The sweet potato is a large, starchy, sweet-tasting with tuberous roots is a root vegetable belonging to the family Convolvulaceae. It is native to the tropical regions in the Americas. The sweet potato are found with different skin colors- white or yellowish, red, orange. The white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh. The red variety has a characteristic aroma which becomes more prominent on boiling. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and due to their orange color they are high in carotenoids. They’re fat-free and have fewer calories than white potatoes, although they do have more sugar. Consuming sweet potatoes decreases the risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, promote healthy complexion and boosts energy.
Nutritional value of Sweet Potato
100g Sweet Potato contains:
Health Benefits of Sweet Potato
1. Makes Immune System Stronger
Sweet potatoes are excellent immune boosters. They are rich in beta carotene, which is a major antioxidant, vitamin B complexes, iron and phosphorus that makes body strong and defend from infections and diseases.
2. Prevents Inflammation
Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties, due to the presence of beta-carotene, vitamin-C and magnesium.
3. Cures Asthma
Sweet potatoes are effective in relieving from asthmatic problems. They help in curing congested nose, bronchi and lungs. The typical aroma of sweet potatoes helps in this relief.
4. Cures Bronchitis
Sweet potatoes are believed to have the capability of warming up the body, may be due to the sweetness and other nutrients present in it that have an impact on body temperature. The presence of vitamin-C, iron and other nutrients help to cure bronchitis.
5. Helpful in Arthritis
The presence of beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin-B complex make sweet potatoes an excellent food source to treat arthritis. The water in which sweet potatoes are boiled, applied externally on joints can help to ease the associated pain of arthritis.
6. Improves Digestion
Sweet potatoes have high fiber content and magnesium which make it an excellent facilitator for digestion. Sweet potatoes are quite easy to digest as they mainly contain starch. They are soothing for the stomach and intestines.
7. Prevents Cancer
Beta-carotene and vitamin-C in sweet potatoes are very beneficial for curing various types of cancer, mainly colon, intestines, prostrate, kidneys. Beta carotene is the pigment responsible for the color of the peel of the sweet potatoes and is an excellent antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic substance.
8. Treat Stomach Ulcers
The B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium and calcium present in sweet potatoes are effective in curing stomach ulcers. They have a soothing effect on the stomach and the intestines. Furthermore, the roughage in sweet potatoes prevents constipation and acid formation.
9. Good in Diabetes
Sweet potatoes are beneficial in diabetic conditions. They are effective in regulating blood sugar levels by helping the proper secretion and function of insulin. But that does not mean that diabetic patient should eat them regularly because they are high in sugars. You can replace rice or carbohydrate with sweet potatoes as a healthier option.
10. Maintain Water Balance
The fiber present in sweet potatoes helps the body to retain water. This keeps your body hydrated and make your cells to function efficiently.
11. Helps to gain weight
Sweet potatoes are sweet, and contain good amounts of complex starch, healthy vitamins, minerals and proteins. Also, they are easy to digest. Thus, they provide a lot of energy and are excellent for people looking to gain weight.
Sweet potatoes contain magnesium, a mineral for de-stressing. It advances a decent mindset and also promote blood circulation in brain which calms the body and boosts energy.
13. Enhances Fertility
Vitamin A in sweet potato is important during pregnancy and breast feeding. Consuming more iron can promote fertility. Sweet potatoes are good option for influencing fertility.
14. Healthy vision
Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Vitamin A maintains vision, along with Vitamin C and E that also support the eye health as well as prevent them from degenerative failure.
15. Oral health
The vitamin C in sweet potatoes prevent bleeding gums and loose teeth. Sweet potatoes are also high in calcium which is beneficial for teeth.
Tips to eat sweet potatoes
- You can give steam to them and enjoy the soft boiled sweet potatoes without adding anything.
- You can try sweet potato fries. Drizzle sweet potatoes with olive oil and bake for at least 60 minutes. You can also add spices of your choice to give it a spicy twist.
- You can try sweet potato salad. Top them up with fruits or vegetables of your choice and enjoy. Well, sweet potatoes are also best as a side dish.
- Sweet potatoes have measurable amounts of oxalates. The oxalates crystallize when in excess levels in the body. This pose a risk for individuals with impaired kidney and gallbladder functions.
- They are high in sugars so it is better to avoid high amounts of sweet potatoes in your diet.
- Consult doctors if you are under any medical conditions. Sweet potatoes can harm your health instead of doing well.