How This Helps

Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, B5, B6, Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin, and, due to their orange color, are high in carotenoids. Plus, they're fat-free, relatively low in sodium, and have fewer calories than white potatoes. When combined with superfoods like Kale and Spinach, this recipe is loaded with antioxidants for a healthy heart.

Science and Research

Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of Vitamin A; a large one contains more than 100 percent of the daily recommended intake, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are a source of potassium, one of the important electrolytes that help regulate heartbeat. Moreover, Vitamin B6 in sweet potatoes helps break down homocysteine, which is linked with a heart attack. You can steam sweet potatoes with Kale and Spinach to get all the nutrients in the superfoods. Sprinkle a little bit of salt, pepper, and lemon juice and you have got yourself a colorful meal full of nutrients.


Health benefits of this recipe

Spinach health benefits:

Spinach is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and a great source of magnesium, manganese, iron, and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is essential for maintaining bone health, and it's tough to discover vegetables richer in vitamin K compared to spinach. Others include kale, broccoli, and green cabbage. It's recognized for its nutritional qualities and has always been considered a plant with remarkable abilities to restore energy, enhance vitality, and enhance blood quality. There are solid reasons why spinach would produce these effects, primarily because it is full of iron. Iron plays a central role in using red blood cells that help in energy production, in moving oxygen in the body, and in DNA synthesis.

Kale health benefits:

Kale contains antioxidants, calcium, fiber, vitamins K, vitamin C, iron, and many other nutrients which may help prevent various health issues. Antioxidants are helpful for the body to eliminate unwanted toxins that result from environmental stress and natural processes. These free radicals are unstable molecules and act as toxins. If a lot of buildup in the body, they can even result in cell damage. This free radical buildup can lead to several health problems like inflammation and related ailments. 

The American Diabetes Association advocates consuming foods full of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. There's scientific evidence that some of them may protect against diabetes.

According to studies, people who have the greatest amounts of dietary fiber seem to have a diminished probability of developing diabetes type 2. Consuming dietary fiber may also assist in lower blood sugar levels.

Studies notice that high blood glucose levels can trigger the creation of free radicals. Researchers note that antioxidants, such as vitamin C and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), can help reduce complications that may occur with diabetes. Both these antioxidants are found in kale.

A variety of nutrients in spinach may encourage heart health. A cup of cooked kale can provide 3.6% of an adult's daily needs for potassium. The American Heart Association recommends increasing potassium consumption while reducing the consumption of additional salt or sodium. This can decrease the chance of elevated blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. 

A Cochrane review in 2016 noted a correlation between consuming fiber and lower blood lipid levels and blood pressure. Subjects who consumed more fiber were more likely to have lower overall cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol.

Even though humans couldn't absorb much chlorophyll, but chlorophyll binds to these carcinogens and prevents the body from absorbing them. Kale may limit the possibility of cancer, and pairing a chargrilled beef with green vegetables can help reduce the negative effect. Vitamin C, selenium, beta carotene, along other antioxidants in kale might help prevent cancer. Nutritional supplements have not been found to have the same effect. Still, people with high consumption of fruits and vegetables appear to have a lower risk of developing a variety of cancers. This may be due to the antioxidants that these foods contain.

Sweet potatoes health benefits

Sweet potatoes with orange skin are loaded with beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes with purple skin are more abundant in anthocyanins. The chemicals Beta-carotene and anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant phytochemicals that lend vegetables bright colors. These phytochemicals are researched extensively for their role in human health and medical conditions.

Go easy on the portion sizing: Though sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta carotene, they have a high glycemic index and glycemic load--almost as large as that of a white potato.

See: Sweet Potato & Diabetes

See: Ayurvedic herbs for diabetes

References

1. Forrest, K. Y., & Stuhldreher, W. L. (2011). Prevalence & correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults [Abstract]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310306

2. A primer on potassium. (2018). https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/potassium

3. Diabetes superfoods. (n.d.). https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/healthy-food-choices-made-easy/diabetes-superfoods

4. Antioxidants and cancer prevention. (2017). https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/antioxidants-fact-sheet

5. Full list: EWG's 2019 shopper's guide to pesticides in produce. (2019). https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/full-list.php

6. Hao, G., et al. (2017). Vitamin K intake and the risk of fractures. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5413254/

7. Kale, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. (2019). https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169238/nutrients

8. Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations. Appendix 7.  (n.d.).  https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-7/

9. Bone health for life: Health information basics for you and your family. (2018). https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/bone-health-life-health-information-basics-you-and-your-family#e

10. Choline: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019). https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/

11. Furman MD FACS, Richard (2014-09-30). Prescription for Life: Three Simple Strategies to Live Younger Longer (p. 118). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition

See: Kale Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts

See: Healthy Heart With Natural Medicine

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