5 Health Benefits Of Yams And Sweet Potatoes
Some vegetables are delicious and other vegetables are healing. These tubers are both! Keep reading to learn about the top 5 health benefits of yams and sweet potatoes…
There are lots of vegetables that we eat just because we know we should. Just because they are healthy. Just because the research shows that you just have to eat them.
Sweet potatoes and yams do not fall into this category. Nobody has to force or convince you to eat a yam or a sweet potato. I think you’d be hard pressed to find too many people who are eating these root veggies just because they are healthy. In fact, I don’t think I’d be exaggerating if I said that whenever you see someone eating a sweet potato or a yam, they are eating it — relishing it with gusto — because it’s delicious.
It’s a great perk that these delicious taters show up on a lot of “healthiest foods” lists!
But… they are really healthy. Yup, they are up there with kale and spinach…
First, let me make it clear that yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing. They come from two wholly different plants. I point this out not because it really makes much of a difference when you are buying, cooking, or eating them, but merely because I have been asked about this before, so I figured if you are ever asked, you too will know…
If I was forced to make a choice between a yam and a sweet potato, I might go for the yam because yams are considered Chinese herbs (Shan Yao). This herb is great for energy — I just truly love, love, love my Chinese herbs, and I would love to teach you about them, so reach out in the comments below with any questions.
One of my favorite things to do is to teach my clients how to cook with Chinese herbs — and this requires very little cooking skills. All you need is the knowledge about which herb to use for what and how long to cook it. Then, you can just toss a few sticks of an awesome herb into your regular food while it’s cooking and … oh my… the healing results are so incredible!
Honestly, I don’t even think that most supermarkets know the difference between yams and sweet potatoes and they just pile them both up together, so don’t make yourself crazy. They are both awesome in healing capabilities and in taste.
Keep reading and I’ll tell you about my favorite 5 health benefits of yams and sweet potatoes.
If you eat the right foods and herbs for your unique body and circumstances, you can heal yourself. All you need is the correct information. And I’m here to give it to you. So, read on and learn more ways you can easily start to heal yourself with my top favorite 6 fruits and vegetables that are in season during late summer. And, if you want to learn more about healing whatever your specific concerns are, I’d love to help you create a healthy lifestyle plan specifically for your unique needs, so sign up for a free phone consultation and we can chat about it.
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Here Are The Top 5 Health Benefits Of Yams And Sweet Potatoes
Before I get to the reasons you should run out and buy some sweet potatoes and yams, let me tell you that my real number one reason is taste. Yams and sweet potatoes, when prepared correctly, are sooooo delicious. They are versatile enough to use in both sweet and savory dishes, and they can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. So, deliciousness aside, here we go with the top 5 health benefits of yams and sweet potatoes…
1. Yams And Sweet Potatoes Are Great For Your Digestion
There are some foods that are good for constipation. There are some foods that are good for diarrhea. But, there are not too many things you can eat that are good for both ends of the spectrum. Yams and sweet potatoes are good for both! The starch in sweet potatoes and yams is easily digestible and because there is a high fiber content in them, they are also good for a sluggish intestinal tract.
Chinese yams are a medicinal herb called Shan Yao. I like to add a few slices of this herb to soups and stews for an extra digestive boost.
One of my favorite uses for sweet potatoes is in a breakfast bowl. My Creamy Sweet Potato Bowl is your digestive system’s best friend. Aside from it tasting great and being so comforting, it just makes me feel awesome. If I wake up with even a tiny twinge of digestive discomfort or if my stomach feels even just a little bit “off”, I make this bowl.
2. Yams And Sweet Potatoes Are Anti-Cancerous Foods
Sweet potatoes and yams are anti cancerous vegetables. These orange veggies contain carotenoids, which help fight cancer.
Carotenoids are the color pigments that give orange and yellow colored vegetables and fruits their bright colors. Beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein are all varieties of this substance and it’s these things that give sweet potatoes their antioxidants and cancer busting abilities.
There has been a lot of research showing that eating sweet potatoes and yams can be particularly helpful in fighting a battle with breast cancer.
Because sweet potatoes and yams contain vitamins A, B6, C, and E they are a healthy choice when looking at disease prevention. And, with the healthy dose of minerals contained within them, they are a smart thing to eat when you are looking to strengthen your body.
