Fun fact: Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber when eaten with the skin on
One of the healthiest root crops in the world is the sweet potatoes. This underground tuber plant is rich with starch and is considered as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. This is also one of the most popular and healthier alternative to rice. Sweet potato does not only taste sweet, it also come with incredible health benefits that your body will love.
Cultivated in tropical and warm temperate regions, sweet potatoes or scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas, is relatively high in calories with 86 calories for every 100 grams of it. However, it has zero cholesterol and no saturated fats. And because it contains 3.0 grams or 8% of the daily-recommended allowance of dietary fiber, you feel full faster and longer. So it’s good to include sweet potatoes in your diet when trying to lose some pounds.
Sweet potatoes are extremely rich in vitamin A with 14187 IU or 473% DRA. But vitamin A is only one side of the story, because it is also an excellent source of beta-carotene. Studies revealed that sweet potatoes have more beta-carotene than other vegetables. Beta-carotene helps fight free radicals that damage the cells and the DNA resulting to certain diseases. When beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A, it also performs the functions of the latter. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that is essential for healthy vision, skin, growth, and reproduction.
Aside from vitamin A, sweet potatoes hold loads of vitamin B complex that are necessary to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein. This tuber is also a good source of vitamins C, E, and K.
Sweet potatoes is also a treasure chest of minerals that include manganese (11% DRA), iron (7.5% DRA), phosphorus (7% DRA), and magnesium (6% DRA). Manganese rests on our kidney, liver, pancreas and bones. It plays a vital role in calcium absorption and regulation of blood sugar. Another mineral, iron, carries oxygen throughout the body. Phosphorus found in every cell of the body for proper functioning. It also helps production of ATP as well as in calcium regulation. Magnesium, meanwhile, assists in tooth and bone formation as it strengthens the muscles and nerves.
Even though sweet potatoes have higher calories than other fruits and vegetables, its calories come from starch, which is a complex carbohydrate. Our body also needs carbohydrates as a source of energy and to regulate sugar in the blood.
The Delicious Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Nothing beats the quality and amount of Iron derived from plant sources. Consumption of plants that are rich in iron like sweet potato is found to be effective in promoting fertility. This fact is supported by years of studies and research conducted by established health institutions all over the world. If you have a family history of impotence, eating sweet potatoes daily can help negate that. This plant is also good for pregnant women because of its Vitamin A content that is vital in the synthesis of hormones and lactation. Eating sweet potatoes helps a lot in giving birth to a perfectly healthy child.
Vitamin A plays a very special role for the overall health of the eyes. Experts say that lack in Vitamin A can lead to the outer damage of the eye’s photoreceptors thus leading to deterioration in vision. If you eat a lot of sweet potatoes, your body will get enough Vitamin A it needs to have a sharper vision even as you age. Together with Vitamin A, sweet potato also has Vitamin C that boosts overall eye health preventing eye damages especially those caused by degeneration.
Regulates Proper Bowel Movement
This is one common benefit of always eating sweet potato. Sweet potato is absolutely very rich in fiber content. Fiber is known to stimulate proper digestion. It assures proper food breakdown and absorption of nutrients from the food intake. It also clears up the digestive tract in order for the digestive process to go on smoothly. This results to a manageable stool and regular bowel movement. Because of its ability to regulate digestion and bowel movement, this plant can also be used as a weight loss supplement.
Controls Fluctuations in Blood Sugar
Despite the sweet flavor of sweet potato, this plant is very low in glycemic index. Food with low glycemic index releases sugar once at a time in the body’s blood stream. This is known as sugar metabolism. Intake of food that is low in glycemic index steadies blood sugar levels. You will less likely experience spikes in blood sugar that can cause many more complications. In fact, sweet potato is used as one of the ingredients of supplements that are used in controlling blood sugar for diabetic people. It also has manganese that is known in carbohydrate metabolism which supports in stabilizing glucose levels in the body as well as suppressing appetite.
Helps in Stress Management
Stress is inevitable. We will always encounter stress in life. But what we can do for stress not to affect our lives negatively is find a way to de-stress. Although there are many physical activities to de-stress, it is always better that de-stressing starts from the inside of the body. Sweet potatoes have magnesium that is a known mineral that helps in de-stressing. Magnesium helps manage stress because of its ability to calm and relax the body including the blood, artery, muscles, nerve, and bones. This compound is effective in inhibiting good mood.
Beautifies the Hair and Skin
Sweet potato is enriched with Vitamins A, C, and E which works together for the health and nourishment of the skin and hair. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production in the body that is responsible in making the skin firm and young looking. Vitamin A protects the skin and hair from the harmful effects of UV rays. And Vitamin E repairs skin cells from the inside. To sum it all up, sweet potatoes have effective and visible beauty benefits. If you want to always look ravishing even as you grow old, eat plenty of sweet potatoes.
Good for the Heart
Sweet potatoes have Vitamin B6 that gets rid of homocysteine. Homocysteine is primarily responsible in hardening arteries and blood vessels. The arteries and blood vessels need to relax in order for the blood to flow from and to the heart accordingly. This food is also a great source of potassium that supports the general condition of the heart. Its potassium content maintains regular blood pressure through regulating balance in fluid. Foods rich in potassium are also sources of electrolyte to assure regular heartbeat.
It has been found that sweet potatoes have strong anti-carcinogenic compounds that reduce the risks of various types of cancer such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and others more. Cancer is one of the most horrible illnesses of today because of the fact that there is still no remedy aside from prevention. It is only proper to eat healthy foods that will help in reducing risks of cancer to avoid future regrets. Sweet potato’s properties effectively eliminate free radicals and their effects. They are able to repair and restore damaged cell. It is essential to keep your body as healthy and fit as you can.