People around the world have been enjoying sweet potatoes in many different forms. Little do they know that apart from adding variety and filling the tummies, this starchy vegetable has many sweet surprises in store for the body. Read on to know how this starchy staple benefits your health in long term.
Sweet potatoes are packed with many beneficial nutrients such as vitamin A, fiber, and potassium, all of which is helpful in maintaining the blood pressure, prevents constipation and protects against cancer. There are studies that support the consumption of plant foods, such as sweet potatoes, to decrease the risk of heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, and overall mortality.
One medium baked sweet potato with the skin provides about 13 calories, 0g fats, 24g carbohydrates of which 4g is fiber and 7g is sugar, 2.3g protein, 100% of RDA of vitamin A, 25% of RDA of vitamin C and vitamin B6, 12% of RDA of potassium, and tiny levels of other vital vitamins and minerals.
Sweet potatoes are fat free and considerably low in the glycemic index that may reduce insulin resistance and episodes of hypoglycemia in people with diabetes. Each medium sweet potato when consumed with skin provides a good quantity of dietary fiber, which is important to manage blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and lipids in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
A medium sweet potato provides about 542mg of potassium that is beneficial in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
There are studies to support the relationship between consuming beta carotene rich diet and protection against prostate and colon cancer as well. Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta carotene and apart from hindering the development of cancer, this vegetable offers protection against heart diseases, asthma, and delays aging and body degeneration. There are studies that suggest high beta carotene intake is crucial for normal hormonal activities during pregnancy and in lactating women. High beta carotene levels in sweet potatoes are also beneficial in restoring the vision of people suffering from vitamin A deficiency.
Sweet potatoes skin has a significant amount of fiber, quercetin, potassium, and prevents constipation by promoting regular bowel movements. High level of vitamin C and beta carotene intake from plant sources, such as sweet potatoes, is a powerful combination to boost immunity.
Choline is a vital nutrient present in sweet potatoes that helps with memory, learning, sleep and muscular movements. This nutrient is also useful to maintain the structural integrity of cellular membranes, absorption of fat, help in nerve impulse transmission, and lower the chronic inflammation.
Studies support the role of purple sweet potatoes in neutralizing the free radicals and providing an anti inflammatory effect.
Consuming 3 or more servings of sweet potato every day may decrease the progression of age related macular degeneration. Also, the vitamin C and E content in sweet potato helps to keep your eyes healthy and prevents degenerative damage.
So, enjoy your favorite starchy vegetable as fries, chips, chill, hummus, baked or steamed to enjoy many health benefits sweet potatoes has to offer while keeping you healthy year after year…after year!