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The sweet news about sweet potato

by Wendy Martin (follow)
Nutrition (269)      Skin Care (101)      Healthy Foods (75)      November Competition (10)     
If you're trying to rule out white potato from your diet, considering replacing it with sweet potato.

Not only does this vegetable taste amazing, it also offers huge amounts of nutrients and plenty of health benefits. Here's why so many people are making the big swap from white to sweet potato.

sweet potato
The humble sweet potato is absolutely packed with vitamins and nutrients. Image credit:Vangelis Thomaidis/sxc.hu

1. They're absolutely packed with nutrients
Just one cup of sweet potato provides you with about 65 per cent of your minimum daily requirement of vitamin C. A similar amount can also give you seven hundred times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes are also a source of potassium, calcium, beta-carotene and folate. For those of you unfamiliar with beta-carotene - it is an antioxidant which directly transforms into vitamin A for your body. Your body uses this to look after your skin, eyes, teeth, and much more.

Your eyes are just one of many parts of your body that benefit from the vitamin content in sweet potato. Image credit: Guillaume Riesen/sxc.hu

2. A friend to your skin
If you have sensitive skin, sweet potatoes can help; the high beta-carotene and vitamin A content make them an ideal food for healthier skin. The beta-carotene even helps reduce skin aging, by fighting free radicals.

Check for yourself. If you visit the chemist and have a look at many of the higher priced beauty products, you'll find they contain a great deal of ingredients such as retinol and retinoic acid, which are incidentally derived from the vitamin A that occurs naturally in sweet potato.

Most beauty creams contain ingredients you'll naturally find in sweet potato. Image credit:Asli Kaplan/sxc.hu

3. Helps you maintain your glycemic levels
If you are diabetic or are just cautious about your blood sugar levels, you will undoubtedly avoid any food with a high glycemic index (shows you the effect a food has on your blood sugar levels).

Sweet potatoes come out on top here, with a glycemic index of only 17, whereas the white potato boasts an index of 29.

4. Great for your muscles.
If you frequently get muscle aches and cramps, the high potassium levels in sweet potato can help reduce those. When you are stressed, your body tends to absorb more and more potassium, and in that regard, sweet potatoes can also help you in times of stress and tension.

5. Easy to grow.
Here is the best news - you can actually grow them in your own garden at home, no need to pay for them in the grocery store. Sweet potato is a hearty vegetable and can grow in a wide variety of environments as they only need around 100 days of frost-free weather to grow completely. They also require much less water and fertiliser than other plants and vegetables.

And if you don't have much space for a garden, you can actually plant sweet potatoes inside the bag of soil and kept the bag in a garage or shed. It's a great method for colder climates. When they are ready to harvest, just cut open the bag and dig them out!

Related articles
* Live healthy by growing your own food

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Yes, sweet potato is a fine vegetable. I love the orange chips, baked in the oven, tasty and healthy too! They're tastier than white potatoes so no need for fatty additions to make them taste good, unlike bland white ones.
Love sweet potato! Made the switch from white and don't miss it at all.
by Gwen
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