Sweet potatoes are a staple in my diet, and not just because they taste delicious in many shapes and forms, but because of the health benefits they serve up. If you aren’t regularly eating these sweet tots check out the health benefits below for reasons why you may want to consider adding them to your diet.
1) Sweet potatoes are a super-food for skin- The beta-carotene found in them gets converted into Vitamin A in the body, which then allows DNA to make new skin cells. Additionally, Beta-carotene helps fight free radicals that can cause your skin to age. Normal skin-care products have retinol and retinoic acid in them, both which come from Vitamin A, so instead of spending money on these products, you can eat this beauty food and let it work from the inside out. They are also great for eye and immune health.
2) They’re anti-inflammatory- Inflammation is part of your body’s normal immune response that helps it to heal, however constant inflammation in the body can cause damage, and is also thought to play a role in many chronic diseases (because diseases don’t exist without inflammation first occurring). By eating sweet potatoes you’re helping your body fight off inflammation and potential diseases.
3) Sweet potatoes help manage stress- They have magnesium in them which many people don’t get enough of. This mineral helps your body to relax and de-stress. Sign me up!
4) Loaded with Vitamin C- Vit C is great for your teeth, bones, immunity, digestion, and blood cell formation. It also helps to improve skin because of the collagen it makes. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin meaning it cannot be stored by the body and any extra is eliminated from the body, so it is important to get Vitamin C from your diet regularly.
5) Help you stay calm and resist depression- The Vitamin B6 in sweet potatoes helps make dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are responsible for helping your mind stay calm, as well as fighting off depression. Vitamin B6 helps maintain healthy brain function (yes please) and is another water soluble vitamin that can’t be stored by the body, so you should also be regularly getting it from food sources, like sweet potatoes.
6) Provide you with energy- These sweet things have iron, which helps convert blood sugar into energy in the body. Additionally, iron helps your immune system work properly, makes red and white blood cells, and combats stress.
Now that you're ready to dash to the market to swoop up some sweet potatoes to start reaping those health benefits, I'll leave you with my favorite sweet potato “pancake” recipe + other ways to use sweet potatoes.
Almost-3 ingredient Sweet Cakes (Serves 1-2)
1 large sweet potato baked (I leave some skin on for more fiber and potassium)
2 pastured, organic eggs
¼ cup ground Salba chia seeds
Extras: Dash of sea salt, 2-4 drops of stevia, cinnamon, and 1 tsp. vanilla
Quickly mix ingredients in a food processor or blender until a “pancake” batter forms- Should not take more than 20-30 seconds.
Then cook in a pan on the stove, like you would a regular pancake. Cook on each side until golden brown. Top with your favorite pancake toppings. I love using chia seed jam (recipe for jam under Crumbly Berry Oat Bars blog post) or cashew butter on mine.
Other ways to get more sweet potatoes in your life:
Have an extra-sweet potato baked for breakfast with granola, cashew butter, chia seed jam and walnuts
Cut them like fries and bake in the oven with olive oil and seasonings (at 450 degrees for about 30-40 minutes)
Roast them and serve them with eggs, on salads, or as a snack with hummus or guac
Add one to your smoothie or smoothie bowl
Have a savory baked sweet potato with tempeh, black beans, and avocado