If you’re a fan of sweet potatoes, this article will likely encourage you to pile even more of these delicious vegetables onto your dinner plate. Doing so is beneficial if maintaining your youthful and radiant appearance is a top priority. Sweet potatoes are chock-full of vitamins and nutrients that can improve physical health while simultaneously slowing down the progression of fine lines and wrinkles commonly associated with premature aging. Indeed, these root vegetables belonging to the plant family Convolvulaceae or morning glory can deliver more than just a pop of color to one’s dinner plate. They offer health benefits that can be both felt and seen.
Sweet Potatoes for Better Physical Health
Before detailing why sweet potatoes are beloved for their anti-aging benefits, let’s take a brief moment to go over how they can benefit one’s overall health as well. Of course, doing so requires knowing a little more about the nutritional profile of this particular root. Firstly, in addition to orange, sweet potatoes also come in white and purple. Regardless of color, they are an excellent source of not only vitamins but also minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which can go a long way toward allowing the body to function at its best. On a side note, sweet potatoes are also relatively low in calories, which means that individuals can reap the many health benefits that come with consuming them without tacking on extra pounds. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup, which is around 200 grams, of sweet potatoes is only about 180 calories. The same single cup of orange, white or purple sweet potatoes also delivers the following:
- 41.4 grams of carbs
- 4 grams of protein
- 0.3 grams of fat
- 6.6 grams of fiber
- 32 micrograms of folate
- 448 milligrams of potassium
It is also worth noting that consuming just one cup of sweet potatoes can provide as much as 65 and 76 percent, respectively, of the daily value (DV) recommended by the FDA for vitamin A and vitamin C, not to mention 69 milligrams of calcium. All in all, there is no shortage of health benefits that come with making sweet potatoes a dietary staple. For example, the protein in these colorful potatoes can lead to the development of long, lean and healthy muscle, which, in turn, can fend off osteoporosis and other bone diseases later on in life. Further, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of calcium, which supports healthy, strong bones and teeth. Lastly, the fiber in these root vegetables can improve overall digestive health.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
As impressive as sweet potatoes are when it comes to physical health, there is something to be said for what these root vegetables can do from a purely aesthetic standpoint. According to traditional and naturopathic physicians, as well as dieticians and nutritionists, sweet potatoes boast an array of benefits that keep men and women looking their best as they get older. Some of what these health experts describe as the less well known anti-aging benefits of sweet potatoes include the following:
Studies show that collagen production starts to decline while most individuals are still in their mid-20s or early 30s. Collagen is a structural protein that the body makes naturally, and it helps keep skin taut and radiant. When the body fails to produce collagen, most people will eventually develop fine lines and wrinkles. Many will also notice that their skin is noticeably drier. The vitamin C in sweet potatoes can help boost collagen production. As an antioxidant, the vitamin C in these vegetables helps combat the free radicals that contribute to the signs of premature aging.
Another one of the many anti-aging benefits of sweet potatoes has to do with hydration. In short, the potassium and pantothenic acid in sweet potatoes work together to keep skin hydrated. The more hydrated the skin, the more resistant it becomes to dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, age spots and other imperfections synonymous with premature aging. Also, if an individual has already developed these problems, adding sweet potatoes is an excellent way to turn back the proverbial hands of time.
If you regularly expose your skin to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, it might be in your best interest to consume more sweet potatoes. This is primarily because these great-tasting vegetables contain folate, a B vitamin that protects the skin from the damaging effects of UV light. But the benefits do not end: Folate also keeps skin cancer that is often associated with exposure to UV light at bay.
All in all, sweet potatoes are good for your health in many ways. What’s more, the anti-aging properties associated with them are about as close as anyone will ever get to experiencing a real-life fountain of youth.