If you love sweet potatoes, I have some good news -- sweet potatoes love you back with their robust nutrition profile. They've got everything you need to round out a healthy meal, including fiber and loads of vitamins and minerals.
Orange and purple varieties give you even more antioxidants that help stop oxidation and keep you healthy and youthful, inside and out. While you might know they're a good-for-you option on your fall plate, you may learn a thing or two about sweet potatoes with these five benefits I'm going to share with you today.
1. They help your gut health
With plenty of fiber and antioxidants, your gut is happy when you eat sweet potatoes. With both types of fiber (soluble and insoluble), the good bacteria in your gut ferments it to create short-chain fatty acids and keep your intestinal lining strong. Antioxidants encourage more healthy gut bacteria to proliferate too, so enjoy those sweet potatoes.
2. They could help prevent illness
While more tests need to be conducted, the antioxidants in sweet potatoes, particularly anthocyanins, may be the key to slowing down the occurrence of illness. It's not confirmed, but science does know that these antioxidants have other beneficial health benefits for you, so it surely can't hurt to eat more of them.
3. They help you keep your eyes on the prize
Filled with beta-carotene, sweet potatoes help you keep your eyes healthy. Your body turns that beta-carotene into vitamin A so your eyes can stay healthy and youthful. Even the purple variety of sweet potatoes can be beneficial for your eye health.
4. Your brain will thank you
If you want to keep your mind healthy and young, eating more sweet potatoes could be the key even as you age. The anthocyanins that are so plentiful in the purple variety are ideal for reducing inflammation. All the antioxidants you get can help you reduce your cognitive decline chances, and sweet potatoes are an excellent way to get more of them.
5. They can help boost immunity
Remember what we said about vitamin A? Your immune system really needs it, and your gut does too. Taking care of both is easy enough by eating more sweet potatoes.
There's nothing like a baked sweet potato with just a dash of cinnamon sprinkled on top. Even with a little butter, it's still nutritious enough. You can make sweet potatoes in so many other ways too. Try mashed sweet potatoes, spiralize them to take the place of your noodles, use them in baked goods to add moisture without the fat, use your air fryer to make them into fries, or create a vegetarian stew that warms you up when it's cold outside. I typically cube slice them and drizzle with olive oil, then add basil, thyme and garlic and bake in a 350 degree oven till soft (as you can see in the picture I posted). Yum!!
Sweet potatoes are delicious, nutritious, and very versatile. Pick some up the next time you stock up your kitchen essentials!
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