One of my favorite things about living a healthy lifestyle, is discovering new foods that taste delicious and later finding out they are good for me. Most of the time, if you tell me something is healthy before I eat it, I won't want it even if it tastes good. On the other hand, just like most children if you let me taste it first it suddenly becomes ok. I will never grow up and I am ok with that. With that being said, it's time for you to pick up a purple sweet potato or ten and here is why.
Purple Sweet Potato
Walk into your local grocery store or farmers market and you can find various types of sweet potatoes. There are purple, red, yellow or pale white. Of course, since I am writing this article I will tell you to always grab the purple sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants. An easy way to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck, remember that the more intense the color of the sweet potato, the more antioxidants it has. So when it comes to eating, always choose a red or purple sweet potato.
According to The U.S. Sweet Potato Council Inc.(yes that really exists, a council for sweet potatoes), Sweet potatoes that are cooked with the skin produces more fiber than a serving of oatmeal (Yucky anyways). Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin A, B, C, calcium and potassium which works to relieve inflammation of the stomach. These dietary superstars are also loaded with cancer fighting carotenoids.
Purple Sweet Potato Health Benefits
Just in case you wanted more reasons to eat the scrumptious sweet potato, here is a list of some of the health benefits:
- Regulating Blood Pressure: According to the American Heart Association, the sweet potato is one of the foods that is rich in potassium. Potassium has a very important role in maintaining blood pressure. In addition, potassium also plays a role in controlling muscle and nerve function. A purple sweet potato would be ideal here.
- They kick Cancers Ass: Sweet potatoes contain lots of beta carotene which is an antioxidant. It's a substance that is not only able to fight free radicals but also fights cancer. There have been many studies that prove that the high content of carotenoids beta-carotene in the blood are associated with reduced risk of breast cancer. Health experts recommend eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables that contain lots of beta carotene.
- Helps Maintain Weight Loss: If people are trying to stay slim and live a sedentary lifestyle, we would tell them to avoid potatoes to avoid weight gain. Luckily, not all tubers are created equal. Sweet potatoes will not only keep your weight stable but will assist in weight loss. There is a lot of fiber in sweet potatoes which will keep you satiated longer as well as regulate your blood sugar. The soluble fiber contained in sweet potatoes also help lower LDL cholesterol in the blood.
- One of the best sources of Vitamin A: The sweet potato, specifically the purple sweet potato has been given the title of super food by countless organizations. A single medium-sized sweet potato provides more than 200 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin A.
- Better Eyesight, skin and bones: Vitamin A is beneficial to eyesight, skin health and bones. Sweet potatoes also function as an antioxidant, helping to prevent infection in the digestive tract, urinary tract, and lungs. In a study published in The American Society for Nutritional Sciences, they discovered the relationship between vitamin A deficiencies and emphysema.
- Immune System: The primary antioxidant in sweet potatoes is beta-carotene. Additionally, there are tons of other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B complex, iron and phosphorus. This combination makes the sweet potato a super immune booster.
- Diabetic Friendly: The purple sweet potato is also diabetic friendly. The Glycemic index is lower in sweet potatoes than in white potatoes. The carbohydrate in foods with a low Glycemic index breaks down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream making it safe.
Like I stated earlier, there are tons of varieties of sweet potatoes to choose from. Armed with the information in this article, plus this delicious recipe I hope you choose a purple sweet potato or five now. Out of all the varieties it has the most beneficial nutritional complex and it's colorful. Who doesn't love colorful food?
Purple Sweet Potato Recipes
While I was writing this article, I actually got a little sad realizing I only had two recipes using the unicorn of tubers, the purple sweet potato. Once I hit publish, I am going to the store to pick up some more purple goodness. Here are the recipes I have using the purple sweet potato as well as some other varieties of sweet potatoes.
- This recipe for Baked Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Ginger Brownies
- Stuffed Sweet Potato
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet
- Plus 15 more :)
What is your favorite way to eat purple sweet potatoes?
Baked Purple Sweet Potatoes
- Place your sweet potatoes in a large stock pot with boiling water and boil until fork tender, approximately 15 minutes
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- If using freeze dried blueberries, pulse in a food processor to make a powder and then add to your sweet potatoes, if using fresh blueberries don't add them yet
- Add your coconut milk, lemon juice, butter, honey, and cinnamon and mash using your stand mixer or a hand mixer
- Beat your potatoes until no lumps remain
- Fold in your fresh blueberries if using them and mix by hand
- Transfer your sweet potato mixture to 4 small ramekins and sprinkle pecans on top
- Place your ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until your pecans are toasted, NOT BLACK
- Garnish with a scoop of refrigerated coconut milk and serve
Like to prep once and cook later? Click here to get the freezer version of this recipe!
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