Sweet potatoes can be a superfood. They contain many of the essential nutrients to combat aging. That’s why it is known as one of the most powerful anti-aging foods in the market. And it’s cheap too!
By Dawn Flemming
Aging comes with special challenges. We become weaker and at risk for more diseases. However, with changes in our schedules, diet and physical activities, we can avoid many of these problems.
Diet plays an important role in healthy senior living. One must consume the appropriate amounts of nutrients and avoid toxic foods to best optimize our aging process.
On a regular basis, we write about the foods we should and shouldn’t eat. In this article, we are going to look at the special benefits of eating sweet potatoes for senior aging.
The Harvard School of Public Health states that
Sweet potatoes with orange flesh are richest in beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes with purple flesh are richer in anthocyanins. Beta-carotene and anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant “phyto” chemicals that give vegetables their bright colors. These phytochemicals are researched for their potential role in human health and disease prevention.
Studies show that beta-carotene and phytochemicals which are abundantly present in sweet potatoes are linked with anti-aging, decreased cancer risk and also decreased night blindness, something which seniors frequently suffer from.
Phytochemicals are particularly important in their anti-oxidant properties which may help with cancer and autoimmune inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Eating Right Guy’s writes that
Phytochemicals are found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes and protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Phytochemicals found in sweet potatoes have high antioxidant activities that remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are foreign bodies that damage normal cells and play a key role in the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and aging.
According to Medical News Today, sweet potatoes can help with diabetes:
The fiber in sweet potatoes is also important. Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels, and people with type 2 diabetes have improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels. One medium sweet potato with the skin on provides about 6 grams of fiber.
Sweet potatoes are also low on the glycemic index (around 40, compared to 90 for regular potatoes) which makes them ideal for weight loss. We know that weight gain can be detrimental for seniors and all people alike.
Sweet potatoes come in a variety of colors and all are beneficial. They are also affordable and can be mixed in a variety of foods. Many people prefer to add cinnamon to their sweet potatoes which makes them rather tasty!
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.