Whether you eat them baked, fried, mashed, or topped with marshmallows, sweet potatoes are a delicious and healthy addition to any meal plan. That’s likely why sweet potato consumption in the U.S. is growing with every passing year, with the Americans eating an average of 7.5 pounds of sweet potatoes annually in 2015 – up from just 4.2 pounds in 2000. However, its not just your taste buds that will benefit when you enjoy these palatable potatoes. Read on to discover what happens to your body when you eat sweet potatoes, according to experts.
- Your digestion may improve.
Want to enjoy a more comfortable, less bloated belly? Try adding some sweet potatoes to your regular routine.
“Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and can help prevent constipation,” say the experts. In fact, according to a 2017 study published in Functional Foods in Health and Disease, consumption of sweet potatoes was also associated with an improvement in beneficial gut bacteria.
- You may reduce your risk of exercise cramps.
Want to keep from cramping up after an intense workout? Instead of a protein bar, try a sweet potato.
“Although, calorie for calorie, sweet potatoes are the same as regular potatoes, they do have fiber, antioxidants, and a surprising amount of potassium found in both the flesh and skin of the potato.” Says Meghan Sedivy, a registered dietitian. “In fact, they contain twice the amount of potassium found in a banana,” which may reduce your risk of potassium-deficiency-related cramps.
- Your vision may improve.
If you want to protect your eye-health, sweet potatoes might just be the tastiest way to achieve that goal.
“Their bright orange color makes them packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C to support vision health,” says Sedivy.
In fact, according to research conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the beta-carotene found in foods like sweet potatoes was associated with a lower rate of vision decline among individuals with retinis pigmentosa, which can cause night blindness and a loss of peripheral vision.
- Your immune system may get a boost.
If it feels like you get every cold that’s going around, adding some sweet potatoes to your regular meal plan may provide some protection.
“Not only are sweet potatoes extremely high in Vitamin A, they are also high in Vitamin C. Both of these vitamins work in your body to enhance your immune system and help you to fight off infections,” says Megan Byrd, a well-respected registered dietitian.
- Your bad cholesterol may improve.
Consider sweet potatoes an essential tool in your arsenal against high cholesterol.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, which can help lower LDL cholesterol,” says Diana Gariglio-Celland, the staff dietitian at Next Luxury.
- You may stay fuller for longer
Looking for an easy way to fend off those voices telling you to reach for a less-than-healthy snack between meals? If you eat sweet potatoes regularly, you might just be able to kiss those cravings goodbye.
“Sweet potatoes are a fabulous source of carbohydrates and soluble fiber,” says Rachel Fine, owner of To The Point Nutrition. “Soluble fiber helps to slow digestion, which not only promotes a steady release of both insulin and leptin, but also further promotes that “full feeling” during a meal, helping you to naturally manage portions.
That’s it for now my friends; see you all the next time.