Sweet potatoes have been a common ingredient in some of the best tasting meals and desserts – and it turns out that they are actually healthy. They are naturally sweet, not containing excess sugar, and have a calorie count. Sweet potatoes are healthy, affordable, and could help prevent blindness and assist with your weight loss goals.
How Sweet Potatoes Can Help Prevent Blindness
How can such a tasty food help prevent blindness? As it turns out, vitamin A deficiency is actually the primary cause of preventable blindness.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), vitamin A deficiency can also result in an increased risk of death from various infections and about 250 million young children, across the entire world, have a vitamin A deficiency.
Since a vitamin deficiency is preventable, various companies have been working on ways of helping regions where a large portion of the population has a lack of vitamin A and other nutrition. One of the steps being taken is bio-fortification, which is the process of creating produce that is naturally nutrient-rich.
The bio-fortification of sweet potatoes is already underway in South Africa, where sweet potatoes are a staple of the region. This healthy vegetable has a large amount of beta-carotene, which is then converted to vitamin A by our bodies.
Providing easier access to fresh sweet potatoes instead of having the imported has helped people in certain regions get the nutrition they need. And the bio-fortification process has allowed people in South Africa to have their sweet potatoes the way they like them, high in dry content and with a firm texture.
How Sweet Potatoes Can Help You Lose Weight
As amazing as it is that sweet potatoes can help prevent blindness, the excitement over this vegetable does not stop there. Sweet potatoes can also help you lose weight. They help regulate blood sugar and do not contain a high level of refined sugars.
While sweet potatoes do contain carbohydrates, they also have a compound that is able to increase the levels of adiponectin in your body. Adiponectin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Their low glycemic index rating can also limit blood sugar spikes.
If you want to get the most out of your sweet potatoes, consider boiling or steaming them, instead of roasting. Roasting sweet potatoes can cause them to lose some of their nutrients and vitamins – which is true for most fruits and vegetables.
Foods that have a low glycemic index, such as sweet potatoes, may also remain in your digestive system longer, which can keep you feeling fuller longer – allowing you to control your appetite.
Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber. Fiber will naturally help you remain fuller for a longer period of time. Eating one medium-sized sweet potato will give you 4 grams of fiber.
As mentioned, sweet potatoes contain a large amount of vitamin A. In addition to helping to prevent blindness, vitamin A can boost your immune system and promote better health for your eyes and bones. Eating sweet potatoes can even help you clear your acne problems.
So, you want to include more sweet potatoes in your diet, but you do not know what to make? Use the following recipes to discover some great methods of preparing sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
A simple, creamy soup that you can prepare in minutes – sweet potato and carrot soup is a great midday meal. Use your food processor to whip up the potatoes and carrots. If you are a vegetarian, substitute vegetable stock for chicken broth.
Baked Sweet Potato Latkes
Yummy sweet potato latkes are made by grating sweet potatoes and then mixing with flour, eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg. This is an easy recipe to follow and makes 12 latkes – enough for the whole family.
Sweet Potato Wedges
Potato wedges made from sweet potatoes offer a much fuller flavor than standard potatoes and contain less fat. Serve as a side dish with ham or pork. With a total prep and cook time of 45 minutes, you may want to plan ahead before making sweet potato wedges.
Apple and Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Apples and sweet potatoes pair well together. Mix chopped apples and chopped sweet potatoes to make a healthier serving of hash browns. There are many ways to prepare apple and sweet potato hash browns, but avoid recipes that use butter or other unhealthy ingredients.
Sweet potatoes are packed full of beta-carotene and other healthy nutrients. Start adding them to your diet and find various sweet potato recipes to prepare them in different ways. Being able to help Prevent blindness and lose weight, along with better skin, eye, and bone health, makes sweet potatoes the superfood of the season.
Original source: The Science of Eating