Sweet potato if often hailed as a superfood - and from the amount we use in our dishes, you can tell that we definitely agree! Let’s tackle the how and why this vegetable is so damn good for you. Sweet potatoes are underground tubers, rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene (which your body converts into the super awesome Vitamin A). Sweet potatoes are also packed with fibre, so not only are they delicious, they are super satiating too. If you’ve been thinking that carbs make you fat, think again, because sweet potatoes may actually help you reach your fat loss and muscle gain goals.
The Super Powers of the Sweet Potato...
Aids in Diabetes Prevention and Lowering Bad Cholesterol
Diabetes is characterised by the imbalance between insulin and blood sugar levels in the body. One type of sweet potato, called Caiapo, which has white skin and white flesh may aid in improving symptoms among type-2 diabetic patients. According to some studies, this sweet potato may decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and fasting glucose levels in the blood <4>, <5>.
Rich in fiber
Sweet potatoes are high in fibre, containing both soluble and insoluble types.They contain 15 to 23% of soluble fibre in the form of pectin, and 77 to 85% insoluble as cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose. Pectin helps increase satiety, which in turn, reduces your calorie intake and aids in fat loss <6>. It also brings down blood sugar spikes following a meal by slowing down the digestion of starches and sugars <7>.In addition, research shows that insoluble fibres may be linked to reduced diabetes risk and awesome gut health <8>, <9>.
Prevents vitamin A deficiency
Sweet potato is a fabulous source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in our bodies. Sweet potato that are orange in colour (it’s the beta-carotene that gives sweet potatoes their rich, orange/golden hue) have a greater ability to increase blood vitamin A levels compared to other food sources.
Helps prevent cancers
A diet rich in antioxidants is a surefire way of helping to keep some cancers at bay. Oxidative cellular damage is usually linked to increased cancer risk, and research confirms that antioxidants neutralise free radicals that cause this damage. Interestingly, studies show that purples sweet potatoes have three times as much antioxidant activity then certain types of blueberries, which are well known for their antioxidant powers <11>. The final word - sweet potatoes are the bomb! Healthy, cheap, and can be prepared in a million different ways (Nourish'd Chilli Cheese Fries anyone?)