An all time family favorite, sweet potatoes bring back some of the best memories from my childhood days. Inexpensive to prepare, we ate them regularly with many meals. Of course, the sweetest times were at family gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since then, I’ve made a regular tradition of including them with various meals for my family and also for my women’s fitness groups. A high source of nutrition, sweet potatoes are an ideal vegetable for women who are interested in maintaining fitness.
Sweet potatoes have been enjoyed as a nutritious staple for centuries. One of the oldest vegetables, it is native to Central America, but cultivated in many countries today. Although mostly associated with having orange flesh, sweet potatoes range from white and yellow and can even have red or purple skin.
Beneficial to your health, sweet potatoes are rich in Beta Carotene, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from cancer-causing free radicals and boosts the immune system. In addition, sweet potatoes make a great snack or side to a main dish, low in calories but very satisfying, the bright orange flesh fills your stomach quickly.
Here are just a few of the nutritious benefits that can be relished from eating sweet potatoes:
• Rich in dietary fiber, sweet potato lowers the risk of constipation, diverticulosis and colon and rectal cancer.
• Sweet potatoes have been found to be helpful in minimizing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
• Lowers cholesterol and helps to control blood pressure. Can help to reduce the chance of stroke and prevent blood clots.
• Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, so even women with diabetes can enjoy sweet potatoes.
• Helps to balance electrolytes and maintain bodily fluids due to a high level of potassium.
• Healthy levels of iron and calcium found in sweet potatoes ensure proper blood flow and improve bone density.
Women who are interested in eating a healthy diet should make sweet potatoes a regular dish. Especially if you are trying to lose weight, the sweet taste and nutritious benefits found in this veritable vegetable coupled with the low calorie and zero fat content make it an ideal choice to add to a women’s fitness diet.
Reminisce with family and friends over a piping hot sweet potato served with cinnamon, or scoop it out and make your own mashed sweet potato. Sweet potato fries make a great snack and can be baked right in the oven.
If you are searching for healthy recipes that your whole family will enjoy, skip right over to my Healthy Cooking section, right here at Fitness4Her.com. Learn to prepare delicious meals that are nutritious with selections ranging from breakfast to dinner.
~ Karen Ficarelli
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