Sweet Potato Magic: Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
The sweet potato, which has been relegated to the holiday dinner table for a couple of centuries, is enjoying something of a comeback. It’s recommended by many weight loss plans, including South Beach, Atkins and Sugarbusters. The Center for Science in the Public Interest ranked the lowly sweet potato numero uno among veggies, 100 points above its closest competitor, the baked (white) potato.
So what’s in it for you?
A sweet potato has four times the RDA for beta-carotene, which your body can convert to vitamin A, 42% of the RDA for vitamin C and if you eat the skin, more fiber than oatmeal. Other sweet potato health benefits include having the lowest glycemic index among root veggies because it digests very slowly, which helps you feel full longer. Calories? About 130 for a medium sized potato.
The problem is that most of us grew up linking sweet potatoes to mounds of brown sugar, marshmallows, butter or all three. That candied version may be okay once a year, but sweet potatoes should find a home on your weekly menu. Consider mashed sweet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries coated lightly with olive oil and baked, and sweet potato casseroles.