A lot of people ask me if sweet potatoes are actually good for them, which isn’t surprising considering the name suggests they’re loaded with sugar and starch. But don’t let their sweet nature fool you.  Sweet potatoes are off the charts nutritious making them a good choice for anyone interested in improving their health.  And if you’re working on weight management, a medium-sized baked sweet potato in its skin is only 100 calories!

Here are 7 health benefits of sweet potatoes:

Vitamin A.  A medium sweet potato has over four times the recommended daily amount of vitamin A which plays an important role in vision, bone development, and immune function. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, so be sure to eat your sweet potato with a little bit of fat, like a drizzle of olive oil, to maximize vitamin absorption.

Vitamin C. Like citrus, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, which helps fight infections, heal wounds, and absorb iron. A medium sweet potato provides about 35 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

Manganese. Sweet potatoes are a good source of manganese, which helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and optimal thyroid function.

Fiber. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, a nutrient that bulks up food and keeps you feeling full longer. Fiber also regulates your bowels and lowers cholesterol. A medium sweet potato baked in its skin has 4 grams of fiber – the same as a ½-cup serving of cooked oatmeal.

Complex Carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes are made of complex carbohydrates that are released at a steady pace for a constant source of energy, so no sugar highs or lows to worry about. Eating the sweet potato skin will lower its glycemic index and provide additional nutrients as well.

Antioxidants. Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants compared to other vegetables. Antioxidants help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Low in Calories. A medium sweet potato (2 inches in diameter and 5 inches in length) baked in its skin is only 103 calories making it an ideal choice to support weight management.

sweet potato pancakes with berries

One thing you’ve got to try for breakfast this fall are these super-fluffy, lightly spiced sweet potato pancakes.  You can’t taste the sweet potato outright making these pancakes a sneaky way to incorporate some veggies into breakfast. Topped with a drizzle of maple syrup, fresh berries, and chopped pecans, you’ll feel like you’re eating dessert for breakfast.  Enjoy!

Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS, RD

If it’s finally time to start eating healthier, check out Nourished.Healthy.Happy.  Join our group and receive healthy eating tips, delicious recipes, and daily support to live your best life.  Everyone is welcome!

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