Sweet potatoes are a fantastic vegetable that can be used in a variety of ways. Gone are the days of traditional sweet potato casseroles and roasted sweet potato dishes. Today it’s all about using the sweet potato in any way possible!
But before we dive into some new and original ways to utilize sweet potatoes, let’s talk about something even more important – the health benefits of eating them!
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
So why the rise in sweet potato recipes? Besides their incredible versatility and delicious flavor, sweet potatoes also pack a punch in terms of nutrition.
A few benefits of sweet potatoes include:
- possible weight loss
- healthier skin
- improved cholesterol
Rich in Vitamin A
No other fruit or vegetable on the planet contains more vitamin A than sweet potatoes – a whopping 692% of the daily recommended amount! This vitamin A comes in the form of beta-carotene, the compound that gives sweet potatoes their bright orange huge.
Beta-carotene is tranformed into vitamin A in the body and is an essential antioxidant that benefits the body in many ways, including creating new white blood cells to help combat pathogens and illnesses, including cancer.
That’s a pretty good reason to incorporate them into the diet more!
Sweet potatoes are also known as a complex carbohydrate, meaning that they won’t lead to increased blood sugar levels or sugar cravings after consumption.
Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes fall much lower on the glycemic index scale and can actually help to maintain blood sugar levels even for those with diabetes.
White potatoes can easily be replaced with sweet potatoes in nearly every recipe, which makes the swap easy to incorporate into your diet.
Help You Reach Your Fiber Goals
One medium sweet potato (with the skin on) contains roughly 6 grams of fiber, which is helpful in reaching daily fiber goals.
Women are expected to consume between 25 to 35 grams a day, and men 30 to 38 grams per day, however many fall well below this number.
Consuming sweet potatoes on a daily basis can help to boost your intake, especially when paired with other fiber-rich foods such as beans or other vegetables.
Rich in Potassium
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, less than 2 percent of the American population consumes the daily recommended 4,700 milligrams of potassium.
Why does this raise concern? Potassium helps the nerves and the muscles communicate properly and also transports nutrients into the cells of the body while simultaneously removing waste. Potassium can also help to offset the damage that sodium can do to one’s blood pressure.
Sodium related diseases such as heart attacks and stroke are at the top of the list for cause of death amongst humans, which makes a healthy potassium intake that much more essential!
A medium sweet potato contains 500 milligrams of potassium, which can help you to reach your potassium goal for the day.
New Ways to Incorporate Sweet Potatoes
While roasted and mashed sweet potato dishes are perfectly appetizing and nutritious, there are more than two ways to eat this nutrient-packed vegetable. Below are two new ways to incorporate sweet potatoes easily into your diet.
Sweet Potato Smoothie
- 1/2 cup sweet potato puree or roasted sweet potatoes
- 1/2 banana, frozen
- 1/2 tablespoon flaxseed, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 3/4-1 cup almond milk
- ice as needed
1. Place all ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth.
Roast a large batch of sweet potatoes ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for easy access! Prepping vegetables ahead of time is one of the best ways to guarantee that you’ll incorporate them more into your diet.
Sweet Potato Toast
The newest way to use sweet potato that is popping up in social media posts and blogs everywhere is sweet potato toast. A non-processed alternative to bread, sweet potato toast is a great choice for those battling gluten-intolerances or Celiac disease.
To make sweet potato toast:
1. Wash and dry a large sweet potato. Using a large knife, slice potato lengthwise into 1/4 inch thin slices. You want to make sure the slices are thin enough to cook but not too thin that they don’t hold their shape.
2. Place one slice of sweet potato into each side of a toaster. Turn the toaster to high and press down the button to toast. Once toast pops up, repeat to cook once more.
3. Remove sweet potato from the toaster and top it with desired toppings.
Some topping ideas:
- peanut butter and jelly
- avocado with salt and pepper
- ricotta cheese and honey
Whether you are enjoying a sweet potato smoothie or are swapping out your daily bread for sweet potato toast, find a way to incorporate more sweet potato into your diet. Packed with essential vitamin A, potassium, iron and complex carbohydrates, you don’t want to miss out on all the health benefits that the humble sweet potato can provide!THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.