Can Adding Sweet Potatoes To Your Diet Help Reduce Your Risk Of Cancer?

Autumn is a popular time to eat sweet potatoes in dishes like casseroles and blended soups, but their health-boosting properties make them worth eating any time of year. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, which helps keep you feeling full, according to Healthline. In addition, they could regulate blood sugar levels and cholesterol (per Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health). These root vegetables are also rich in beta-carotene, potassium, manganese, and vitamins C, E, B6, and B5 (via Healthline).

Given their strong nutrient profile, sweet potatoes have, according to the Health Sciences Academy, earned the title of a superfood, and they offer some super health benefits. In fact, research shows that these gemstone-colored veggies may help manage or avoid obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and vision loss (per WebMD). There's also evidence that they could be key in preventing and controlling some types of cancer. Here's how munching on sweet potatoes may help fight cancer.

Sweet potatoes may help prevent several types of cancer

Despite certain foods helping, not one food item can prevent cancer on its own, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. However, diets packed with a variety of nutrient-dense veggies, like sweet potatoes, can limit cancer development in the body.

The reason sweet potatoes are thought to reduce cancer risk largely comes down to their antioxidants (per Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center). Anthocyanins, antioxidants found in purple sweet potatoes, have been found to slow the growth of bladder, colon, stomach, and breast cancer. Additionally, multiple studies have linked carotenoids, another type of antioxidant found in sweet potatoes, to lower the risk of developing cancer, including stomach, kidney, and breast cancers (per Healthline). A 2013 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology also found that sweet potato protein inhibits the growth of colorectal cancer.

While you may be tempted to eat sweet potatoes every day for their natural sweetness and soft texture, you don't have to in order to take advantage of their cancer-fighting properties. The experts at WebMD suggest a serving size of around a half cup, two or three times a week. Or, next time you reach for a regular baked potato or a sleeve of fast-food fries, swap them out for sweet potato versions instead.