What other vegetable can you roast, mash, spiralize, puree, slice into disks, bake into fries, and be a secret ingredient to some super delicious smoothie? Seriously, take a second to think about them apples (um, we mean sweet potatoes). What is not to love? When you think of sweet potatoes, you probably think exclusively of bright-orange spuds, but there are actually several varieties of sweet potatoes. There are actually over 6,500 varieties of sweet potato worldwide. Each of these varieties are very unique in their own way, people typically classify them by their color–orange, white, and purple.
Sweet potatoes are great for digestion and gut health.
Yeah, these suckers are going to keep you regular from the fiber they contain, but that is not all. Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber play a big role in keeping your bowel movements regular. Even though your body cannot actually absorb either type, soluble fiber absorbs water which softens stool and insoluble fiber doesn’t absorb water but adds bulk to make your stools solid. There are some studies that say purple sweet potatoes are particularly great for your gut health because they encourage the growth of a certain bacteria that keeps irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) away.
Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense.
A medium sweet potato contains about 180 calories. They also contain a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium. Eating a sweet potato at night can even be great for your body because they are rich in potassium which promotes muscle relaxation.
Sweet potatoes are great for your eyes and skin (and immune system).
Sweet potatoes, in general, are great for your body, like we have already discussed but orange sweet potatoes, in particular, are full of an antioxidant called beta-carotene. When your body processes beta-carotene, it turns it into vitamin A, which is key to maintaining healthy eyes and vision. Additionally, beta-carotene is super amazing for the skin too. Plus, Vitamin A is great at keeping your immune system in tip-top shape too.
Sweet potatoes are blood sugar friendly.
Particularly if you have type 2 diabetes, sweet potatoes can be great at regulating your blood sugar even though they are considered medium to high on the glycemic index. Pairing a sweet potato with a protein reduced their glycemic load to the body. If you are type 2, having your sweet potatoes boiled is the best option as well, as their sugar load seems to have a lower glycemic index than when fried, baked, or roasted.
When will you be incorporating a sweet potatoes into your meal prep?