The Amazing Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

During the holiday season, sweet potatoes are a beautiful orange staple on our dinner tables. But that doesn’t mean their sweet flavor and subsequent health benefits should be limited to fall and winter. Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest vegetable options all year-round.

Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of fiber, potassium, antioxidants, Vitamin A and phytochemicals that help improve body functions and protect against free-radical damage. Did you know that a sweet potato has more fiber and vitamins than a regular baked potato? In fact, one cup of sweet potatoes accounts for 6.6 grams of fiber. It is also rich in potassium, serving up 950 milligrams per cup.

Carotenoids are the pigment that give sweet potatoes their carroty orange. Carotenoids also have strong antioxidant properties. The potassium in sweet potatoes also may help alleviate muscle cramps. Additionally, the beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes has been studied as an anti-carcinogen.

Try this recipe as an easy and quick way to get sweet potatoes onto your dinner table:

Recipe: Spicy, Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Serves: 12
Total time: 20 minutes
Recipe from: Eating Well

INGREDIENTS
4 pounds sweet potatoes (4-5 large)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your over to 350 degrees.
  2. Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them on the over rack to bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Carefully remove the sweet potatoes, letting them cool for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once cool, cut into 1-inch slices, add butter.
  5. Smash the sweet potatoes, leaving small lumps.
  6. Add maple syrup, chili powder, cumin, ginger, salt and pepper.
  7. Stir and enjoy!

NUTRITION
Per serving:
113 calories; 2g fat (1g sat); 5mg cholesterol; 22g carbohydrates; 2g protein; 3g fiber; 243mg sodium; 468mg potassium.

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