Sweet potatoes are native to Central and Native America and are one of the oldest known vegetables. Relics of sweet potato dating back more than 10,000 years have been found in Peruvian Caves. This vegetable is not only beautiful in colour, it is also packs a nutritious punch.
Sweet potatoes are generally orange in colour and the deeper the orange, the greater the nutritional content. The orange colour is present for a reason and this is due to a nutrient called Beta Carotene. Beta carotene is part of a family of nutrients called Carotenoids. These carotenoids are converted into Vitamin A. This conversion rate is very much dependant on the pre-existing amount of Vitamin A in the body.
Vitamin A is crucial for immune support, mucus membrane integrity (the health of our digestive system and respiratory system) skin health and cell growth. It is a crucial nutrient and consuming beta carotene rich foods on a daily basis will ensure you’re obtaining a sufficient amount of these nutrients.
As well as being high in beta carotene, sweet potato is also a highly nutritious source of Vitamin C and Manganese, which are both great for immune function and wound healing.
Sweet Potato is a great source of fibre and is often consumed as a substitute for ordinary potato. The reason behind this is due to its low glycaemic index and load. This means, consuming sweet potato has a less influence on sugar levels in the body and as a result, leads to fewer spikes in sugar levels which means, sustained energy levels.
This vegetable has a similar texture to ordinary potato and has a sweet taste and can be eaten steamed, baked, as a substitute for ordinary potato chips or even dehydrated. They’re a great snack as well as a great addition to any meal. Next time you’re craving an ordinary potato, grab a sweet potato and taste the difference. Your body will love you for it.