One of the sweet potato's key nutritional benefits is a high level of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed. By adding a drizzle of olive oil just before serving, you can increase your absorption of beneficial beta-carotene with delicious sweet potatoes.
Another benefit of the sweet potato is its positive effect on the digestive system. Studies have shown sweet potatoes can prevent and manage duodenal and gastric ulcers, including those due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen.
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 slow inflammation at the cellular level.
While some people regard sweet potatoes as too starchy, their high fiber content makes them a slow burning starch. This means they won't spike blood sugar and insulin levels. One cup of baked sweet potato provides about six grams of fiber, which is more than a quarter of the daily recommended minimum.
A single cup of sweet potatoes baked in their skin provides 950 mg of potassium. That's more than twice the amount from a banana! Potassium helps remove excess sodium and fluid from the body, which lowers blood pressure and reduces strain on the heart. Potassium also helps regulate heart rhythm and muscle contractions.
About 12% of the starch in sweet potatoes is resistant starch – a filling, fiber-like substance the body doesn't digest and absorb. One study found that replacing just 5.4% of total carbohydrate intake with a resistant starch resulted in a 20-30% increase in fat burning after a meal.
Now that the health benefits of delicious, nutritious sweet potatoes are clear, it makes sense to eat more of them.
Muzzarelli Farms grows and sells high quality, nutritious, delicious sweet potatoes at our Vineland, NJ farm. Learn about our different varieties of sweet potatoes, how we harvest, cure and store them, and order yours today!