Nutritious Heart-Healthy Sweet Potato Pizza Dough
Pizza is everyone’s favorite food and often found on the menu, however, this popular fast food has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular problems, and high blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, the refined flour crust and processed cheese—laden with hydrogenated fat—can make pizza a pretty unhealthy option. But here is a health-friendly version of this much-loved food that is super easy to prepare and store. Sweet potato pizza dough is a healthier alternative to the traditional refined flour crust. Sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense root vegetable with numerous health benefits. Studies have shown that sweet potatoes have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, moreover, they can aid with weight loss, reduce blood sugar levels, enhance your cognitive abilities, and improve vision.
Sweet Potatoes for Adrenal Fatigue
Our modern lifestyles are full of stress and what we eat can largely contribute to this. Fast foods such as traditional pizza are fattening and can exert stress on your body leading to several potential health issues including chronic fatigue. Frequent and severe fatigue along with other symptoms such as brain fog, low energy levels, low concentration, anxiety, insomnia, difficulty waking up, constipation, stubborn weight gain, and cravings for salty and fatty foods could be a sign of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).
Your NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response system is comprised of six circuits and various organs working in a close coordination to help your body fight stress. The metabolic circuit—pancreas, liver, and thyroid—is part of this system and is responsible for regulating the fuel (glucose) in your body.
During stressful situations, the NEM stress response signals to your adrenals to secrete the anti-stress hormone cortisol. However, prolonged and continuous stress can overburden your adrenal glands leading to less cortisol production, thus reducing your body’s stress-fighting capacity. Adrenal dysfunction and unbalanced cortisol levels in your body may lead to Adrenal Fatigue.
Cortisol imbalance can affect all six circuits of your NEM system including the metabolic circuit. When the metabolic circuit is affected, this can lead to reduced energy, sugar cravings, loss of muscle mass, type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia, and weight gain. Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and therefore may help you recover from Adrenal Fatigue by nourishing your adrenal glands.
High blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance increase your risk of liver disease, which may lead to imbalances in your metabolic circuit. Sweet potatoes are low in calories and highly nutritious and therefore promote weight loss, stabilize blood glucose levels, and support liver health, which are essential for your metabolic circuit to function properly. Sweet potato pizza dough is a delicious way of incorporating all the amazing nutrients of this vegetable into your diet.
Incredible Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Incorporating sweet potatoes into your diet can benefit your health by:
Providing Powerful Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidants that can protect you from various diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Studies suggest purple sweet potatoes are the highest in antioxidants. The vibrant orange-colored skin of other sweet potatoes can be attributed to their high beta-carotene content, a potent antioxidant that promotes healthy skin, hair, and vision, and improves respiratory health. Studies have shown that colored sweet potatoes are more potent in fighting harmful free radicals.
Stabilizing Blood Glucose Levels
If you’re suffering from diabetes, consider incorporating sweet potatoes into your diet as they may help regulate your blood glucose levels. Extensive studies have shown that Caiapo, a particular type of white sweet potato, exhibits anti-diabetic properties. According to one study, diabetics who were administered Ipomoea batatas (Caiapo) for up to three months showed a significant drop in their blood sugar levels. Another study showed diabetics experienced significant improvements in insulin sensitivity—therefore helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels—after receiving Caiapo for six weeks.
Strengthening Your Immunity
Sweet potato pizza dough can support your immune health. Sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of vitamins, in particular, vitamin A. Just one medium-sized sweet potato contains as much as 438 percent of your daily recommended vitamin A intake, which can support your overall health and is important for your immune system. Vitamin A strengthens your immunity by stimulating immune cells and therefore can help your body fight infections. Animal studies have suggested that vitamin A may also have anti-tumor properties. Furthermore, extensive studies have shown a significant reduction in the risk of infection-related death by taking vitamin A supplements.
Promoting Weight Loss
Shedding those excess pounds is always a challenge especially for Adrenal Fatigue sufferers who often experience stubborn weight gain. Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients and fiber and can give you a feeling of fullness to help lose weight. Just one cup of sweet potatoes can provide 26 percent of your daily recommended fiber intake. As fiber slowly moves through your digestive tract, it makes you feel full, thus, preventing cravings. Recent studies performed on mice showed that purple sweet potatoes may in fact have fat burning properties. During the 12-week study, mice on a high-fat diet were fed with purple sweet potatoes, which led to less fat accumulation and a lower body weight.
