The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are available all over the world, and if you only eat these delicious root vegetables when they’ve been baked until they are virtually unrecognizable, then you are missing out on one of nature’s greatest nutritional gifts. They are not only rich in a vast range of nutrients, but they are also one of the best natural ways to regulate your blood sugar levels, making them an exceptionally beneficial food for diabetics. It also helps that they are absolutely scrumptious, and their sweet flavor is completely unlike any other found in the vegetable world. Indeed, sweet potatoes are so versatile that they’re sure to liven up a whole range of dishes, even desserts!

Selecting and Storing Sweet Potatoes

There are different varieties of sweet potato, and many come in different colorings and hues. Here are some tips for selecting, storing and preparing the vegetable, so that you can benefit from as much goodness as possible.

  1. Choose the darker variety of sweet potato at the grocery store if possible, because they have the higher carotene content, essential for the production of vitamin A. Purple sweet potatoes, more commonly found in Asia, are also a great source of nutrients. Paler varieties are healthy but don’t offer quite the same number of benefits as darker types, and many people often confuse them with yams.
  2. Avoid wrinkly, soft sweet potatoes and take time to select ones with good, firm flesh. If there are signs of green discoloring, then leave them alone.
  3. Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place. Do not leave them in plastic bags, or keep them in the fridge. Consume within 7-10 days of purchase.
  4. Prepare sweet potatoes in the same way you would prepare normal white potatoes. However, bear in mind that the skin contains a large percentage of the nutrients, so try to leave it on if possible. You can make fantastic sweet potato fries by leaving the skin on, and chopping the vegetable into strips.
  5. You can steam, bake, boil or roast sweet potatoes, and still benefit from plenty of nutrients. But as with any vegetable preparation, try not to over-cook them.

Specific Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Although they are soft, creamy and sweet enough to be used in some desserts, sweet potatoes offer a surprisingly huge range of nutritional benefits, many of which have specific health benefits.

1. Great for Heart HealthSpecific Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

The high levels of vitamin B6 and potassium found in sweet potatoes provide excellent benefits for your heart. B6 vitamins break down homocysteine, a substance which can harden blood vessels and block arteries. Potassium, meanwhile, helps balance fluid and blood pressure levels, while providing your body’s cells with electrolytes that help regulate your heart beat.

2. Great Source of Vitamin A

Sweet potatoes contain a huge amount of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that gives certain vegetables their orange color. The body can turn carotenoids into vitamin A, which is linked to cancer prevention, the maintenance of good vision, and also provides a number of anti-ageing benefits. Indeed, one large sweet potato is capable of providing 100% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

3. Great for Blood Sugar Levels

Although they are sweet tasting, sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index, which means they are a very good blood sugar regulator. Many starchy foods, including white potatoes, encourage blood sugar levels to spike and rise rapidly, but sweet potatoes release sugar into the bloodstream much more slowly. This makes them a great choice for diabetics, who can safely consume the carbohydrates without associated problems.

4. Great for Skin Care

Sweet potatoes can work to improve the appearance of your skin from both inside and outside your body. The high levels of vitamin C and E contained within sweet potatoes helps boost the body’s defenses against the sun’s harmful UV rays and encourages the production of collagen, which keeps the skin strong and supple.

But it isn’t only the consumption of sweet potatoes that can benefit your skin. If you boil them, don’t throw away the water afterwards. Take a cup and use your fingers to gently apply the water to your face. This can help clean your pores, remove impurities from the skin and even reduce dark circles around your eyes.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

5. Great for Digestion

Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, while still being low in calorie content. Fiber promotes a healthy digestive tract, helping your body pass toxins and waste products out quickly and efficiently while guarding against constipation and bloatedness.

6. Great for Emphysema Prevention

Emphysema is a condition that gradually damages the air sacs in the lungs, leaving sufferers short of breath. It is often associated with smokers, or people exposed to smoking on a regular basis.  Smoking reduces levels of vitamin A, which helps regenerate the cells in the lungs. The beta-carotene contained within sweet potatoes encourages the production of vitamin A and helps heal the respiratory system.

7. Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Sweet potatoes contain a significant amount of vitamins C, E, B5, B6, riboflavin and copper. These nutrients offer a range of benefits for your immune system, red blood cell production, sleep patterns, mood, wound repair, disease prevention, muscle weakness and pain.

8. Great for Stress Relief

Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of magnesium, often considered to be one of the best minerals for promoting relaxation, calmness and improved mood. As we already know, they are also rich in potassium, which helps regulate your heart beat when you are anxious or stressed.

Why Sweet Potatoes a healthy alternative

Why Sweet Potatoes a Healthy Alternative?

Sadly, many consider the sweet potato a bad food choice because it has carbohydrates and is very starchy. The unjustified maligning of this regal root vegetable needs to stop now!

Only processed carbs are evil! Natural starchy vegetables, eaten without deep frying them, are incredibly healthy and truly necessary to nurture and feed the critically important gut microbiome – that recently discovered complex civilization which resides deep within us in our gut. These workhorses for our wellbeing are living creatures and require food to live. Fiber and starch are what they need to survive!! Only processed carbohydrates turn rapidly into sugar. The delicious sweet potato does not.

Just be sure when you prepare them that you don’t add unhealthy ingredients, such as marshmallows or brown sugar! These marvels of the earth, when simply prepared, taste heavenly!

Certain Foods Tied to Increased Depression Risk

Certain Foods Tied to Increased Depression Risk

This article came as no surprise to me! The new and exciting field of nutritional psychiatry is so key to cognitive and mental health. Of course what we eat matters to our brain! And how we feel emotionally is clearly linked to our physical state.

Our brains need many varied nutrients to function properly and also need a healthy gut microbiome. The health and happiness of the bacterial civilization inside our colons has an immense impact on the status of our brains. They make byproducts from the foods we eat, with a great emphasis on the fermentation products of fiber from vegetables, called short chain fatty acids, which circulate and enter our brains and keep all working well and helping us to feel happy.

A diet which mostly consists of processed foods and animal products and is short on vegetables and some fruits will leave our gut microbiome hungry and our brains unhappy.

So what is the recipe for happiness? It seems clear now that a diet with lots of vegetables and fiber from whole grains, along with lots of healthy fats from plant materials, with  just a small amount of animal protein and fat, is the ticket to health and happiness!!

Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/2pnkCTI

7 different ways to look absolutely fabulous

7 Different Ways to Look Absolutely Fabulous

As an integrative medical practice, we take a broad view of beauty. Though seen on the outside, beauty is truly a reflection of the physiological processes taking place throughout the body, on both the outside and from deep within our bodies. Skin problems result from hormonal imbalances, deep-seated inflammation, and oxidative stress, manifesting outwardly on the body’s surface.

Our recommendations begin with healing from within and working from there to the part of you that’s visible to the whole world – your skin.

Here’s what you can do to look absolutely fabulous:

  1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. The very same nutrients that support cardiovascular, metabolic, and cognitive health help the skin shine. Focus on choices that are organic, with lots of fruits and vegetables. Everything that goes in your mouth should be real, whole food, and, most importantly, everything you eat should taste fabulously delicious.
  2. Heal the gut. Your intestinal tract’s job is to absorb the good nutrients, while keeping the bad stuff (artificial and natural toxins) out. Eating a good diet helps, but sometimes you need extra supplementation to get the job done and lower system-wide inflammation. A detox program can help with this.
  3. Avoid environmental exposures. None of us can escape living in the 21st Century with its abundance of chemical pollutants virtually everywhere. But you must do all you can to minimize your exposures and their terrible harms.
  4. Never use cosmetics and personal care products made with toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Find good alternatives and toss out the harmful ones.
  5. Have a daily skincare regimen. Don’t wait until the last moment before the big event and then try to hide blemishes under a layer of caked-on cosmetics. Come to our presentation on April 20, and Karen will show you how a daily routine can make your skin radiant every day of the week.
  6. Use organic – or as close to organic as possible – skincare products that have no toxic ingredients.
  7. Consider being proactive by addressing the unwanted effects of age and nature. Aesthetic treatments can make a big difference. And you can make the effects last longer with a daily skincare routine that nourishes the skin and reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. We provide free aesthetic consultations and all that we offer will be discussed – with no pressure to make any purchases.

Detoxing and Weight Loss

The obesity epidemic is still increasing, but the efforts to lose weight are declining. Weight loss is rarely successful when done in the traditional manner of trying to simply consume fewer calories, and many are simply giving up hope! Obesity is associated with an increase in all health problems, and is a very serious matter.

It’s now becoming apparent that gaining a healthy gut microbiome – having a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestines – is essential for the successful and permanent loss of excess body fat. As well, dealing with the high body burden of environmental toxicants is equally important for permanent weight management. Environmental pollutants actually alter metabolism so that fat is accumulated, which is why they are now labeled “obesegens.”

Successful weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight requires detoxing the body, improving gut health, getting proper sleep to nurture our Circadian Rhythm, managing stress, increasing physical activity, and having all essential nutrients onboard so as to enable the body’s metabolic machinery to function optimally – to successfully burn fat!

This isn’t a simple process, but it is worth the effort – as living a life of optimized health brings with it a level joy and exuberance otherwise unattainable!

Read more here:  http://time.com/4692274/americans-lose-weight-obesity/