Today we are talking sweet, potatoes that is.
What can I say about sweet potatoes? Well it’s a vegetable, easy to cultivate, simple to prepare and most importantly my absolute favourite vegetable and I love them!!!
My love affair with this deliciously sweet legume began during my early childhood, it’s one of very few memories I had as a child. Every winter, my father would roast sweet potatoes as a treat for my siblings and I in an effort to stop us eating unhealthy food such as cakes and drinking hot chocolates. It is still one of the most simple, cost effective, healthy, delicious and will be a favourite of mine always.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.
So what are they and how does it benefit the human body?
- Beta-carotene: Is an organic, strongly coloured red-orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits. The human body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol) - beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision. Beta-carotene in itself is not an essential nutrient, but vitamin A is.
- Vitamin C: Is an antioxidant essential to the formation of collagen and collagen is an essential component of connective tissue, which plays a vital role in wound healing. Vitamin C has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including vitamin E. Vitamin E slow down the ageing process whilst vitamin C rebuild collagen. Together they protect the body against aging from inside out.
- Magnesium: Magnesium Deficiency can cause fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms, muscle spasm, eye twitching and many other health issues. This is because Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys. Magnesium also plays an important role in carbohydrate and glucose metabolism, so it is no wonder magnesium status has an effect on diabetes. Studies have confirmed that a daily intake of 100mg magnesium can reduce the risk of diabetes by 15 percent. Other benefits include, lower risk of heart diseases, reducing stress, anxiety levels, risk of osteoporosis and premenstrual symptoms.
- Vitamin B: The B-group vitamins help the body uses energy-yielding nutrients such as carbohydrates, fat and protein for fuel. It is an important component to the support of nerve health as well as memory and mood. B vitamins also play a specific role in maintaining natural hair colour and strong healthy hair growth, saving you trips to the salon.
So like the saying goes a sweet spud a day will help keep all those nasties at bay. If you're looking for some vege to inject some personality into your diet, this is the incredible health kick you've been waiting for.