I’ve got some sweet news for you! Sweet potatoes are fully loaded with health and anti-cancer benefits, depending on how you cook and eat them. They aren’t just for a warm winter meal. Load up your body with sweet potato benefits all throughout the year. Because of the higher carb content of potatoes, monitor your blood sugar to see how they affect you.
Keep on reading to learn more about their sweet health benefits and delicious ways to bite into all of the sweet potatoes’ comforting and fulfilling goodness. A little more food for thought—adding microgreens and sprouts to your plate is also vital to your healthy breast journey.
Growing them yourself or finding organic sweet potatoes, microgreens, and sprouts at the farmer’s market is even better! Not only do sweet potato-based meals look and taste better with microgreens or sprouts, but the combo also provides a mighty force for creating vibrant health. All of the above are also great ways for everyone to get an A+ on their vitamin A tests and consume a wide range of essential vitamins and nutrients needed for a vibrantly healthy life. Keep on reading to learn how these little micro veggies and sweet potatoes make a macro difference in your health!
Sweet Potato Benefits
Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious—rich in antioxidants, chlorogenic acid, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. In more practical news, Okinawa, Japan boasts the highest number of healthy centenarians in the world. Part of their secret is they truly understand the health benefits of sweet potatoes as they account for 67% of their daily diet.
Sweet potatoes’ benefits can result in:
Anthocyanins are antioxidants found in sweet potatoes, and their peels are widely researched for their cancer-preventing properties. Anthocyanins help stop colorectal, colon, bladder, breast, and gastric cancers. This is done via the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cell lines.
Vitamin A is vital to a healthy immune system. “It is not surprising that vitamin A deficiency is associated with impaired intestinal immune responses and increased mortality associated with gastrointestinal and respiratory infections,” researchers wrote in Nature Reviews Immunology. Sweet potatoes with orange flesh are among the best natural sources of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene is also beneficial for healthy lungs, eyes, and skin.
Some women, including myself, have a genetic SNP BCMO that prevents the proper converion of Beta Carotene to Vitamin A. (another great reason to do some DNA testing! ) Therefore, supplementing with Bio-Ae-Mulsion Forte® is essential for better absorption.
Memory and Cognitive Health Support
Purple sweet potatoes are rich in caffeoylquinic acids. This leads to a neuroprotective effect on the brain of animal models, potentially helping improve spatial learning and memory in humans. Additionally, naturally occurring anthocyanins have strong antioxidant and neuroprotective activity by reducing inflammation in the brain.
Types of Sweet Potatoes
Ever wondered about the difference between orange and purple sweet potatoes? And are yams and sweet potatoes the same? Or even which way to properly pronounce potato?! All great answers, and while I am not an expert on phonetics, I can answer your nutrition queries.
- Orange sweet potatoes are the richest in beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A. It helps build your immune system and benefits your skin, eyes, and lungs.
- Purple sweet potatoes are richer in anthocyanins that help stop the growth of breast cancer and improve cognitive function.
- Yams are imported from West Africa and are rough, scaly, and very low in beta carotene. It is usually white on the inside and has brown skin. However, in the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires labels with the term ‘yam’ to be accompanied by the term ‘sweet potato.’ How confusing!
Anthocyanins and beta-carotene are naturally occurring plant “Phyto” chemicals (phytochemicals). They give vegetables their bright colors and are currently researched for their potential role in human health and disease prevention.
How to Cook Sweet Potatoes for Maximum Benefits
Before cooking them, ensure they are stored in a cool and dry place. Eating them within a week of purchase is best as they are more perishable than most people think. BOIL your sweet potatoes to get the most health benefits. Boiling retains more beta-carotene and makes the nutrient more absorbable compared to baking or frying. Up to 92% of the nutrients can be retained by limiting the cooking time.
The easiest way is to boil your sweet potatoes is in a pot with minimal water and a tightly covered lid for 20 minutes. To ensure even more nutrition from every bite, leaving the skin on while cooking helps minimize the leaching of nutrients, including beta-carotene (a better supplement than vitamin A) and vitamin C. Just make sure to give the skin a good scrub before cooking. (You can re-use the water to add to a soup base.) Once soft, you can add butter, ghee or olive oil with a bit of salt.
Microgreens and Sprouts
These cute little greens aren’t just added decor to sweet potato-based and really any type of meal. They are actually powerful cancer fighters—up to 40% more powerful compared to mature plants! I love to grow my own microgreens with my microgreen kit – no mold and very easy to grow.
Red cabbage microgreens, for example, had 40 times more vitamin E and 6 times more ascorbic acid than regular cabbage. Cilantro microgreens had three times more beta-carotene than mature cilantro. The sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts has been shown to destroy breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) at the root of cancer. Dr. Paul Talalay, a top biomedical researcher at John Hopkins, discovered:
“Three-day-old broccoli sprouts consistently contain 20 to 50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds found in mature broccoli heads and may offer a simple, dietary means of chemically reducing cancer risk.” Read about this fascinating study here.
If your inner child and your current self still think broccoli and broccoli sprouts are icky or you don’t have access to them, Brocco Power is here for you! One capsule of Brocco Power is equivalent to 1 cup of broccoli sprouts or 1 pound of broccoli! Your adult self will also love the major sale it is on—so stock up here!
The Nutrition Genome
You DO have the power to know exactly what you lack and how to prevent horrible illnesses. Through a personalized diet, lifestyle, and environmental insights—you can enjoy your best health ever! Remove the guesswork. Know your genes—from the inside out! This can be done via The Nutrition Genome at-home DNA test kits. It is the most advanced nutrigenomic test available, covering 100 clinically relevant genes for a “whole body” analysis.
The test targets and provides an incredibly detailed report of your:
- DNA protection and repair
- Stress & cognitive performance
- Inflammation & longevity
- Athletic performance
You are your best detective when it comes to your health. Now, you can know what to do with tools such as Nutrition Genome. The test will give you 27 reports covering critical topics such as vitamin requirements, heavy metal, and pesticide sensitivity, bacteria and parasite sensitivity, DNA repair, methylation, anxiety, and so much more! *The phone photo is an example of one of the reports.
P.S. Thinking about having sweet potatoes for dinner tonight? Check out some of my favorite recipes!!