8 Health Benefits Of Sweet Potato You Never Knew
By: Kratika Tue, 23 Feb 2021 6:39 PM
Sweet potato is a staple food in various parts of the world since ancient times. They are known for their copper-colored skin and vibrant orange flesh. There are hundreds of varieties present worldwide with different colors such as white, cream, yellow, reddish-purple, and deep purple.
As its name itself suggest, sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet flavor. The sweet potato is a starchy, sweet-tasting root vegetable that belongs to the nightshade family. They are available in 25 varieties.
# Support healthy vision
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. It is an antioxidant that is generally present in bright orange-fleshed vegetables. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body and used to form light-detecting receptors inside your eyes.
Various eye disorders related to vitamin A deficiency such as xerophthalmia, cataracts may be controlled by consuming orange, sweet potatoes. Purple sweet potatoes also seem to have vision benefits.
# Help for good digestion
Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fibers and are also known for improving gut health and digestion. The high fiber content in sweet potatoes can also help in preventing constipation in both children and adults. It also contains a high amount of phytosterol that has a protective effect on the digestive system. It may help to prevent and manage duodenal and gastric ulcers.
# Help to manage diabetes
Sweet potato is naturally high in sugar and starch. However, Sweet potato has a low glycemic index. The low glycemic index means that the sweet potatoes release sugar into the bloodstream slowly, unlike other starchy foods. This steady phase to mix sugar in the blood is helps to control the raised blood sugar.
The fiber in sweet potatoes is also beneficial to manage diabetes. Studies have found that people who consume more fiber appear to have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A half-cup of mashed sweet potato contains about 2.5 gm of fibers.
# Help to prevent the risk of cancer
Various studies suggest that purple-fleshed sweet potato is essential to fight cancer. Carotenoids present in sweet potatoes are helpful to prevent getting cancer like prostate cancer in males.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that may help to prevent and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
# Help to minimizing the risk of heart health
Various studies suggest that fibers and antioxidants present in sweet potatoes help decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Other scientific studies have shown the high level of anthocyanin in the purple sweet potato help lower the chances of coronary disease.
# May enhance brain function
Purple-fleshed sweet potato is excellent for normal brain function. Few animal studies have found that the anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes can protect the brain by reducing inflammation and preventing mental decline.
# May boost the immune system
Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene. This beta-carotene helps to convert it into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential to boost your immunity to fight against infections. It also keeps your gut system healthy and keeps your natural gut flora balanced.
# Help to improve skin
Types of sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and antioxidants. Vitamin C and vitamin E are essential for skin and hair health. Vitamin C helps in collagen synthesis that is the main structural protein of the skin. Many studies have also shown that Vitamin C contains anti-inflammatory properties. It means that the vitamin can help manage skin diseases such as acne.