Are you looking for a way to jazz up your standard dinner recipes? Are you concerned that the foods you’re currently eating aren’t as nutrient-dense as you’d like for them to be?
Are you on the hunt for foods that pack a serious punch when it comes to health benefits, but are also actually enjoyable to eat?
If so, then it sounds like sweet potatoes may be the food you’ve been searching for.
But what do you need to know about sweet potato nutrition and your diet?
Sweet potatoes aren’t only delicious. They’re also packed with an incredible amount of vitamins and other nutrients that can help your body to function at its best.
What are the specifics of sweet potato nutrition, and why is it such a smart idea to make them a regular feature of your paleo diet?
Keep on reading this post to find out.
Sweet Potato Nutrition: The Basics
Before we get into the specific health benefits of sweet potatoes, let’s talk a little about the general nuts and bolts of sweet potato nutrition.
The average sweet potato contains only about 100 calories. It also comes with about 20 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and close to 20% of your overall potassium requirement for the day.
Sweet potatoes also contain a good amount of vitamin C, magnesium, and niacin.
In addition to all of that, it gives you a seriously high amount of vitamin A — over 400% more than the average amount you should get in a day.
When it comes to some of the most popular ways to cook sweet potatoes, the sky is pretty much the limit. Our favorite is the skillet sweet potato recipe on our site.
Now that you know a little bit more about general sweet potato nutrition, and how they can be prepared?
Let’s get into the specifics of the health benefits that sweet potatoes have to offer.
1. You’ll Get More Vitamin C
As we mentioned in our overview of sweet potato nutrition, this food is absolutely packed with vitamin C.
But what can vitamin C do for your body, and why is it so important?
First of all, it does wonders to boost your immune system. We know that you’ll do anything to avoid the kind of cold that sneaks up on you and doesn’t really go away until flu season is over. Make sweet potatoes a part of your diet during cold and flu season, and you’ll see some serious improvement.
But vitamin C won’t just keep you feeling good — it will also help you to look your best.
There’s a reason why vitamin C is the secret ingredient in so many beauty creams and serums these days. It actively helps to boost your body’s natural collagen production, which keeps your skin looking youthful and bright.
It even helps to ward off levels of depression and anxiety (again, this is why sweet potato nutrition is key to consider during winter months.)
Some medical professionals even believe that vitamin C can help to lower your risk of having a stroke.
2. Sweet Potatoes Are Packed With Antioxidants
Another important part of sweet potato nutrition?
These beautiful spuds are an awesome and delicious way to up your antioxidant intake.
But why are antioxidants so good for you in the first place?
First of all, they help to eliminate the presence of free radicals within your body. Not only does this keep your immune system strong, it also helps you to fight off serious chronic conditions and diseases.
This is because the antioxidants work to keep the cells within your body functioning effectively. Especially if you worry that you’re at an increased risk for developing diabetes, you should make sweet potatoes a regular part of your diet.
Another reason why sweet potatoes have such a high antioxidant count?
Because they contain beta-carotene, which is actually what makes the potatoes orange in color. This is a kind of antioxidant that can help you to keep your vision going strong and even improve your overall skin health.
So, if you’re looking to get rid of redness and skin irritation? Eat sweet potatoes with more regularity.
3. They’ll Help You To Lose Weight
If you’re among the over half of Americans that are interested in losing weight, then you likely already know that it’s diet, not exercise, that really helps you to drop a few pounds.
Of course, in between work, taking care of your kids, and trying to find a few moments to yourself throughout the day? Making a commitment to cook and eat healthy meals can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.
The good news?
Sweet potato nutrition can help — and it doesn’t require you to spend long hours on the treadmill.
First of all, sweet potato nutrition is an effective part of a healthy weight loss plan because of its high fiber content. Note: when attempting to maintain in Ketosis, Sweet Potatoes are too high in carbs. Foods that are high in fiber work to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Not only does this mean that you won’t reach for unhealthy foods when you’re hungry, it also means your overall energy levels will increase.
Additionally, sweet potato nutrition can also help you to boost your metabolism. This is an awesome way to shed a few pesky pounds without feeling like you need to starve yourself to make it happen.
4. They’ll Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Another huge benefit of sweet potato nutrition?
It will help you to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
High blood sugar levels don’t only increase your risk of developing complications due to things like diabetes, they can also increase your risk of high blood pressure and a heart attack.
If you already have diabetes and are looking for foods to help keep you healthy?
Try the Caiapo sweet potato, which can help to boost your overall insulin sensitivity. This type of sweet potato works to ensure that your body is able to properly turn sugar into energy within your body’s tissues.
Plus, their high fiber content will also help you to avoid those annoying crashes after eating too much sugar, which means you won’t have to deal with that mid-afternoon energy zap.
5. They Can Help To Boost Your Mood
Believe it or not, many of the foods that we eat every day have a direct impact on our overall mood and general mental health.
Sweet potato nutrition is certainly no exception. And whether you’ve been officially diagnosed with depression or anxiety, or if you just haven’t been feeling like yourself lately, they can help.
How does it work?
It’s all thanks to the high levels of magnesium contained in sweet potatoes. Magnesium has been proven to help to reduce levels of stress and promote a sense of calmness.
This is because magnesium also helps to promote better and more regular nerve function, which can help to keep your mood more stable.
Additionally, sweet potatoes contain a high amount of iron. If you currently don’t get enough iron, you run the risk of seeing the impacts on your mental health. Plus, getting enough iron also helps to keep your white blood cell count where it needs to be.
We think the promise of sweet potato french fries has the potential to cheer just about anyone up.
6. They Contain High Levels Of Vitamin D
Another reason why sweet potato nutrition is such a wonderful addition to your diet?
Because this fabulous food helps to promote the levels of vitamin D in your body.
Why is vitamin D so important, you might ask?
First of all, it’s essential for those who are beginning to get a little bit older. As we age, our general bone density levels become weaker. This can lead to an increased risk for developing conditions like arthritis and even osteoporosis.
Luckily, vitamin D actively works to strengthen your bones and to keep the muscles and tissues surrounding them functioning properly. In some cases, vitamin D can even lead to an overall increase in bone density levels!
Vitamin D also helps you to keep your teeth healthy. Especially if you’ve had issues with gum disease in the past (or if you just haven’t taken the best care of your teeth?)
Vitamin D will be an essential part of your diet.
7. They’ll Help You To Protect Your Heart
Are you concerned about a history of heart disease in your family?
Do you maintain a healthy lifestyle, but still worry about whether or not your overall cardiovascular health is really where it should be?
Have you struggled with high cholesterol and blood pressure?
If so, then sweet potato nutrition may be able to help you.
First of all, the high levels of potassium contained in sweet potatoes work to keep your heartbeat much more regular. Especially if you have a condition like a heart flutter, try adding sweet potatoes to your diet.
Sweet potatoes also contain high levels of vitamin B6, which is especially well known for its ability to promote a healthy heart. This is because vitamin B6 helps to fight against an excessive production of what’s known as homocysteine.
If you have too much of this chemical in your body, you’re at an increased risk of having a heart attack.
Plus, because they have a high satiety rating, sweet potatoes will help you to fight off the urge to chow down on all those unhealthy foods!