Sweet Potato Health

In his mid-town Manhattan practice, Dr. John W Phelts makes nutritional recommendations based on his patient's blood work.  This allows for better recommendations to his patients as to which foods need to be incorporated into their diet.  When appropriate, he likes to recommend sweet potatoes

Sweet potato is packed with a variety nutrients.  It is abundant in beta carotene (which your body converts into Vitamin A), as well as a healthy dose of vitamin C, several of the B vitamins, plus the minerals potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. 

Sweet potato is also abundant in antioxidants, which help protect against inflammation, aging, and play a role in blood sugar regulation. Beta-carotene is an anti-oxidant, which gives sweet potatoes their orange flesh.  The body converts about 10% of beta carotene into Vitamin A.  We need Vitamin A for eye health, a strong immune system, and healthy skin.

Sweet potato contains an anti-inflammatory nutrient called anthocyanin, which 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 circulatory system.

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. Quick fact:  Yams are not the same as sweet potatoes. The two are not even in the same "food family." Sweet potatoes are grown in the United States whereas yams are imported from Africa or Asia. It is hard to tell the difference between the two, so ask the produce manger at your local supermarket for help.

A quick note:  You may be wondering why we did not mention that sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A.  That is because, they do not contain actual Vitamin A aka retinol.  As mentioned earlier, sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A in the small intestine.  Only about 10% of beta carotene is converted.  Retinol is found in animal products like liver and eggs.             

If you would like a thorough analysis of your most recent blood work, then give us a call 212-286-2012.  We use science based nutrition with applied Kinesiology (AK) for alternative treatments to conventional medicine for a variety of conditions.  We are located two block from Grand Central Terminal in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan.  We serve the 10016, 10017, and 10018 zip codes.  We also do phone consultations, if in person appointments are not convenient for you.