How is the Thanksgiving menu complete without a sweet potato dish? Not only do these orange-colored vegetables taste good, they also pack in huge amounts of nutrients and provide plenty of health benefits. So at the next Thanksgiving, when you have all your loved ones surrounding you at the dinner table, add these six facts while serving the sweet potatoes to everyone:
1. Packed to the brim with nutrition
With only one cup (roughly seven ounces) of sweet potatoes, a good 65% of your minimum daily Vitamin C can be fulfilled, while a similar amount can give you seven hundred times the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin A. Isn't that just wonderful? Sweet potatoes are also a great source of potassium, calcium, beta-carotene and folate. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Beta-Carotene is an antioxidant which directly transforms into Vitamin A for your bodies usage. Sweet potatoes are rated as the number one most nutritious vegetable by the Center dor Science in Public Interest.
2. Watches your glycemic index for you
If you are suffering from diabetes, or are just cautious about your blood sugar level, you will undoubtedly avoid any food with high glycemic index. Glycemic index shows you the effect a food has on your blood sugar levels. In this regard, sweet potatoes are clear winners, with a glycemic index of only 17, whereas it's "tastier" cousin, the white potato, boasts an index of 29.
3. Ready and easy to have access to all the nutrition
There are many foods with high nutritional value, but having access to those nutrition can be tricky, and many cases, quite difficult. With potatoes, all you have to remember is to have it along with its skin. Most of its revered nutrition and healing potential lies just underneath its skin. It must also be noted a common mistake made by almost all those who tend to be on a self-regulated diet, that of avoiding anything consisting of fat, has a detrimental effect on accessing the health benefits of sweet potatoes. The Beta-Carotene spreads itself more effectively around a body if it is consumed along with a small portion of fat. Studies have shown that to get the best out of potatoes, and not to harm its glycemic index, it is best to boil or steam them instead of roasting or cooking them.
4. A friend to your skin
If you have a sensitive or brittle skin, then you should look no further than sweet potatoes in search of a skin super-food: their high beta-carotene and Vitamin A content makes them ideal food for a healthier skin. The Beta-Carotene even reduces you skin aging by fighting its cause, the free radicals. It should be of interest to you that most of the high-priced, labeled miracle-cure for skin products consists mainly of retinol and retinoic acid, which are incidentally derived from Vitamin A.
5. Yoga - sweet potatoes
Are you facing muscle aches and cramps? Been instructed to do yoga? Don't bother - just have sweet potatoes! The high potassium that potatoes provide means that they can directly help in reducing your muscle cramps and aches. When you are stressed, your body tends to absorb more and more of potassium, and in that regards, sweet potatoes can also help you in your times of stress and tension.
6. Can grow in your own garden
Here is the best news with regards to potatoes - you can actually just grow them in your own garden. No more going to the groceries and shelling out your hard earned money for your health benefits. Sweet potatoes are not very demanding weather-wise, since they only need around a 100 days of frost-free weather to grow completely. They also require much less water and fertilizers than other plants and vegetables.
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