Odd as it may sound, sweet potatoes are good for you

It doesn’t seem right that a vegetable called a “sweet potato” can be a great addition to a healthy diet. After all, it’s “sweet” and it’s a ”potato” and those two words are usually left out of any conversation about healthy eating.

But here are 5 reasons that adding – or keeping – sweet potatoes on your plate is a great idea.

Sweet potatoes are:

Low in sodium, high in fiber, sweet potatoes are a healthy addition to your meal plans.

1. High in vitamin B6, which helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked to, among other things, heart attacks.

2. A good source of vitamin C, which not only helps us avoid cold and flu viruses, bit also is essential for bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It even helps us deal with stress.

3. Filled with vitamin D,which plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth.

4. A good source of iron needed for red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress and a healthy immune.

5. Filled with mag­nesium, the relaxation and anti-stress mineral.

Besides, sweet potatoes are versatile. They can be roasted, puréed, steamed, baked or even grilled. Lots of cooks puree them and add them to smoothies and baked goods.

But, don’t go overboard. While a typical serving has just 180 calories, there are 41 grams of carbs; so if you are lo-carbing, proceed with caution.

And, be aware that sweet potato pie and the typical sweet potato casserole, the kind served at Thanksgiving, are not the healthiest options. Go easy on the butter too.

Check out this recipe for healthy sweet potato fries.