Athletes require a steady supply of quality carbohydrates to fuel their training and aid in the recovery process. Instead of sugary sports drinks, energy bars, or pasta, try refueling with sweet potatoes!
Sweet potatoes are a healthy and delicious carbohydrate option that can be roasted, baked, pan-fried, or microwaved to make for an excellent pre-workout snack. Their natural sweetness pairs well with many different seasonings to be enjoyed in both savory and sweet dishes while providing a number of health benefits.
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fiber as well as containing an array of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, and vitamins B and C. For example, in one cup (200 grams) of this root veggie there are:
Carbs: 41 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Fat: 0.3 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Vitamin A: 760% of the Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin C: 70% of the DV
Calcium: 8% of the DV
Iron: 8% of the DV
(the info above from https://hgic.clemson.edu/healthy-tips-sweet-potatoes/)
You'll notice that one of the key nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes is that they’re high in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed. In fact, sweet potatoes can provide a whopping 380% of vitamin A per .5 cup serving which can help:
Promote eye health
Stimulate the production and activity of white blood cells
Take part in bone remodeling
Help maintain endothelial cell health
Regulates cell division
and growth for reproduction
(the info above from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-a/)
As you can see, sweet potatoes are not only starchy root vegetables that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals but they’re also high in antioxidants that can help protect your body from free radical damage and chronic disease.
Here's a quick recipe to help jump-start incorporating sweet potatoes into your healthy diet:
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges
2 teaspoons canola oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss sweet potato wedges with oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the wedges out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until browned and tender, turning once, about 20 minutes total.
Content by @natlovellpt