Sweet Potatoes Can Help Fight Cancer

Why You Should Eat Sweet Potatoes

Food is is truly our medicine. The sweet potato is not only nutritious, it may even help prevent certain types of cancer.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, and sweet potatoes freshly harvested, now is the perfect time of year to indulge in this vegetable.

There are about 400 different varieties of sweet potatoes which range in color from a pale yellow, to orange, pink, and even purple.  The darker colors indicate the high beta-carotene content of the sweet potato.  It also contains high amounts of the B vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals such as zinc, potassium and manganese.

Blood Sugar & Weight Loss

Studies show sweet potato has an anti-obesity potential. Even though it has a fairly high sugar content, it  has a low glycemic index. In clinical trials, sweet potato reduced blood sugar levels  and improved insulin sensitivity (even in type 2 diabetes patients). In one study with mice, sweet potato was shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

Cancer Fighting Nutrients

Researchers have discovered an extract of sweet potato  kills up to 65% of human leukemia cells in vitro. Another study  from Japan showed pre-menopausal women who eat sweet potato more than 3x weekly had a 30% less breast cancer risk.

The purple sweet potato contains nutrients that help suppress certain types of cancer cells including stomach, colon, lung, gallbladder, kidney and breast.

Other Benefits

Sweet potatoes may have anti-inflammatory properties and help reduce inflammation in brain and nerve tissue throughout the body.  They also contain ingredients which prevent blood clots and may help to fight heart disease.  The nutrients in the purple varieties can also help neutralize the dangers of heavy metals including mercury, cadmium and arsenic.

Raw vs Cooked

This is one vegetable that is best eaten baked, steamed or broiled.  Studies show that heating helps release the beta-carotene, making it more accessible to the body,  Boiling, however, is not recommended as this method will destroy the nutrients.

Enjoy sweet potato, not just over the holidays, but all year round.