If you’re anything like me, some days you just crave a good starch: pasta, mashed potatoes, bread…you name it. Unfortunately, those foods are not especially valuable for long-term nutrition. They provide quick bursts of energy, but a crash is usually pretty imminent. Thankfully, there’s a healthier substitute that I think will satisfy your craving! Enter: the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes share many qualities with white potatoes, but with a healthier spin. Let’s take a look at 5 of the top health benefits that sweet potatoes have to offer:
Big On Beta Carotene
Sweet potatoes are packed with a carotenoid called Beta Carotene. Carotenoids are the pigments that give red, yellow, and orange produce their color. When consumed, the body converts a sweet potato’s Beta Carotene into Vitamin A. In fact, one big sweet potato provides 100% of the FDA’s daily recommended value of Vitamin A! As far as its practical benefit, Vitamin A is an essential antioxidant, playing a part in protecting the eyes from harmful and damaging free radicals, which can cause degenerative diseases. These antioxidants also promote healthy neurological function.
Rich in Vitamin B6
Sweet Potatoes are also rich in Vitamin B6, benefitting the nervous system and overall brain function. You may find that your memory and mental clarity improve with sufficient amounts of B6 woven into your diet! Vitamin B6 also helps the body turn carbohydrates into energy, while metabolizing protein.
Despite being starchy, sweet potatoes are very low in calories and are a source of protein. When relying on plants for protein, it is important to include variety to ensure that you receive all the essential amino acids that come with proteins. Try topping a cooked sweet potato with a handful of chopped walnuts!
I hate to shatter everything you’ve ever believed about bananas, but sweet potatoes actually pack more potassium per serving! Potassium is an important nutrient that helps nerves communicate with muscles, as well as aiding in the delivery of nutrients to cells. Taking on an intense workout? A sweet potato makes for a great pre-workout meal! It’ll give you the energy you need for your sweat-session, and help with recovery, too!
One cup of sweet potato provides around 5g of Dietary Fiber. Fiber plays an important role in keeping the colon healthy, while promoting regularity and overall digestive health. Fiber also has the ability to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels.
So…do you have a newfound appreciation for this festive veggie?! I’ll be honest and tell you what inspired me to write this blog, because I’m pretty excited about it! TODAY, we launched a brand new seasonal cold pressed juice. We knew that we wanted to create a recipe that captured the essence of Fall all in one bottle, while providing more nutrients than your typical #PSL. And we think we did just that! Harvest Roots features sweet potato, along with a cinnamony blend of orange, carrot, parsnip, and turmeric. Try a bottle today at any of our locations, and let us know what you think!
Shhh… Keep this on the down-low, but here’s a dessert recipe: Indulge a bit by baking a sweet potato and loading it up with a little brown sugar and honey. In fact, even melting a dab of butter will help convert more beta carotene to Vitamin A. It’s a delicious treat that won’t leave you feeling so guilty. Enjoy!