If you asked me what my favourite vegetable is, I would have a pretty tough time trying to decide-I love almost all of them. But the one I always come back to, and have very fond feelings for, is the humble sweet potato. It’s so versatile, flavoursome and nutritious. What isn’t to love! As the slightly more exciting cousin of the potato, there is a whole lot of great stuff you can say about sweet potatoes, and here are my 5 favourite things about the beautiful orange veggie.
- Sweet potatoes are full of Beta-Carotene (A red-orange pigment found in plants) which is a precursor to vitamin A, and therefore leads to an increase in our blood levels of Vitamin A (Which is a fat soluble vitamin we use for vision, reproduction and cell communication).
- They are full of complex carbs (starches) at around 20g per 100g, which helps to keep our energy levels up for longer, and keep us full.
- They are relatively high in fibre with 3.8g per 100g, the fibre is both soluble and insoluble, with the soluble fibres increasing fullness, reducing blood sugar spikes, and decreasing food intake, while the insoluble fibres improving gut health (by feeding the good bacteria) and reducing the risk of diabetes.
- Sweet potatoes contain lots of Vitamin C (19.6mg-or 33% of our daily intake per 100g), which is a great antioxidant, can help to reduce the duration of colds and boost the immune system, as well as helping to keep our skin healthy.
- They are a great warming comfort food, without the added extras that we sometimes find in pastas etc. They are versatile and can be used in a number of ways: mashed, boiled, stuffed, sautéed, fried, baked, made into fritters, added to stews and curries, no to mention simply roasted (my personal favourite way of eating them).
So next time you are choosing between your starchy carbohydrate at your next meal, sweet potatoes are a great choice!