However, I do eat sweet potatoes prepared this way at least a couple times a week. Baked in their skin, right out of the oven with a small pat of butter. Butter you ask, can that be healthy? Yes and I will tell you why. In order to absorb all of the nutrients from sweet potatoes, it is better to eat them with a small amount of fat. This will help to lower the Glycemic Index. Meaning that your insulin levels won't spike and thus your body will store less fat.
Besides the great flavor of sweet potatoes, they also have many nutritional values. Nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), ranked the sweet potato as the most nutritious vegetable. Points were given for the content of complex carbohydrates, iron, dietary fiber, calcium, natural sugar, vitamin A and vitamin C. Points were deducted for saturated fat, added sugars, cholesterol, sodium and caffeine.
Sweet potatoes are high in beta-Carotene. Carotene is what gives the sweet potato its bright orange color. Carotene assists in stabilizing blood sugar levels, lowers insulin resistance which helps with metabolism and has been shown to reduce lung cancer. Sweet potatoes are also high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6 , vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, thiamine, niacin, potassium and copper. The fiber in sweet potatoes helps to reduce heart disease, lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels, lower the risk of diabetes, lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, lower blood pressure and helps to maintain a healthy weight.
The high vitamin and antioxidant content in sweet potatoes help to fight the aging process, reduce inflammation, help with asthma, stroke, cancers, heart disease, memory loss, Alzheimers and dementia.
Sweet potatoes are high in magnesium. Magnesium helps with artery function, bone, heart, muscle blood and nerve functions. They are also high in potassium, which aids in relaxing muscle contractions, reducing swelling and protecting the kidneys.
So the next time you are in the grocery store, pick up a sweet potato. Rinse it off, cut a slit in the top, wrap it in foil and pop it in the oven for about an hour. If you are craving something a little more decadent, try one or all of the recipes below. Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries, Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup or Sweet Potato and Maple Syrup Mashed Potatoes.
For recipes click on images below or go to www.health.com