Sweet potatoes are sweet, starchy root vegetables that are grown worldwide. There are hundreds of types of sweet potatoes. Some have white or cream-colored flesh. They come in a variety of sizes and colors including orange, white and purple. They and are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Preparing sweet potatoes with a little fat such as coconut oil, olive oil or avocado can help boost the absorption of beta-carotene since it’s a fat-soluble nutrient. The truth is they’re not potatoes. They are naturally sweet roots in the morning glory family. As the name implies, sweet potatoes are naturally sweet and its flavor can be enhanced when cooked. The red variety has a characteristic aroma which becomes more prominent when boiled. Cooking sweet potatoes quickly (for instance, by steaming them or cutting them into smaller pieces before roasting) can reduce their ultimate sweetness.
They are native to Central and South America. We have fossil evidence that sweet potatoes were growing in the Americas 35 million years ago. The variety of taste, textures and colors can be attributed to its antioxidants and vitamin content. One cup of baked sweet potato provides nearly half of your daily vitamin C needs. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6, manganese, copper and magnesium. One medium sweet potato has six grams of dietary fiber. They also contain resistant starch, a type of starch that plays a role in feeding your body’s “good” bacteria.
Sweet potatoes earned the name ‘super food’ because of the amount of nutrients they have. Just one sweet potato gives you 400% of the vitamin A you need each day. This helps keep your eyes healthy as well as your immune system. A serving of sweet potato delivers a third of your need for manganese, a mineral that helps produce collagen and promote skin and bone health. Vitamin A is also key for maintaining healthy skin, vision and organ function. Sweet potatoes contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Certain types of soluble fibre known as viscous fibers absorb water and soften your stool.
The Best Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes:
- Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants that protect your body from free radical damage and chronic disease.
- The fiber content in sweet potatoes is higher than that of common potatoes and they taste better too! When these two factors are combined with other minerals like magnesium, which is present in these root vegetable it makes an excellent facilitator for digestion.
- The fiber and antioxidants in sweet potatoes are advantageous to gut health.
- They provide a lot of energy and are excellent bulk builders for people looking to gain weight.
- Sweet potatoes offer various antioxidants, which may help protect against certain types of inflammations.
- Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and are primarily due to the presence of beta-carotene, anthocyanins, vitamin C and magnesium.
- Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and anthocyanins, antioxidants that may help prevent vision loss and improve eye health. Sweet potatoes contain several nutrients that have been linked to improved eye health and vision.
- Orange sweet potatoes (as well as other orange plants, including carrots) have particularly high concentrations of carotenoids.
- This property is also beneficial for people suffering from bronchitis, along with its powerful effect on congestion.
- Consuming purple sweet potatoes may improve Brain Function.
- The water in these tuberous vegetables are boiled can also be applied externally on joints to ease the associated pain of arthritis.
- Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are one of the richest natural sources of beta-carotene, Vitamin A is critical to a healthy immune system and low blood levels have been linked to reduced immunity.
- Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and vitamin C. They also contain B-complex vitamins, potassium and calcium are all very effective in curing stomach ulcers.
- The pigment that gives them their gorgeous hue has particularly potent antioxidant properties.
- Sweet potatoes may be diabetes-friendly. They are safe to be included in your diet, especially considering their low glycemic index.
- Natural anti-inflammatory compounds in sweet potatoes have been shown to quell inflammation at the cellular level.
- The fiber or roughage present in sweet potatoes helps the body retain water. This maintains water balance in the body, keeping you hydrated and your cells functioning efficient.
- As arthritis is a type of inflammation the anti-inflammatory properties in sweet potato helps to treat arthritis.
- Sweet Potatoes may help weight loss.
- They are good for the health of arteries and veins, as they protect their walls against hardening.
- Research shows that sweet potatoes can lower your LDL “bad” cholesterol which may lower your odds of heart.
- It’s also good for your reproductive system and organs like your heart and kidneys.
- Sweet potatoes are effective for helping people quit addictions like smoking, drinking and taking certain narcotics.
- Sweet potatoes may help you relax. They’re high in magnesium, which has been shown to play a role in calming the brain.
- Vitamin B6 helps your body reduce the levels of homocysteine, a chemical that that is naturally produced in our bodies that increases the risk of digestive problems and some types of heart diseases.
- Collagen helps your body in the maintenance of your skin’s elasticity and youthfulness and plays a role in helping your body handle stress better.
- Some studies have shown that moderate consumption of sweet potato and sweet potato leaves may improve blood sugar regulation in type 2 diabetes.
- Too many oxalates in the diet may cause kidney stones and so should be eaten in moderation if you have existing kidney stones or are at high risk of developing them.
They’re high in fiber and antioxidants, which protect your body from free radical damage and promote a healthy gut and brain. You can steam, roast, boil or microwave them. Sweet potato fries are also tasty, but don’t eat them often.They’re also incredibly rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A to support good vision and your immune system.