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for Life - Caribbean - Sweet Potatoe
Here are six benefits of sweet potatoes, along with some
simple ways to healthfully incorporate sweet potatoes into
your everyday meals, snacks, and treats.
Sweet potatoes grow well in Barbados and will be a
part of our Food For Life Barbados initiative.
They're a good source of vitamins C and A
One cup of baked sweet potato provides nearly half of your daily
vitamin C needs. The same portion also supplies 400%(!) of your
recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Both nutrients are vital
for supporting immune function, which is especially important during
cold and flu season. Vitamin A is also key for maintaining healthy
skin, vision, and organ function.
A serving of sweet potato delivers a third of your need for manganese,
a mineral that helps produce collagen and promote skin and bone
health. You'll also get between 15 and 30% of several energy-supporting
B vitamins and minerals, including potassium.
Sweet Potatoes are antioxidant powerhouses
Vitamins A and C also function as antioxidants that protect cells
against aging and disease. For even more antioxidants, choose purple
sweet potatoes. The pigment that gives them their gorgeous hue has
particularly potent antioxidant properties.
We’ve long known that unchecked, low-grade inflammation raises
the risk of nearly every chronic disease, including obesity, type
2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Natural anti-inflammatory
compounds in sweet potatoes have been shown to quell inflammation
at the cellular level: Research done on animals has shown reduced
inflammation in brain tissue and nerve tissue after purple sweet
potato extract consumption.
They don't cause blood sugar spikes
Some may regard sweet potatoes as too starchy, but their high fiber
content makes them a slow burning starch—meaning they won’t
spike blood sugar and insulin levels. One cup of baked sweet potato
provides about 6 grams of fiber, which is more than a quarter of
the daily recommended minimum.
Sweet potatoes help regulate blood pressure
One cup of sweet potato baked in its skin provides 950 mg of potassium.
That’s more than twice the amount in a medium banana. Potassium
essentially sweeps excess sodium and fluid out of the body, which
lowers blood pressure and reduces strain on the heart. Potassium
also helps regulate heart rhythm and muscle contractions. According
to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, less than
2% of Americans meet the daily recommended potassium target of 4,700
They may help support weight loss
About 12% of the starch in sweet potatoes is resistant starch,
a filling, fiber-like substance your body doesn’t digest and
absorb. One study found that replacing just 5.4% of total carbohydrate
intake with resistant starch resulted in a 20 to 30% increase in
fat burning after a meal. Resistant starch also prompts the body
to pump out more satiety-inducing hormones.
Information sourced from www.health.com