Owners' Blog

The Benefits of Sweet Potatoes in Your Senior's Diet

By Hilary & Greg Eldridge

Senior Care in Marietta GA

Senior Care in Marrietta GAIf you are one of those people who think that sweet potatoes are a food that should be relegated to the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables, or at least only eaten during the fall and winter season, you are missing out on one of the most nutritious foods that you could include in your senior care routine with your aging parent. These brightly-colored tubers are rich in powerful nutrients, making them what some experts consider one of the healthiest foods in existence. Just to prove that you should not think of your sweet potatoes only in their candied, marshmallow-topped, or streusel-covered incarnations that should grace your table only in months that end with "ber," though those months are especially appropriate considering how delicious these are as a cold weather treat. Now is a fantastic chance for you to explore the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes and find more ways that you can integrate them into your parent's diet so that she can get the nutritional boost and also enjoy their delicious flavor all year.

Some of the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes include:

Beta-carotene. An even more powerful source of this nutrient that is responsible for the orange coloring than carrots, sweet potatoes offer enough vital Vitamin A to cover between 35 and 90 percent of a person's daily needs depending on the person and the cooking style. Vitamin A is important for supporting healthy vision, a strong immune system, and healthy bones and tissues. As much of the average person's Vitamin A intake comes from animal sources, sweet potatoes are a fantastic alternative for vegetarians and vegans, or just for those hoping to boost their nutrition and cut down on animal foods.

Anti-oxidants. Not all sweet potatoes are orange. Some are a vibrant, beautiful purple color, and this hue is great for much more than just sprucing up the look of your dinner plate. The purple coloring of these sweet potatoes indicates the presence of powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that work in the body to protect the cells against damage and protect the joints.

Dietary fiber. Fiber is one of those nutrients that is often ignored when thinking about healthy foods, or is thought of as only something that you can get from eating bran or oats. This is not the case. One cup of sweet potato contains more than one quarter of the daily recommended intake of fiber, which is especially important because most people do not get anywhere near the amount of fiber that they need on a daily basis. Fiber is important for digestive health, promoting regularity and easing issues such as diarrhea and constipation, helps to lower cholesterol levels, supports cardiovascular health, and promotes a sense of satiety, or fullness, that lasts for hours so you are less likely to overindulge in other foods.

Sweet potatoes also contain various Vitamin Bs, potassium, copper, manganese, and phosphorus. Try some of these delicious ways that you and your parent's senior health care services provider can offer more sweet potatoes into their diet:

Smoothies. Bump up your usual breakfast smoothie routine by adding in a scoop or two of mashed sweet potato. Combine with silken tofu, soy or almond milk, cinnamon, and honey for a power-packed breakfast you can take on the go and that will remind you of your favorite holiday flavors without going so far as to revisit pumpkin spice.

Fries. Everyone loves a nice pile of fries beside their burger, but if you want to make your salty side far more nutritious, go for a sweet potato version. Cut sweet potatoes into sticks of your desired size, toss with olive oil and salt, and bake until crisp for a lower calorie, lower fat, better for you fry.

Pie. You do not have to completely give up dessert to live a healthy lifestyle. If your parent has a sweet tooth, indulge it responsibly with sweet potato pie. Cut down the sugar or choose a calorie-free sweetener and use tofu instead of eggs to bump up the protein and cut down the saturated fat and cholesterol.


If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home senior care in Alpharetta GA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta GA (770) 681-0323.