The sweet potato dates back to at least 8,000 BCE and originated in either South or Central America. Because of their crop reliability, sweet potatoes were commonly grown in warm or tropical temperate climates. During the 20th century in the Southeastern United States around the time of the Great Depression, sweet potatoes were a staple of people’s diets, but they started to fall out of favor and be consumed less and less as people became better off financially. Nowadays, sweet potatoes are often eaten as part of a meal as well as being a healthy option for making snacks such as crisps.
High in vitamin A
Sweet potatoes are higher in vitamin A than any other vegetable; with a serving of just 100g providing 120% of the recommended daily intake, adding a portion to your meal is a great way of ensuring you’re getting enough of this important nutrient. Vitamin A is crucial in maintaining healthy eyesight, is important for healthy skin and embryonic growth, and is vital for the everyday functioning of the heart, kidneys and lungs.
A good source of complex carbohydrates
Carbohydrates contain glucose, which the body converts to the energy it needs to function. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Have you ever noticed that processed foods and sugary drinks don’t leave you feeling full for long and you can find yourself wanting more after a short period? That’s because they contain simple carbohydrates, which deliver quick energy boosts that don’t last for very long. Sweet potatoes are high in complex carbohydrates, which are found in unrefined foods such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Complex carbohydrates deliver slower energy boosts that last for longer periods, making them a far more healthy option.
Full of fiber
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fiber, which is an important component of a healthy diet. Fiber can curb your urge to snack on unhealthy foods between meals because it helps to keep your hunger at bay by creating a feeling of fullness that keeps you satiated for hours at a time. Fiber also helps to promote healthier bowel movements by adding mass to your stool and making it smoother, which helps to prevent constipation and discomfort. Sweet potatoes are a healthy option to add to your diet and you can bake them whole, make wedges or chips with them, puree them for use in soups, or think up your own new and exciting ways to add them to your meals or snacks.