As autumn approaches, our Farmer’s Markets and grocery store produce sections begin to fill with a variety vegetables. One of the most nutrient dense vegetables are sweet potatoes. They come in a variety of sizes and colours including orange, white, and purple. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre. The fibre and antioxidants in sweet potatoes help support digestive and immune health.
Sweet potatoes contain a variety of antioxidants. Anthocyanins are a group of antioxidants found in purple sweet potatoes. Studies have shown that these antioxidants help support the body in possible cancer prevention and brain function. Anthocyanins have been shown to help slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells in studies, including those of the bladder, colon, stomach, and breast. Consuming purple sweet potatoes may also help support brain function. Studies have found that the anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes can protect the brain by reducing inflammation and preventing free radical damage.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant that gives the vegetable it’s bright orange colour. One cup of baked orange sweet potato with skin provides more than seven times the daily requirements for beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body. This vitamin helps support a healthy immune system.
Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed in salads, soups, desserts or simply roasted and eaten on their own. For a great sweet potato soup recipe click here: https://lovingitvegan.com/vegan-sweet-potato-soup/
Denise Boyd, BSc, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RNH) with a specialization in Cognitive and Immune Support.