Growing up, I was never a huge fan of squash or squash-type foods (sweet potatoes included). To me, they kind of seemed like they were cheating. They were sweet, but didn’t taste like I wanted something sweet to taste (I much preferred the sweetness of candy and cookies). They tasted healthy. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve defintely learned to appreciate these foods more and more. I particularly enjoy sweet potatoes, as they’re very versatile. You can roast them, bake them, slice them up into fries, or even make them into a pie filling- the opportunities are endless! And they’re super healthy to boot, too. Here are some reasons why you should incorporate more sweet potatoes into your diet:
#1: They are high in vitamin B6.
The B vitamins are an integral part of keeping your hair, skin, liver, and eyes healthy. Vitamin B6, specifically, is needed for proper brain development and can contribute to the health of your immune, nervous, cardiovascular, muscular, and digestive systems. Furthermore, it can potentially help to lessen the amount of homocysteine in our bodies, a chemical that has been linked to heart attacks in some people.
#2: They pack a hefty punch of vitamin C.
While it’s commonly thought that citrus fruit is the best source of vitamin C in our diets, sweet potatoes are actually a fantastic source of it. Vitamin C is cruicial in helping to boost our immune systems in order to ward of colds and other viruses, but it also improves bone and muscle health, improves your body’s ability to heal wounds, and instigates the production of collagen (which can help your skin to maintain its healthy elasticity).
#3: They are extremely convenient.
Sweet potatoes are super easy to find at a grocery store or at your local farmers’ market. They’re inexpensive and, if stored properly (in a cool, dry place), can last up to about two weeks. Furthermore, as was discussed previously, they are an extremely versatile food. Try baking them as you would a baked potato, and then topping them with butter, salt, and pepper. You can also slice and grill them, put them onto pizzas with a bit of arugula and pecorino cheese, make them into fries, or even toss them into a salad with pumpkin seeds and goat cheese. They’re a really delicious and incredibly nutritious addition to any diet!
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