Sweet potatoes offer a tasty addition and creamy texture to your meals, and they're great when eaten alone, too!
They're found in desserts, they can take the place of regular potatoes as a healthy (but still tasty) french-fry alternative and they continue to gain recognition and popularity at the dinner table. Aside from being the only veggie you can get your kids to eat, they come with a huge range of benefits you might not have known.
They're good for your heart. Because of the great source of B6 vitamins and potassium, sweet potatoes contribute a great deal to heart health. The Harvard School of Public Health says the B6 vitamins found in sweet potatoes are great at breaking down homocysteine, a substance that hardens the blood vessels and arteries.
Potassium is also super heart-healthy. According to the Heart and Stroke Encyclopedia by the American Heart Association, potassium helps to balance and maintain the heart's normal rhythm, as well as maintaining fluid balance.
They can help you de-stress.Yes, there's a healthy food that can help keep your stress level in check. Although sweet potatoes alone won't relieve all your life-related stress (we wish!), they contain magnesium, which is the original "chill pill," according to Psychology Today. Magnesium promotes relaxation, calmness and a good mood.
They can maintain blood sugar levels & stabilize appetite. A 2007 study done at North Carolina State University found that sweet potatoes might just be the secret weapon against diabetes. Sure, they're sweet, but they have a low glycemic index and release sugar slowly into the blood stream, which reduces the risk of sugar spikes and unbalanced levels of blood sugar.
In addition to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, the mineral element manganese, which is found in sweet potatoes, also helps the body metabolize carbs, utilize antioxidants and stabilize your appetite, according to a report done on manganese by the Micronutrient Information Centre at Oregon State University.
They help prevent cancer. There are anti-carcinogenic properties in sweet potatoes, thanks to the beta-carotene found in orange veggies. Purple sweet potatoes have also shown to have cancer-fighting abilities, with a positive effect on cancer cell growth.
If you want to take advantage of these health benefits but don't know how to incorporate sweet potatoes into your family's meals, check out these recipes:
©iStockphoto.com/annedala Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/annedala
Photography by Angus Fergusson
The best way to beat those midwinter blues? A touch of green. Read on for our guide to low-maintenance houseplants.
When it comes to decorating, we believe most spaces benefit from a plant or two, and the decor world agrees—houseplants have made a comeback. According to Jill Jensen, founder of Jill Jensen Botanicals, a Clarington, Ont., tropical-plant wholesale company, the resurgence in popularity comes down to four things: Compact, easy-to-care-for plants appeal to both small-space dwellers and novice gardeners; good-quality botanicals are more readily available at garden centres, flower shops and even your local grocery store; we now know they improve our mental health; and decorative pots have received an esthetic upgrade, with options in everything from marble to ombré woven baskets. When caring for houseplants, Jensen says the first step is having the right environment. Tropical houseplants typically do best in a temperature-controlled space—over 17°C is OK, but above 21°C is ideal. Read on for our selections and Jensen's best tips to ensure that your plants thrive.
Great for spaces that don't get a lot of natural light, this leafy choice is also less susceptible to both pests and disease.
This stylish plant is almost indestructible. It thrives in low-light conditions and needs only moderate watering, so it's ideal for first-time plant owners—or for those with black thumbs!
Named for its colourful spiky flower, this pretty tropical will sprout suckers, or tiny shoots, as it ages; once the shoots reach a substantial size, you can separate them to form new plants.
This hardy variety can grow up to six feet tall but doesn't tend to spread out, which makes it ideal for small living or work spaces.
A succulent is any plant that stores water in its leaves or stem. Available in a variety of rich textures and colours, these trendy botanicals prefer lots of light; since they're desert plants, don't overwater them (allow the soil to dry completely between waterings).
Don't expose the maroon leaves of this plant to direct sunlight—it will cause the delicate tissue to burn
This compact version of the popular fiddle-leaf fig adds visual impact without taking up too much space.
One of the few plants with the same common and botanical name, this lush pick purifies the air in your home. It's also easy to care for, as it does well in most light conditions (except direct sun) and can survive with occasional two- to three-week intervals between waterings.
This fast-growing plant benefits from regular pruning— otherwise, it will quickly become overgrown. If the wide, flat leaves get dusty, wipe them gently with a soft damp cloth.
Unlike most cacti, this variety is native to the rainforest, so it prefers ample moisture (ensure good drainage so roots don't sit in water) and indirect light. It produces small white flowers in late winter or early spring, followed by small berries (similar to the ones on mistletoe, hence the name). Handle with care—the stems break easily.
Three perfect perches for your plants.
Buying art is easier than ever thanks to online shops that offer everything from contemporary abstracts to landscapes—often in a variety of sizes. With prices that won't blow the budget, you can curate an art collection from the comfort of your couch.
The image wraps around the sides so you can enjoy its beauty from every angle.
This landscape was inspired by the striking country-road views of the American Midwest.
$30 to $246, minted.com.
Canadian artist Yangyang Pan's stunning print will add drama to any space.
$62 to $192, siiso.etsy.com.
Download this fun photo and print it in any size you want!
Muted colours and textures give this piece a vintage feel.
Artist Helena Wurzel's work feels like a modern take on folk art.
$79 to $1,586, 20x200.com.
Artist Hailey Mitchell's portraits are inspired by strong women around the world.
Photography from a favourite travel destination keeps memories alive.
$30 to $299, annawithloveshop.com.
Perch this preppy greeting at the front door to welcome your guests in style.