Saturday Superfoods: Sweet Potatoes

Do you love sweets?  Who doesn’t?  What about ‘healthy’ sweets?  Well, you’re not going to find a healthier sweet than today’s superfood!  It’s SWEET POTATOES!

I LOVE sweet potatoes!! They are definitely one of my all time favorite foods.  They work as a healthy source of carbohydrates, especially if you’re eating gluten free… I mean, salads are great, but sometimes they’re just not enough.  I’ll admit that I’m guilty of smuggling a sweet potato or two out of the cafeteria!  They actually taste AMAZING even at room temp.  Just pop ’em in your dorm fridge and take them out approximately 2 hours before your next snack… YUM!!

Anyway, what I find intriguing about these little ‘Fall foods’ is that they are actually nutrient power houses!  In fact, the humble sweet potato has found its way on to whfoods.orgwhich is a website designated to explaining the “worlds healthiest foods.”  Here’s just some of what they have to say about sweet potatoes:

  • In one sweet potato, there is somewhere between 35- 90% of a child’s necessary vitamin A.  This comes from the beta-carotene content that gives sweet potatoes their orange color!  Once it enters the body it is converted to vitamin A.
  • But believe it or not sweet potatoes are not always orange!!  Sometimes they are purple (and believe me, the purple ones are just as delicious… actually I think I may like them more, simply because I get to eat purple food!)  Whichever color they are, they’re filled with antioxidants 🙂
  • Also, the ‘sporamin’ (an antioxidant found in sweet potatoes) actually promotes cell health and ‘healing’ within the body!
  • Another thing I was surprised to learn about sweet potatoes is that they actually help to regulate blood sugar, rather than cause high and low drops as people often used to claim about sweet and regular potatoes.  Ie. they are not carb- laden enemies!

Okay, so those are just a few of the many benefits of eating sweet potatoes!  (As if we needed another reason besides taste to eat them more often?!)  Now, I want to suggest some ways you should enjoy them.

For one, according to the same website, they are best boiled as opposed to roasted or steamed.  When you boil them you actually help to keep them low on the GI index, meaning that they are converted to blood sugar more slowly.  Another way to get the most nutrients out of sweet potatoes is to enjoy them with a small amount of healthy fat.  That small amount of fat helps your body to better absorb the beta-carotene.  Your fat source could be a pat of all-natural butter, a drizzle of olive oil or even a bit of creamy hummus!  

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning this information as much as I have!  It’s very easy to find recipes (especially this time of year) that include sweet potatoes… whether it’s sautéed and tossed on a salad, baked into cookies or pie, boiled as a side dish, or even cooked and covered in marshmallows (don’t judge… they’re a Thanksgivings staple).  However you choose to enjoy your sweet potatoes, I hope you choose to do it more often, now that you know the amazing superpowers within!!

How about you?  Do you have any favorite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes?  What’s your favorite ‘superfood’ this week?


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