Sweet potatoes have soared in popularity over the past few years, becoming a more favorable source of carbohydrates thanks to their low score on the glycemic index and array of benefits. With a sweet orange flesh, not only do they taste so much nicer than your average spud, but they’re packed full of nutrients and are so much more versatile. Unlike the humble white potato, sweet potatoes actually do contribute towards one of our five a day, whilst packing in a range of nutrients from vitamins A, C and E to potassium and your daily dose of fiber. Sweet potatoes are one of the most accessible and affordable everyday superfoods and whether you choose to mash ’em, roast ’em or steam ’em they’re sure to truly boost your health.
5 benefits of sweet potatoes
- Highest Source of Vitamin A No other food on the planet contains more Vitamin A than sweet potatoes do – with just 100g providing 283% of the recommended daily allowance, it’s pretty impressive right? Vitamin A, along with it’s pre cursor beta carotene helps to strengthen our eyesight, boosts immunity, and ward off diseases such as cancer.
- Stabilise Blood Sugar Levels Sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index and are a source of slow release carbohydrates meaning that they don’t cause our blood sugar levels to spike or crash and instead, their natural sugars are released slowly, resulting in sustained energy levels.
- High in Potassium Potassium is an essential electrolyte which, among it’s array of jobs, helps to regulate nerve signals and heartbeat and whilst bananas are thought to be the best source, one medium sized sweet potato actually contains double the amount of potassium, so get roasting.
- High in Fiber It’s thought that a good proportion of the population don’t consume enough fiber, and it’s role in maintaining good overall health is often underestimated, but it’s essential for keeping our digestive systems healthy. A single sweet potato contains roughly 7g of fiber which will help keep you fuller for longer (thus promoting healthy weight loss), controls blood sugar levels, improves heart health and the condition of your skin.
- Anti-Ageing thanks to being high in the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, sweet potatoes are amazing at combating signs of ageing and leave your skin with a youthful glow.
I eat sweet potatoes most days and I must confess that sometimes I sneak them in three times a day! – whether they be roasted, baked, mashed or steamed they truly make the most delicious addition to any meal and can be enjoyed both savoury and sweet! And when they’re so versatile, there’s really no reason not incorporate more of them into your diet and reap their myriad of benefits.
5 uses for sweet potatoes
- Mash into oats in place of banana for a thick and creamy texture.
- Roast into wedges with a sprinkling of cinnamon, paprika and coconut sugar.
- Baked and serve with coconut yoghurt, homemade granola, peanut butter and fresh berries for an alternative breakfast.
- Serve roasted alongside a homemade vegan burger and hummus.
- Steam and mash to use as a replacement for a traditional shepherds pie topping or simply serve alongside roasted chickpeas and veggies.