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)

NameRawBakedBoiledFried
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid0.014g0.092g0.061g2.863g
Water77.28g75.78g80.13g51.97g
Energy86kcal90kcal76kcal182kcal
Energy359kj378kj320kj762kj
Calories86calories90calories94calories124.4 calories
Protein1.57g2.1g1.36g2.16g
Total lipid(fat)0.05g0.15g0.14g8.92g
Ash0.99g1.35g0.63g1.38g
Starch12.65g7.05g5.22g13.22g
Carbohydrate20.12g20.71g17.61g35.58g
Fiber3g3.3g2.5g5.7g
Sugars, total4.18g6.48g5.74g12.9g
Sucrose2.52g2.28g1.43g5.41g
Glucose0.96g0.57g0.54g0.81g
Fructose0.7g0.5g0.43g0.57g
Maltose0g3.12g3.34g6.1g
Calcium, Ca30mg38mg27mg52mg
Iron, Fe0.61mg0.69mg0.72mg0.77mg
Magnesium25mg27mg18mg26mg
Phosphorus47mg54mg32mg59mg
Potassium337mg475mg299mg409mg
Sodium55mg246mg272mg146mg
Zinc0.3mg0.32mg0.2mg0.38mg
Copper0.151mg0.161mg0.094mg0.177mg
Manganese0.258mg0.497mg0.266mg0.481
Fluoride----
Selenium0.6ug0.2ug0.2ug0.4ug
Vitamin C2.4mg19.6mg12.7mg7.5mg
Thiamin0.078mg0.107mg0.056mg0.092mg
Riboflavin0.061mg0.106mg0.047mg0.092mg
Niacin0.557mg1.487mg0.535mg0.697mg
Pantothenic acid0.8mg0.884mg0.581mg0.46mg
Vitamin B60.209mg0.286mg0.164mg0.1776mg
Folate, Total11ug6ug6ug32ug
Folic Acid0ug0ug0ug0ug
Folate, Food11ug6ug6ug32ug
Folate, DFE11ug6ug6ug32ug
Choline12.3mg13.1mg10.7ug26ug
Betaine-34.6mg--
Vitamin A, UI14187UI20870 UI15740ug8674ug
Vitamin A, RAE709ug961ug782UG434ug
Carotene, beta8509ug11509ug9444ug5204ug
Carotene, alpha7ug43ug-11ug
Lutein+zeaxanthin0ug00ug8ug
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.26mg0.71mg0.94mg1.49mg
Tocopherol, beta/alpha0.01mg0.01mg0.01mg0.19mg(delta)
Vitamin K( phylloquinone)1.8ug2.3ug2.1ug4.6ug
Saturated fatty Acid0.018g0.052g0.031g1.157g
Monounsaturated Fatty Acid0.001g0.002g00g3.703
Nutritional Content Of Sweet Potatoes (raw, baked, boiled and fried compared)

 

 

10 Health benefits of Sweet Potatoes

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

 

 

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

 

References

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