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6 Health & Fitness Benefits of Sweet Potato

Most people have heard the saying “eat your vegetables”, but many still continue to avoid them like the plague. A significant proportion of vegetable-haters shy away from their greens because they don’t like the taste. Well, that excuse is no longer be valid since sweet potatoes are neither green or taste like your regular veggie. Sweet potatoes are a delicious root vegetable that are chock-full of fat-burning, muscle-building, and immune-boosting benefits. Below are just some of the reasons to start incorporating sweet potatoes into your regular diet.

1. Fill up on fibre

Sweet potatoes come loaded with fibre, especially when served with the skin on, making them a great source of complex carbohydrates. Fibre is essential for helping to control appetite, burn fat, maintain healthy digestion and build muscle. A 1-cup serving of sweet potatoes contains about 8 grams of fiber.

2. Boost metabolic activity and lose fat

The high water content in sweet potatoes makes them great for weight loss. Dehydration slows down your metabolism, further causing weight gain and other health problems. Consuming sweet potato helps rehydrate your cells and boost metabolic activity in the body. This, in turn, will help prevent your body from accumulating fat, balance the natural pH levels and flush out toxins.

3. Get a massive boost of Vitamin A

One of the key nutritional benefits of sweet potato is that they are high in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that maintains the immune system and keeps skin and tissues healthy. It is known to be an essential vitamin in eye health and bone growth.

4. Repair connective tissue 

One medium sweet potato will provide 25% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C; Research has shown Vitamin C is essential for connective tissue repair and may help the body to reverse some of the oxidative damage that occurs from exercise. This is especially important to bodybuilders whose training causes the most connective tissue damage.

5. Fuel your muscles and boost electrolytes

A medium sweet potato can provide 12% of daily potassium needs. Potassium is a salt the body uses to help manage several processes, including sweat, nerve functioning, glycogen and fluid management, and blood pressure. When potassium is deficient in the diet, or when the movement of potassium through the body is blocked, your nervous and muscular systems can become compromised. It is crucial to replenish this lost potassium during exercise to keep up maximum performance.

6. Replenish energy and strengthen tendons

Eating a sweet potato post-workout is ideal as they contain copper, which can help replenish energy levels and protect the cardiovascular, nervous and skeletal system. It also strengthens the tendons needed to lift weights. Just one cup of baked sweet potato contains 36% of your daily copper needs.

 

Check out our healthy sweet potato mash recipe below:

Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potato
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chilli 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • 1 fresh lime
Instructions
  1. Chop and peel the sweet potatoes, add to boiling and slightly salted water in a large pot.
  2. Add olive oil to a frying pan on low heat. Peel the garlic and chop the cloves in half. 
  3. Slice the chilli pepper in half and add the garlic and chilli to the oil.
  4. When the potatoes are soft (poke them with a knife to check) drain them, then put them back in the pot (heat off).
  5. Use a spoon to remove the chilli and cloves from the oil, then pour into the potatoes 
  6. Mash like crazy!
  7. Serve with a dash of lime juice and coriander sprinkled on top.

    Prep Time: 5 mins
    Cook time: 15 mins
    Total cook time: 20 mins

    Serves 2 (4 as a side)


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