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Clifton: Sweet Potatoes pack health benefits

Did you know that sweet potatoes are a major health superpower vegetable? You can cook the sweet potato different ways such as mashing, baking, roasting or air frying. They are packed with minerals, fiber, vitamins and phytonutrients for your body and mind. So, when you go shopping for groceries this weekend, stop and buy some sweet potatoes and give your family something different to say: “WOW, those sweet potatoes are delicious! Can I have some more?”

Some of the benefits that we get from the sweet potato include:

  • Healthy vision – sweet potato has vitamin A, which helps us to have great vision.
  • Immunity – it supports our immunity in providing growth to other bodily functions including our communication.
  • Reduce blood pressure and stroke risks – they contain potassium and magnesium which helps with blood pressure support in reducing blood pressure and strokes.
  • Lower LDL cholesterol – the sweet potato can help in reducing the bad LDL cholesterol as well as decrease some heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • Supports longevity – its orange color and beta-carotene have antioxidants that defend against free radicals that can damage cells.

Sweet potatoes are a low-glycemic food that is high in fiber and can absorb glucose in the bloodstream slowly, preventing blood sugar increase. Did you know that boiled sweet potato has the lowest glycemic index of 44 and if baked for 45 minutes the glycemic index rises to 94?

Why not make sweet potato a part of your weekly menu?

 

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 medium-size sweet potato

112 calories

0 g total fat

0 g saturated fat

26 g total carbohydrates

4 g dietary fiber

5 g sugar

2 g protein

438 mg potassium (12% DV)

32 mg magnesium (8% DV)

39 mg calcium (3% DV)

0.8 mg iron (3% DV)

3 mg vitamin C (5% DV)

0.3 mg vitamin B6 (15% DV)

18,443 IU vitamin A (386% DV)

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients – Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Plain)

2 pounds (3 large) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt (use less if table salt)

1 tablespoon light brown sugar, lightly packed

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes into ½ inch pieces. Add to your largest sheet pan and add the melted coconut oil, salt and brown sugar on top. Toss to coat all the sweet potatoes and then spread out to arrange in an even layer. You do not want any potatoes overlapping or you will end up with steamed potatoes instead of roasted potatoes. Flip every 10-15 minutes, cooking for a total of 27-35 minutes.

Ingredients – Seasoned Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds (3 large) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt (use less if table salt)

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

½ teaspoon ground chili powder*

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes into ½ inch pieces. Add to your largest sheet pan and add olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin and garlic powder on top. Toss to coat all the sweet potatoes and then spread out to arrange in an even layer. You do not want any potatoes overlapping or you will end up with steamed potatoes instead of roasted potatoes. Flip every 10-15 minutes, cooking for a total of 27-35 minutes.

Notes:

  • *Use chipotle chili powder and/or smoked paprika for a smoky flavor. If you want to make your sweet potatoes even spicier, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper.