Sweet potatoes are vegetables that are available year-round. These root vegetables are rich in many essential nutrients such as potassium and fiber while containing no fat or cholesterol, making them an ideal addition to a healthy diet.
One medium sweet potato is about 5 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. When baked in its skin and without butter or oil, this vegetable contains 103 calories, no fat or cholesterol and 15 percent of the daily recommended amount of fiber.
High in Fiber
The American Heart Association recommends eating a variety of fiber-rich foods to help lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of stroke. A medium sweet potato contains 4 grams, or 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance of fiber.
A sweet potato is rich in vitamin A as beta-carotene and vitamin C. These two antioxidants work to eliminate free radicals from the body. These antioxidants also work as anti-inflammatories, and can reduce your risk of developing cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Sweet potatoes are also a good source of copper, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin B-6. They also contain thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.
Adding to the Diet
The American Dietetic Association recommends adding these naturally sweet vegetables to your diet. To easily gain a benefit from these vegetables, add sweet potato puree to smoothies, bake them plain or cut them into strips and season before baking.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Sweet Potato, Baked, No Salt
- American Heart Association: Whole Grain, Bran Intake Associated With Lower Risk of Death in Diabetic Women
- American Heart Association: Eating More Fiber May Lower Risk of First-Time Stroke
- National Cancer Institute: Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention
- American Dietetic Association: 365 Days of Healthy Eating