Sweet potatoes are slowly digested and can provide long-lasting energy, which can be particularly beneficial to those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue. Incorporating these nutritious tubers into diet may also help you meet your fitness goals or bodybuilding targets and may improve your overall health. Therefore, this sweet potato pizza dough may be an excellent way to promote weight loss and help you achieve the healthy body you desire.
Supporting Healthy Vision
Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision. A vitamin A deficiency can actually cause night blindness, dry eye, and in some cases, even a total loss of vision. The reservoir of vitamin A and beneficial antioxidants such as beta-carotene in sweet potatoes can promote healthy vision and reduce your risk of vision degeneration.
Enhancing Brain Function
Researchers have linked sweet potatoes with improved cognitive abilities. In one animal study, rats fed with purple sweet potato extract demonstrated improved memories and their brains were more protected from oxidative damage. In another animal study performed in mice, sweet potato extract was revealed to enhance spatial learning and protect the brain from aging.
Regulating Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that potassium intake may help stabilize blood pressure. Therefore, sweet potatoes, which are extremely rich in potassium—just one sweet potato contains up to 542 mg—could cut down your risk of death by up to 20 percent.
Sweet potatoes contain the versatile nutrient choline that promotes memory function, muscle mobility, and sleep. Choline may also aid with fat absorption, support cellular health, and reduce chronic inflammation. Studies have shown that purple sweet potato extract exhibits free-radical fighting abilities and anti-inflammatory properties, yet another reason to make your own sweet potato pizza dough.
Healing Stomach Ulcers
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, and beta-carotene, which can soothe your intestine and help heal stomach ulcers. This amazing vegetable is also rich in fiber which can prevent constipation. If you suffer from ulcers or other stomach-related disorders, you should consider incorporating sweet potatoes into your diet due to their soothing anti-inflammatory properties. Pizza made with sweet potato pizza dough is a healthy alternative that will be much lighter on your stomach.
The rich vitamin C and beta-carotene content of sweet potatoes could significantly reduce your risk of various types of cancer, including those of the kidney, intestine, prostate, colon, and other internal organs.
Improving Heart Health
Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin B6 which can prevent hardening of the walls of your arteries by breaking down homocysteine. Furthermore, their potassium content helps regulate your blood pressure ensuring a healthy heartbeat. So why not enjoy a delicious heart-healthy pizza made with sweet potato pizza dough.
Sweet potatoes are rich in magnesium, known to promote calm and relaxation and improve your mood, thus relieving stress. It is also known to support your bones, nerves, arteries, and muscles.
Nourishing Your Hair and Skin
The vitamin A, C, and E in sweet potatoes can protect your skin from sun damage and encourage collagen production, healthy hair, and glowing skin.
Recipe: Sweet Potato Pizza Dough
Homemade sweet potato pizza dough is full of nutrients and fiber for a much healthier version of traditional pizza dough. For an even more nutritious pizza, consider adding an assortment of vegetables and a variety of different cheeses.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 ¼ tsp yeast
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Combine ingredients A in a small bowl. Cover with a lid and set aside for about 5 min.
- Combine ingredients B in another bowl to get a crumbly mixture. Then add ingredients A into the bowl and mix. Your mixture should still be a bit crumbly.
- Transfer ingredients C into the bowl, except the oil. Knead until you get a dough-like texture, then shape into a ball. Now add the oil and gently roll the dough around until it’s well coated.
- Cover the bowl with a clean muslin cloth and set aside in a warm place for about 60 min or until the dough has risen (increased in size).
Sweet potatoes are an extremely nutritious root vegetable with remarkable health benefits. Studies have linked sweet potatoes with weight loss, as well as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. These delicious low-calorie tubers are rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, pantothenic acid, niacin, copper, and thiamine, which can help fight numerous diseases, strengthen your immunity, relieve the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue, and keep your metabolic circuit balanced. Sweet potatoes pizza dough is a super tasty and healthy way to incorporate this amazing vegetable into your diet.
© Copyright 2019 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
How should you store your sweet potato pizza dough?
Sweet potato pizza dough can be used immediately after the dough has risen. But you can also easily store the dough for use later. Divide the dough into small balls, seal them in separate freezer bags. and store in the freezer for up to two months.