3. Sweet Potatoes And Yams Can Help You Get Rid Of Excess Water
Yams and sweet potatoes are a natural diuretic. So, if you have some excess swelling, edema, or water weight, then adding these vegetables to your diet may help you out quite a bit. In some cases, this works so well that the body may become too dry, so it’s smart to be aware of what your needs are at a particular time and if you start feeling dry, cut back on your sweet potato and yam intake a bit.
In Chinese medicine the herb, Shan Yao (Chinese Yao) is used to stimulate the kidneys. This is one of the reasons sweet potatoes and yams are so effective as a natural diuretic.
4. Yams And Sweet Potatoes Can Help With Diabetes
These vegetables are great at regulating blood sugar. There has been a lot of positive research regarding adding sweet potatoes and yams to the dietary regime of diabetic individuals. Studies have shown that the sugars in these tubers are stored in the body’s tissues and converted to energy. And, the fiber helps slow down the absorption of the sugars, making it easier for the body’s blood sugar to stay at a healthy level.
5. Sweet Potatoes Help Your Skin and Hair Look Youthful
Orange sweet potatoes are considered to be a longevity food for your outer appearance. Because they contain a high amount of vitamin E, they are great for your skin, your hair, and your nails.
Sweet potatoes help detoxify the body, and heal your digestive system and when you clean your insides, it shows on your skin. Clearer skin, more elasticity, and fewer wrinkles are some of the benefits you can expect when you add these spuds to your diet.
The beta carotene in sweet potatoes is an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals and environmental damage.
So Many Sweet Potato/Yam Recipes, So Little Time
If you make any of these sweet potato/yam recipes, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.
1. Sweet Potato Bacon Waffles
These waffles are amazing. And, if you can all of the nutritional benefits described above, what’s stopping you?
2. Healthy Sweet Potato Salad
The next time you start to make a traditional potato salad as a side dish… rethink it and make this sweet potato salad instead.
3. Beet Sweet Potato Soup
This soup is so comforting and so healing!
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I Speak From Personal Experience
I had horrible digestive issues for the first 30 years of my life. Yes, 30 years! It wasn’t until I was introduced to the world of alternative medicine, that I was able to get my life and my health back under control. I used to have to know where every bathroom was at all times. I was on a ton of medication. I had zero energy and I didn’t sleep. Ugh… wow, do I sound like a big mess…
Well, I was. But all of that led me to where I am now. And I am forever grateful for where I am now!
My passion is helping you heal yourself with food and herbs. It’s truly my calling. When I was studying for my Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine, I knew that all of these amazing tenets of Eastern Medicine could be applied to food and used as everyday healing agents for so many people. I knew that if I combined what I was learning about the properties of food, herbs, and supplements with what I already knew from my chef’s training, it would be life-changing.
And it is. My training in both Eastern and Western medicine, combined with my obsession with food and cooking, has given me a unique skillset that has helped so many people. And I want to help you. Nothing aggravates me more than knowing that these tools exist but that so many of you have not been taught them.
Everyone should know how to heal themselves with food, supplements, and herbs. This should not be a secret.
If you eat the right foods and take the right supplements for your unique body and circumstances, you can heal yourself. All you need is the correct information. And I’m here to give it to you.
Food really is medicine!
If you eat the right foods and herbs for your unique body and circumstances, you can heal yourself. All you need is the correct information. And I’m here to give it to you. So, read on and you’ll find out which 4 supplements you should bring on vacation. And, if you want to learn more about healing whatever your specific concerns are, I’d love to help you create a healthy lifestyle plan specifically for your unique needs, so sign up for a free phone consultation and we can chat about it.
Sweet potato is my favorite food. Great sharing of the 5 health benefits of Sweet potato.
I am so glad you like sweet potatoes as much as I do! I use them in so many dishes! What’s your favorite way to make them?
I quote your saying ‘Food really is meedicine!’.
So I be very direct to say I have histamine problems; so what foods can really help me relieve or get rid of the histamines in my body especially on my head……
Thank you in advance for your prompt advice.
Hi Albert. I wrote a blog post about allergies and how to help them with foods. If you have any more questions, just ask!