My new favourite food is sweet potato – for fat burning as well as being a taste delight that helps to satisfy the craving for something sweet without adding impossibly to your carb load.
Sweet potatoes come in many different forms, but the two main ones are the orange sweet potato, and the purple sweet potato. Each has its own flavour, and both are good! Neither is related to the regular potato, so if you need to avoid nightshade vegetables (which can cause allergic or inflammatory reactions in some people) you can indulge in sweet potato with peace of mind. You can substitute sweet potato for white potato in any of your favourite recipes – casseroles, french fries, sweet potato salads, etc, and add a whole lot of new gourmet recipes to your repertoire as well.
Both types of sweet potato are loaded with phytonutrients – the anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that add colour, taste and health benefits to these plant super foods. So go ahead and enjoy them!
Fat-burning benefits of sweet potatoes
Helps control blood sugar
Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index (GI approx. 61) and will give you slow, steady blood sugar support instead of a sharp spike & slump, as most refined carbohydrate foods do. This is partly due to the amount of fiber they contain – 3 grams in half a cup of mashed sweet potato (which also contains 18 g of carbohydrate, equivalent to 92 calories).
Lots of anti-oxidants for your health
That lovely orange colour of the most common sweet potato indicates lots of carotenoids (Vitamin A precursors) – which have super anti-aging & anti-inflammatory properties, with special benefits for your eyesight and your skin. The purple ones are high in anthocyanins—another group of rainbow phytonutrients which have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Since there is more and more evidence that stubborn overweight may be an inflammatory condition, it becomes especially important to maximise the anti-inflammatory foods you eat – and even more if you suffer from an inflammatory condition such as IBS, arthritis… hypothyroidism also can be included here.
High in vitamins and minerals
As well as Vitamin A precursors, sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin C (which also functions as an anti-oxidant) and all the B vitamins, which help your body deal with stress and keep your brain balanced.
They also contain significant amounts of Vitamin D – the sunlight vitamin – which supports thyroid gland function and plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth.
Sweet potatoes also provide essential minerals including magnesium and potassium (essential for healthy muscle and nervous system functioning) as well as iron, and manganese – all of which are needed for proper carbohydrate metabolism.
For more on the health benefits of sweet potatoes, here is a good summary.