There are many amazing sweet potato benefits that we need to know. For years, its been recommended to avoid starchy carbohydrates for a healthy living but sweet potatoes are considered to be an asset for health. Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense, low in glycemic index and have an impressive nutritive profile. It is an underground tuber, very filling and has a sweet taste. Sweet potatoes are consumed in various ways like boiling, baking, frying and steaming.
Very easily available, easy to prepare and inexpensive, this tuber always adds a point in its virtue and we need to know what does sweet potatoes contain.
Nutritional Content of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are high calories starchy foods providing up to 90calories per 100 gms. It contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber more than potatoes. It’s calories come from starch, complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes contain amylose that raises the blood sugar levels very slowly compared to fruit sugar and hence recommended as healthy food for diabetes. The tubers are also rich in flavonoid phenolic compounds like beta carotene and Vitamin A. The other essential vitamins that sweet potatoes contain are pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin and the minerals present are calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and iron.
The presence of these important nutrients in sweet potatoes allow to know that there many amazing sweet potato benefits that can provide.
Sweet Potato Benefits For Health
Some of the sweet potato benefits listed below are –
1. Sweet Potatoes are Diabetes Friendly Food
Sweet potatoes have always been in the must add food list for people having diabetes. The plus point of having sweet potatoes are they are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index. Sautéing sweet potatoes in oil with skin on are suitable to maintain blood sugar levels.
2. Sweet Potatoes Necessary for Eyesight
We should always rely on a healthy diet that provides essential nutrient required for the health of our eyes. Vitamin A is always necessary for better vision, the deficiency of which causes night blindness. Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and fiber that are essential for good eye health. These orange tubers help to reduce the progression of macular degeneration. Why prefer Potato French fries when sweet potato fries drizzled with little bit molasses on the top help in improving our health? You can even try baked sweet potatoes with little olive oil and topped with spinach, onions or baked beans.
3. Sweet Potatoes Help in Keeping The Digestion Going
The fiber present in sweet potatoes, as well as nutrients like magnesium, makes it a good facilitator of digestion. One medium sweet potato with skin provides 4 to 6 grams fiber. Though sweet potato does not make them a good source of fiber in the plant world but still it can be added or contribute towards the list of foods that are rich in fiber.
4. Sweet Potatoes, Super Foods for Fighting Cancer
Sweet potatoes are considered as super foods and not only contain nutrients but also may possess special cancer-fighting properties. 80% of protein present in sweet potatoes is a type of protease inhibitor with anticancer effects. The sweet potato protein not only slows down the growth of colon cancer cells but also decrease cancer cell migration and invasion. Eating vegetables that are rich in folate, Vitamin C, beta carotene and fiber reduces the breast cancer risk by half and sweet potatoes are the one that contains the nutrients required to fight the cancer cells.
5. Sweet Potatoes, a Favorite for Weight Watchers
Sweet potatoes can be added to the most wanted list for the diet watchers. Sweet potatoes contain natural sugar and no refined sugar overload; hence they make a low-calorie treat. Sweet potatoes do contain a fair amount of carbohydrates but they contain compounds that increase the levels of adiponectin, the blood-sugar-regulating hormone. Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index and hence prevent the sugar spikes after you eat. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Hence recommendations call for sweet potatoes for the weight management.
6. Sweet Potatoes Beneficial for Immunity
Sweet potatoes, being rich in Vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, beta carotene and B complex vitamins are good immune boosters that can help in defending against various conditions.
7. Sweet Potatoes for Arthritis
It’s always challenging for people suffering from arthritis to decide what foods are known to ease the pain and improve mobility whereas which foods to cut off that can make the condition worse. Sweet potatoes have an advantage and should be added to the list. The presence of beta-carotene, several antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are always beneficial for managing arthritis.
Sweet potatoes have been gaining importance due to its health benefits and always been received by everyone on a positive note. To reap better benefits from this vegetable, it is always necessary to know how to select and store this tuber.
Selection and Storage
Select Sweet potatoes that are without cracks or dark spots, they should be firm to touch. Store sweet potatoes in cool, dry and dark place and they will be fresh for a week. Do not place them in the refrigerator but keep in well ventilated cool and dry place.
Prepare sweet potatoes whole with skin on as many nutrients are present under the skin. If you want to remove the skin, it is always easy to remove the skin after cooked. Sweet potatoes can be baked with butter and salt or brown sugar or cinnamon.
Beautiful to see, tasty to eat and heavily nutritious, sweet potatoes have and will always be a great to eat for all of us. The advantages and sweet potato benefits are so amazing that it is always recommended to have sweet potatoes regularly.