Sweet potatoes: A superfood?

Sweet potatoes are not only tasty, but are highly nutritious and a single medium-size sweet potato contains about 400 per cent of our daily requirement of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant, which gives fruits and vegetables their vibrant colour. And, studies show that foods rich in beta-carotene can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and may also be able to delay ageing.They are also high in fibre and potassium. So, read on to find out more about what makes this particular spud a superfood.

Sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index scale, making them the perfect food for people suffering from diabetes and insulin resistance. Since sweet potatoes are high in fibre they may be able to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.

Research shows that since they are high in vitamin C, they boost the body’s immunity and keep disease at bay. Sweet potatoes are also high in the nutrient choline, which is important for muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline is also required by the body to help maintain the structure of cellular membranes, assist in the absorption of fat and reduce chronic inflammation.

Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin D, which is critical energy levels, moods and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, teeth, and supports the function of the thyroid gland. They also contain iron, which is needed by the body for the production of both red and white blood cells, resistance to stress, proper im­mune functioning, and metabolising of protein.

Since sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, they may help protect the skin against sun damage, and encourage the production of collagen, which is needed for healthy, glowing skin.

REVOFIT TAKE: While sweet potatoes pack a nutritional punch if eaten in moderation, they are high in carbohydrates (about 23 grams per medium sweet potato). So, if you are following a high protein, low carb diet, you may want to stay clear of these sweet spuds. Also, if you are suffering from kidney stones, you best avoid them, as they contain oxalate, which contributes to the forming of calcium-oxalate kidney stones.

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