Welcome to Day 5 of 31 Days of Health!! Woohoo! I hope you’re feeling strong and in control.
What good is a dietitian-nutritionist if she doesn’t share any fun food facts to fuel your motivation on your health journey!? Achieving health requires a balance between behavior change and knowledge about food. Today, I encourage you to eat some sweet potatoes.
Here is a fun story I like to share about sweet potatoes: I once worked with a man who moved here from Africa. (Unfortunately I can’t recall exactly what country he is from.) He frequently expressed concern for his skin having lost its glow. Considering his diet most likely changed drastically, I asked him what he used to eat back home. The most significant and obvious factor was: sweet potatoes. He had sweet potatoes every day!
I’m not saying it’s time to obsess over sweet potatoes, seek out a sweet potato extract supplement, or anything else extreme. But these babies are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that do amazing things for your body, and eating one every now and then is the right thing to do!
1 cup of sweet potatoes provides more than 20% of your daily need of the following:
- Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene and other carotenoids
- B-vitamins – including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, biotin, and pantothenic acid
- Vitamin C
Sweet potatoes also contain trace sources of other nutrients, such as choline, which plays supporting roles in strengthening cells, helps brain cells to communicate, insulates nerve fibers and aids in memory development.
Studies have shown that sweet potatoes can raise our blood levels of vitamin A, which will then promote anti-inflammatory action, keeping cells alive and safe from disease. Eating some sweet potatoes will help to fill you up during a meal, prevent constipation, boost your immune system, reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure, and just like my friend from Africa, will give your skin a lovely glow!