8 ways sweet pota­toes are great for you

Weekly Trust - - Weekend Magazine - Vi­ta­min A Vic­tory. A Beta-Carotene Boost. Healthy Prep Is Easy. Cancer-Fight­ing Com­pounds. Vi­ta­mins and Min­er­als. Bet­ter for Blood Sugar. Fab­u­lous Fiber. Adapted from WebMd.com

IPNot all sweet pota­toes are or­ange. Their skins and in­sides can be white, yel­low, brown, red, pink, and pur­ple. The range of color brings dif­fer­ent nu­tri­ents to the ta­ble. Pur­ple-fleshed sweet pota­toes are thought to con­tain su­per­high lev­els of an­tiox­i­dant and anti-in­flam­ma­tory agents. As th­ese sub­stances pass through your sys­tem, they bal­ance out free rad­i­cals -- chem­i­cals that harm your cells.

Just one medium baked sweet potato can give your body a whop­ping 400% of the vi­ta­min A it needs to keep your eyes and skin healthy and help hold off ill­ness. Deep-or­ange sweet pota­toes con­tain beta-carotene, an an­tiox­i­dant thought to fend off ill­ness. This might in­clude cer­tain can­cers as well as eye dis­ease.

The way you cook your sweet pota­toes can make a big dif­fer­ence in the nu­tri­tion you’ll get from the dish. One study mea­sured how many carotenoids, like be­tac­arotene, stayed in the food af­ter­ward. The sim­plest method, oven bak­ing, turned out to be the best.

Sci­en­tists found th­ese col­or­ful spuds have a unique pro­tein called a pro­tease in­hibitor. When tested against cancer cells, it ap­peared to halt some growth. Sweet pota­toes are rich in vi­ta­min C, which revs up your im­mune sys­tem. High potas- f you think men­tal ill health is a mil­lion kilo­me­tres from, think again.

At least one in ev­ery five Nige­rian adult has a health prob­lem that isn’t phys­i­cal or so­cial but men­tal.

It could even be that you didn’t sleep well last night, but that doesn’t mean you are mad, says Dr Frank Odafen, na­tional pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Gen­eral and Pri­vate Med­i­cal Prac­ti­tion­ers of Nige­ria (AGPMPN).

Men­tal health problems cost Nige­ria nearly N1b each year in lost man­hours.

“If you are not work­ing and you com­pute it, very many peo­ple are re­ceiv­ing salaries with­out the work be­ing done,” he said at a press briefing to mark World Men­tal Health Day in Abuja.

It isn’t just Nige­ria. Glob­ally, “an es­ti­mated sium lev­els help con­trol blood pres­sure, while cal­cium bol­sters your bones. White pota­toes, the ones you nor­mally eat baked or as chips, rank high on the glycemic in­dex, which mea­sures how quickly food af­fects your blood sugar. 10% of the em­ployed pop­u­la­tion has taken time off work for de­pres­sion, and an av­er­age of 36 work days are lost when a worker gets de­pressed,” says World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion re­gional di­rec­tor for Africa, Mat­shidiso Moeti.

“Symp­toms such as dif­fi­cul­ties in con­cen­trat­ing and mak­ing de­ci­sions cause sig­nif­i­cant im­pair­ment in pro­duc­tiv­ity at work.”

Half of all peo­ple with de­pres­sion don’t get treat­ment. In Africa, lack of in­for­ma­tion, stigma and cul­tural is­sues are sig­nif­i­cant Sweet pota­toes rate lower. They also have more fiber -- about 5 grams in a 3/4 cup serv­ing -which slows di­ges­tion and keeps you feel­ing fuller longer.

If you’re try­ing to trim down, they’re stuffed with filling fiber. For a sat­is­fy­ing meal, bake them in the skin. Or bar­ri­ers that pre­vent peo­ple from seek­ing help.

“Although equal op­por­tu­nity laws for peo­ple with dis­abil­ity in the work­place ex­ist in many coun­tries, men­tal ill­ness is as­so­ci­ated with the great­est dis­ad­van­tage in terms of em­ploy­ment rates,” says Moeti.

“So­cial ac­cep­tance of peo­ple with men­tal health ill­nesses has not im­proved much in the last 20 years.”

One-man busi­nesses have it as easy as any­one else.

“You know when you are not happy. Lock serve them on the side, mashed, roasted, or chopped into a sa­vory stew. White pota­toes have their as­sets -- both tater types are fat-free -- but the sweet ones have slightly fewer calo­ries and carbs. up your shop and go see your doc­tor,” says Odafen.

But men­tal health problems come with deal­ing with ‘shy­ness and per­cep­tions”.

“Men­tal, phys­i­cal and so­cial health are one and the same,” says Odafen.

And that lies at the heart of men­tal health in the work­place-to get em­ploy­ers to un­der­stand their em­ploy­ees’ men­tal health im­pacts on the bot­tom­linel

AGPMPN is look­ing to have em­ploy­ers of labour set up clin­ics where em­ploy­ees can get men­tal health at­ten­tion as they would any phys­i­cal in­fir­mity.

Em­ploy­ees would also be re­quired to lend lis­ten­ing ears, same as work­ers would be will­ing to speak up about men­tal health is­sues, if it af­fects their pro­duc­tiv­ity.

It will be an “en­vi­ron­ment to detox­ify, to give them en­abling en­vi­ron­ment to func­tion most op­ti­mally,” said Odafen.

“When our so­ci­ety comes to terms that men­tal health is a fact of life, not re­lated to the es­o­teric, then things will be easy,” said Odafen.

“For self preser­va­tion, the onus lies on em­ploy­ers to en­sue to­tal well­be­ing of em­ploy­ees is guar­an­teed.”

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