Sweet potato is a staple food and a popularly used vegetable across the world. This root vegetable is used to make savory as well as sweet dishes.
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a tuber belonging to the morning glory family of flowering plants. It’s different from a white potato, which belongs to the nightshade plant family and is more closely related to eggplants and tomatoes.
Like most vegetables, sweet potatoes are packed with carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Sweet potato is also a good baby food option when infants are to start on solid foods. Let’s see the health benefits of sweet potato,
A)Improves Digestive Health
Sweet potato, like all root vegetables, is packed with dietary fiber. This fiber in sweet potato is both soluble and insoluble in nature and can therefore benefit your digestive system in many ways. Not only can it add bulk to your stool to relieve constipation but can also promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria and keep your intestinal lining in good working order. This way, eating sweet potatoes can help prevent digestive disorders, diarrhea, stomach pain and other issues. Some studies show that sweet potato consumption may also lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
Vitamin A is a vital nutrient for vision and eye health. Vitamin A deficiency can damage your vision and lead to the development of eye diseases. Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin A, both of which are required to prevent blindness, night blindness, cataracts and macular degeneration. Consuming sufficient amounts of sweet potatoes may also help prevent and aid recovery from eye infections.
Your immune system requires sufficient amounts of macronutrients and micronutrients to function properly. Sweet potatoes are rich in many essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can give a weak immune system a much-needed boost. Vitamin A and C and minerals like iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium are all required by your immune system to gain strength – and these are all the nutrients found in large concentrations in sweet potatoes.
D)Improves Brain Health
Sweet potatoes are exceptionally packed with antioxidants that are known to improve brain health. These antioxidants like anthocyanins and beta-carotenes not only protect your brain from inflammation, oxidative stress and free radical damage but it also improve memory, learning and other cognitive functions. Some studies show that eating sweet potatoes may also reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Infertility is a problem on the rise globally and it affects both men and women. In the case of women, iron deficiency, anemia and vitamin A deficiency can contribute to infertility. This is why women of childbearing age must consume plenty of iron and vitamin A through their diet. In fact, dietary supplements for iron and other micronutrients may also be prescribed to women who want to get pregnant. Sweet potatoes are rich in these micronutrients and so, consuming this root vegetable may improve fertility.
Choline is a micronutrient which helps to reduce inflammation. It is present in sweet potatoes abundantly. Choline not only reduces intestinal inflammation but may also reduce lung inflammation linked with asthma. In fact, a high dosage of choline supplements is good for people with chronic inflammation too. This apart, vitamin C, beta-carotene and anthocyanins also help reduce internal and external inflammation.
G)Controls Blood Sugar
In diabetes or prediabetes, doctors recommend you eat low-glycemic index foods for better insulin control. Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index of 46, which means that consuming them in moderate or low proportions is safe for diabetes patients. This root vegetable is also rich in dietary fiber, which helps to control blood sugar.However, excessive consumption of sweet potatoes may lead to adverse blood sugar effects, so consult a doctor or nutritionist to know the amount you can safely consume.
H)Aids Weight Gain
Sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Sweet potato not only improve your immune system but may also help you gain weight. This root vegetable also contains a large amount of starch, which assists in weight gain. Proper weight gain is very important for those recovering from infections or those who suffer from malnutrition. Sweet potatoes are easy to digest and help add mass to your body.
I)Lowers Cancer Risk
Some test-tube studies have shown that the anthocyanins produced in sweet potato may lower the risk of certain cancers like colon cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancerand even breast cancer. Other studies show that the beta-carotene in sweet potatoes may help prevent ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women.