When looking for new ingredients to juice, the sweet potato probably wouldn't be on the top of your list - it certainly wasn't on ours. But wow, what have we been missing all these years! As well as tasting great, the sweet potato has some amazing health properties. Read on to find out why the sweet potato is so good for you and how you can taste it for yourself in two new juice combinations we have created.
First some facts. The sweet potato is not actually part of the potato family at all. Potatoes are tubers whereas the sweet potato is a root. There are many varieties of sweet potatoes with flesh ranging from white, yellow, orange and purple. Even the shapes and sizes range from being short and blocky to long and thin.
Sweet potatoes, especially the deeper-colored ones, are extremely rich in carotenes (precursor of vitamin A as found in carrots). It is said that the vitamin A in sweet potato is 1000x more than a white potato, making it one of the best foods for your eyesight. Natural vitamin A is not toxic, as opposed to a vitamin A supplement that can become toxic in high dosage. This means you should have no concerns about eating too much sweet potato.
Sweet potato is also an excellent source of vitamins C, B2, B6, E and biotin (B7).
In terms of minerals, sweet potatoes provide a good source of manganese, folate, copper and iron. They also contain pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) and are a rich source of dietary fibre (although as explained in previous posts, insoluble fibre is left behind in the juicing process).
Sweet potatoes are excellent sources of plant proteins with very low calories. Unlike other starchy root vegetables, the sweet potato is very low in sugar, and in fact is a good blood sugar regulator. It has twice the fibre, twice the calcium and over 1000x more vitamin A (beta-carotene) than white potato. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory food. The known health benefits are:
Antioxidants: Sweet potatoes have been found to contain a high amount of antioxidants, making it suitable in combating inflammatory problems like asthma, arthritis, gout, etc.
Anti-inflammatory: The high beta carotene content in sweet potato is the key anti-inflammatory compound that makes it a natural painkiller. You can eat it steamed, or juiced to benefit from its painkilling properties.
Diabetes: This fibrous root is suitable for diabetics’ consumption as it is a very good blood sugar regulator, helps to stabilize and lower insulin resistance.
Emphysema: Smokers and people who inhale second-hand smoke should regularly consume foods high in vitamin A as smoke has been found to induce vitamin A deficiency, causing a host of other health problems to the lungs.
Fetal development: The high folate content is important and necessary for healthy fetal cell and tissue development.
Immune system: Regular consumption of sweet potatoes strengthens the body’s immune system and develop resistance to infection.
Heart diseases: Consumption of this high potassium root helps to prevent heart attack and stroke. It helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells, as well as normal heart function and blood pressure.
Muscle cramps: A deficiency in potassium can cause muscular cramps and greater susceptibility to injury. Make sweet potatoes a regular part of your diet if you exercise a lot, both for an energy boost and to prevent cramps and injuries.
Stress: When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, causing the body potassium levels to be reduced. By snacking on the potassium-packed sweet potato, it helps to rebalance the vital mineral, and helps normalize the heartbeat. This in turn sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body’s water balance.
Barannes Juices with Sweet Potato
At the time of writing we have two delicious juices with sweet potato as their core ingredient.
Sweet Potato Red
Both these juices can be ordered by the bottle, in 330ml and 500ml sizes, from our online store or in regular (£4.45) and large (£4.95) cups from either of our shops (subject to daily availability of fresh ingredients).