In our Manhattan office, Dr. John W Phelts, D.C. focuses on the nutrition of his patients. Poor nutrition can lead to many ailments. After a thorough analysis of a patient's blood work, he makes nutritional recommendations based on their specific needs. Sometimes sweet potatoes are an appropriate food recommendation.
Sweet potato is known as a great source of Vitamin A. However, they do not contain Vitamin A, which is also know as retinol. They contain beta carotene, which the body must convert to vitamin A in the small intestine. Only about 10% of beta carotene is converted into retinol. Sources of retinol include organ meats like liver, and eggs. That's ok, because beta carotene has its own health boosting properties. Sweet potatoes do provide an abundance of vitamin C, several of the B vitamins, plus the minerals potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. This is a food that you definitely want to incorporate into your diet.
But that's not all…
Sweet potato is also sport powerful antioxidants, which help protect against inflammation and play a role in blood sugar regulation. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant, which gives sweet potatoes their orange color. As mentioned earlier the body can convert a portion of beta carotene into Vitamin A. We need Vitamin A for eye health, a strong immune system, and healthy skin.
It doesn't stop there....Sweet potatoes also provide anthocyanin, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Research indicates that anthocyanin can be instrumental in protecting against the cellular damage and degeneration that occurs with age, particularly related to vision (e.g.., macular degeneration) and the blood vessels.
Sweet potato color, both flesh and skin, can range from white to yellow-orange to brown or purple. There also are "firm" or "soft" varieties. A lot of people wonder if yams and sweet potatoes are the same. Quick fact: They are not. The two are not even in the same "food family." Sweet potatoes are grown in the United States whereas yams are typically imported from Africa or Asia. It's hard to tell them apart, so if you aren't sure, ask the produce manager for help.
Although a food is healthy does not mean that it is healthy for everyone. If you would like an analysis of your blood walk and an alternative method of improving your health, give us a call (212-286-2012). We use science based nutrition with Applied Kinesiology (AK) to put you on the road to health. We are located two blocks from Grand Central station in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan near the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes. We also do consultations by phone.
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Mohanraj, R and Sivasankar.S "Sweet Potato: A Valuable Medicinal Food." Journal of Medicinal Food. July 2014, 17(7): 733-741. doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.2818. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2013.2818
World's Healthiest Foods: Sweet Potato http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64
Library of Congress Everyday Mysteries: Sweet Potato or Yam? https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sweetpotato.html