Sweet potatoes are a traditional holiday staple, but add these nutritious, naturally sweet treats to your meals throughout the whole year. Sweet potatoes can be found in your local markets throughout the year.
The sweet potato is orange or yellow inside, and its skin may be white, yellow, orange, red or even purple. There is often confusion between sweet potatoes and yams. The orange-colored, root vegetable that is often called a “yam” is actually a sweet potato.
Here's the latest news on sweet potatoes’ surprising benefits:
Sweet potatoes contain unique root storage proteins that have been shown to have significant antioxidant abilities. According to one study, these proteins had about 1/3 the antioxidants of glutathione - one of the body's internally produced antioxidants. Although further studies are needed, these root proteins may help explain sweet potatoes' healing properties.
Sweet potatoes are chock full of traditional nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), a good source of vitamin C, a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron as well as manganese.
Since these nutrients also have anti-inflammatory properties, they can be helpful in reducing asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, all of which involve inflammation.
In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, which is needed to convert homocysteine, an interim product created during an important chemical process in cells called methylation, into other benign molecules. Since high homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, having a little extra vitamin B6 on hand is a good idea.
Among root vegetables, sweet potatoes offer the lowest glycemic index rating. That’s because the sweet potato digests slowly, causing a more gradual rise in blood sugar than other root vegetables. Many of the most popular diets have already moved sweet potatoes to the “good carb” list.
Sweet potatoes have healing properties due to the abundant antioxidants. Both vitamin C and beta-carotene and are strong antioxidants that work with the body to eliminate what are called free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that damage cells and cell membranes and are associated with the development of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, and colon cancer. This may explain why beta-carotene and vitamin C have both been shown to be helpful in warding off these conditions.
Vitamin C has been associated with an increase in blood levels of “good” cholesterol, which lowers the risk of heart disease, and a decrease in the levels of “bad” cholesterol, which raises the risk.
An excellent cholesterol supplement that does include many of these important natural ingredients is Cholesterol Complete™ (click here to view). It’s a powerful all-natural formula that targets both types of cholesterol; LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL is the cholesterol you should be most concerned with, it is the “bad” cholesterol that clogs arteries and raises blood pressure. HDL is the “good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL from the body and reduces the risks of heart attack and stroke. This formula can get excellent results (often 40 pts. in 40 days!).