet potatoes helps them to be digested slower, which helps you feel fuller for longer, too.

They Help Regulate Blood Pressure

If you consume one cup of sweet potatoes with skin, you're getting about 950 grams of potassium -- twice as much as you'll find in a medium banana. Potassium helps to regulate fluid in the body, getting rid of extra sodium that can cause you to hold onto fluid in the process. This can help reduce strain on your heart and kidneys as well as help lower your blood pressure.

You should have about 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day -- but most Americans get less than 2 percent of that.

Add some more sweet potatoes to your diet and reap the benefits to your health!

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

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