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Fit Fridays with Tracy: The benefits of sweet potatoes

tracy

 

A 1 cup serving of sweet potatoes gives your sexy self a whole 6.6 grams of fiber. If you didn’t already know, fiber is what aids you in digesting your food properly. Eat fiber regularly! You’ll be less likely to get heart disease or colon cancer.

This same serving of sweet potatoes also gives you 950 milligrams of potassium, which is about 20 percent of the 4,700 milligrams you should be getting each and every day. Potassium keeps your heart beating normally (and keeps your blood pressure low). A serving of sweet potatoes supplies 1,922 micrograms of vitamin A, a nutrient that keeps your eyes, skin, teeth and bones healthy. This is more than the 700 to 900 micrograms you need on a daily basis. Sweet potatoes contain vitamin C and iron, two nutrients that you need for a strong immune system. They also contain folate, which (ladies, if you’re trying to get pregnant) can prevent certain birth defects.

Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants, which work in the body to prevent inflammatory problems and protect your cells from damage. The antioxidants in vitamins A, C and manganese guard cells against carcinogens and toxins. Eating sweet potatoes can also boost immunity by supporting the needs of the body.

What else is jammed packed into a sweet potato, one might ask?

Iron – assisting with blood cells

Calcium and Magnesium – assisting with healthy bones

Manganese – aiding in wound healing and metabolism

Vitamin B6 – assists with metabolism and the nervous system

Sweet potatoes are also great for alleviating muscle cramps. Potassium deficiencies are a leading cause of muscle cramps, as well as injuries. By making sweet potatoes a regular part of your diet (along with consistent and proper exercise), you can expect an energy boost and fewer muscle cramps and injuries!

Believe me, you want to work this fiber rich veggie into your diet! The benefits are countless.

Tracy Springs is a fitness instructor at LA Fitness. Feel free to contact her at [email protected] with any questions or to set up a fitness appointment at the LA Fitness Waukegan facility