10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF SWEET POTATOES
10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF SWEET POTATOES
Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) is an extremely versatile and sweet root vegetable tuber that is highly nutritious. It belongs to the morning glory family of plants. It creeps and the tubers grow on the roots in the soil.
According to the National Institute of Health, USA, sweet potato is a medicinal food that has anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
There are different varieties of sweet potatoes identical in colours such as, orange, yellow, purple and white as well.
The leaves of sweet potatoes are also edible and even more nutritious unlike regular potatos.
Sweet potatoes have been discovered to contain unique natural compounds that can be used to produce medicines.
Sweet potato is a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and amino acids.
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT OF SWEET POTATOES PER 100g.(SOURCE: USDA)
|Vitamin A, UI||14187UI||20870 UI||15740ug||8674ug|
|Vitamin A, RAE||709ug||961ug||782UG||434ug|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.26mg||0.71mg||0.94mg||1.49mg|
|Vitamin K( phylloquinone)||1.8ug||2.3ug||2.1ug||4.6ug|
|Saturated fatty Acid||0.018g||0.052g||0.031g||1.157g|
|Monounsaturated Fatty Acid||0.001g||0.002g||00g||3.703|
|Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid||0.014g||0.092g||0.061g||2.863g|
10 Health benefits of Sweet Potatoes
- Strong Immune System
Sweet potatoes contain high amount of provitamin A, According to a table presented by the US National Institute of health on selected sources of vitamin A including animal sources, sweet potato leads by providing 561% per daily value, the same documents acknowledges the contribution of vitamin A in the immune system.
Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CTL, January 9, 2019, suggested that vitamin A is critical to a healthy Immune system, and low blood levels have been linked to a reduced immunity.
Vitamin A present in sweet potatoes may reduce gut inflammation thereby increasing the immune system’s ability to fight the free radicals.
Vitamin A helps the immune system to fight the free radicals due to its high oxidative property.
Sweet potato diet supplies the body with over 50% of daily required vitamin C which is good for the immune cell strength.
- Good Vision
Vitamin A supports the normal differentiation and functioning of the conjunctival membranes and the cornea. It is also a component of the protein rhodopsin that absorbs light in the retinal receptors. Sweet potato contains anthocyanin which is well known as a powerful antioxidant that contributes to the good eye health.
- Fight Cancer
The strong antioxidants in sweet potato, especially, the purple coloured may help prevent formation of cancer cell in the major internal organs. Sweet potatoes contain a type of protein called sporamin which is proven to protect the body against cancer cells and other diseases.
Research has proven that vitamin A efficiency prevents lung cancer.
- Heart Health
Sweet potatoes are good for the heart for so many reasons. It contains good amount of minerals like potassium, iron and zinc which are essential for the functioning of the heart. The fiber in sweet potato can also reduce LDL cholesterol levels to check cardiovascular disease.
- Fertility/Reproductive Health.
Sweet potato contains a lot of vitamin A, Iron, and calcium which are key nutrients that boosts fertility.
Vitamin A deficiency is known by research to cause secondary infertility in women.
Vitamin C and zinc in are also known to improve quality sperm count in males to enhance their fertility potency.
- Anti-inflammatory Benefit
Studies suggest that, anthocyanin in sweet potatoes help in prevention of inflammation in the body. The rich content of sweet potato in beta-carotene, cyanidin, vitamin C and magnesium can help the body to reduce inflammation.
Choline has benefits of reducing inflammatory responses to control inflammation.
- Controls Stress
Sweet potatoes contain good amount of magnesium which is known to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Research proves that, enough magnesium in the body decreases depression especially the elderly and premenstrual disorders in women. It reduces Insomnia in the body which contributes to stress, anxiety and depression.
- Manages blood sugar
Sweet potatoes contain good fiber and complex carbohydrates which help regulate the blood sugar content. It also has a lower glycemic index compared to regular potatoes.
Studies show that caiapo (an extract from white sweet potatoes) can control the plasma glucose levels and cholesterol levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
- Brain Functioning
Sweet potatoes contain special food nutrients such as choline, anthocyanins and manganese which enhance proper functioning of the brain. They improve performance of the neurotransmitters for quick nerve and brain response. The anthocyanin specifically enhances better memory due its antioxidant property.
- Controls Blood Pressure
Sweet potatoes are rich in potassium and magnesium which are known to be effective in blood pressure regulating according to science.
Adequate content of magnesium in the body reduces chances of hypertention.
US, National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, PubMed
US Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service Database
Remya Mohammed and Subha Savasankar, Journal of Medicinal Food, 14th July, 2014
Ocean Robins, CEO, Food Revolution Network, December 19,2018
Jen Miller, Jen Reviews, 2017
Ludvik B1, Neuffer B, Pacinib G, Department of Medicine III, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, Diabetes Care, 2004, Feb, 27