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…
5 health benefits of sweet potatoes and yams

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

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

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

beet sweet potato soup

This soup is so comforting and so healing!

download free ebook now

Download your free copy of my Radiant Skin Ebook now!

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.



Pomegranate Glazed Beets

These pomegranate glazed beets will make a beet lover out of anyone!

pomegranate beets (vertical on paper)-3736

Every morning Steve and I take our dogs (Maggie and Sadie) to Central Park for a walk. It’s really an amazing thing to do. Before 9:00am all dogs are allowed off-leash in the park. It’s like a sci-fi movie — it’s the dogs’ world and we just live in it. Literally hundreds of dogs are running around playing and sniffing and all of them get along. It’s really quite incredible and awe-inspiring. It’s an hour of pure wonder.

Today, my plan was to go to the gym as soon as I left the park. But, it was one of those mornings… so, here I am still in my kitchen. In my gym clothes. I mean, it’s just sooooooooo hot outside and it’s so cool in here…

And, it may not be logical, but I really wanted to make beets. I know, it doesn’t have anything to do with the park or my lack of exercise, but I really wanted beets.

This recipe for pomegranate glazed beets is delicious! And it’s really, really, easy. And the color is awesome.

The next time, I want beets, I’m going to substitute them for the sweet potatoes in my recipe for Sweet Potato Spaghetti Marinara.

pomegranate beets (horizontal bowl)-3720

Here are a few great reasons to make this recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranates and their seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence. These beets are glazed with pomegranate molasses… if you are going to go sweet, go pomegranate!

pomegranate glazed beets

Pomegranate Glazed Beets
Recipe type: vegetables, root vegetables, side dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
These beets are so easy. They are sweet and tart and simply delicious. This has become my favorite side dish!
  • 4 medium/large red beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 Tbs pomegranate molasses
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss the beets with the oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Now toss them with the molasses.
  5. Spread the glazed beets out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other.
  6. Bake until tender, about 50 minutes.
  7. Enoy!

pomegranate glazed beets