There’s a lot of things you need to know about sweet potatoes. If you’ve been considering sweet potatoes as similar as the old regular potatoes that could give you nothing but just sweet flavors in your mouth then you’re probably missing out. Sweet potatoes are not only perfect for dessert. They also bring exceptional health benefits too.
Also known as Ipomoea batatas, sweet potatoes contain healthy nutrients as well as medicinal benefits. Some of the major components of a sweet potato include thiamin, riboflavin, carotenoids, and vitamins A and B5. It is also full of anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antidiabetic properties.
How sweet are sweet potatoes for you? Let’s try to find out some of the major benefits of sweet potatoes for your health.
Helps manage diabetes
Who says people who are suffering from diabetes can’t include sweets on their meals? Well, not with sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are known to be low in the glycemic index scale. This simply means that sweet potatoes, unlike other foods, are likely to release sugar into the bloodstream slowly. As a result, the sugar levels of an individual will be controlled from going low or high. They may also be useful in reducing possible episodes of low blood sugar and even help with the insulin resistance of an individual. Keep in mind that even the fiber content found in sweet potatoes play a major role. Since sweet potatoes are a high fiber kind of food, it has been proven in some studies that they are effective in lowering the blood sugar levels most especially for people suffering with type I diabetes. Aside from that, sweet potatoes also contain a good amount of magnesium which makes this veggie beneficial for people trying to combat type II diabetes.
Reduces stress levels
An essential mineral to help fight off stress and anxiety is magnesium which could be found in sweet potatoes. Some studies show that magnesium deficiency could increase the risk of individuals on catching anxiety or depression. Some also suggest that for women who are suffering from extreme premenstrual symptoms, it is highly recommended for them to up their magnesium intake to help reduce the negative emotions. Aside from reducing chances of depression and anxiety, magnesium found in sweet potatoes could also help people with insomnia. Magnesium is pretty linked with insomnia and depression since sleeplessness or sleep deprivation would often lead to stress, anxiety, and even other mental and emotional issues. With the help of magnesium, it is possible for an individual to achieve a good night sleep and avoid stress and depression.
Prevents Chances of Cancer
This vegetable is known to contain a high amount of anthocyanin which makes the sweet potato is a good option to help prevent or manage possibilities of cancer. Specifically, the purple-fleshed potato is said to be the most effective in helping fight different kinds of cancer; gastric cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. Some scientists were able to find out that the extracts you get from different parts of sweet potatoes are also beneficial in helping induce cell death in cancer cells to prevent them from growing and spreading. Even the presence of carotenoids in the form of beta-carotene are also beneficial for men. It is said that they protect men from being prone to prostate cancer.
Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair
Sweet potatoes are proven to contain a number of vitamins that are not only beneficial for the skin but also for the hair. The good amount of vitamin E found in sweet potatoes is perfect in increasing the number of hair for individuals who are suffering from extreme hair loss. This is because of the antioxidant content of vitamin E that is effective in lowering cases of alopecia – the complete absence of hair. Since sweet potatoes are also known to be a good source of vitamin C and E, this makes this veggie a good source of skin protection from the UV light exposure. Having said, this may also reduce the chances of skin cancers. Vitamin C could also provide collagen which is the major source of protein for the skin. Not only that, vitamin C even has anti-inflammatory content. This could help promote healthy skin by making your skin free from acne and wounds. If your concern is skin damages caused by the sun then you don’t have to worry more. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin A which is effective in treating and managing sun-damaged skin.
Knowing that sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, that having said is already enough to guarantee you that these veggies are helpful for digestion. Most especially for improving the health of your gut for better digestion, you can solely rely on sweet potatoes’ contribution to do the work for you. You may have other sources of fiber since there is an increasing number of laxatives available in your drugstores that could help you provide the amount of fiber you need. However, sweet potatoes could also do the same. Stepping up your fiber intake will not only help you in digestion but could also promise you aid in constipation.
Yep, you’ve read it right. Consuming sweet potatoes is pretty beneficial for women of childbearing age to improve their fertility. This is due to the healthy content of iron found in sweet potatoes that could help fight off iron deficiency which could lead to infertility in women. Aside from that, increasing the amount of iron in a woman’s body could help reduce possible cases of ovulatory infertility. In addition to that, sweet potatoes also contain a high amount of vitamin A which is effective in improving the reproductive performance of childbearing women.
Promotes good vision
Over the years, vitamin A is known to support good vision. Luckily, sweet potatoes are said to be rich in vitamin A. As a result, consuming a good amount of vitamin A could help maintain the proper structure of the retina. This is also responsible in the formation of pigments for proper light absorption in the eyes. Furthermore, deficiency of vitamin A in the body may also result to a number of health and vision issues. If such condition occurs, the individual will most likely suffer from poor eyesight or worse, blindness. Eye diseases such as dryness of the cornea, conjunctiva, and ulceration of the cornea might even take place due to deficiency of vitamin A. This is why sweet potatoes could be a good option for those who wish to maintain their good eyesight. Some studies even suggest that aside from vitamin A, sweet potatoes also contain vitamin C and E which could help fight against the growth of oxidative stress in the eyes which could lead to cataracts.
Promotes Weight Management
Another amazing benefit of sweet potatoes is that they’re effective in helping you regulate your body weight properly. Several studies have supported the fact that sweet potatoes are good at providing you a self-sustaining mechanism which may increase your satiety levels due to the fermentable fiber found in the said veggies. This is due to the major dietary fiber content of sweet potatoes which is pectin, a soluble fiber that is effective in helping you reduce your food intake, weight gain, and is also responsible in increasing your satiety hormones.
You may now be planning to include sweet potatoes in your meals. However, be sure that you know how to choose the right sweet potatoes properly. In order to do so, you need to look for the potatoes that do not have spots, cracks, or bruises. You should also avoid those that have been refrigerated since cold temperature could affect the taste of these veggies.
Sweet potatoes are already pretty common to everyone. Although we are all familiar with the orange ones, some sweet potatoes come in purple, yellow, pink, and even white. However, if you’re after a good amount of vitamin A, yellow and orange sweet potatoes will be the perfect choice for you.
Stating all those benefits, you may also consider trying out other vegetables since they may also contain the same minerals and nutrients. The catch is, sweet potatoes have a much higher concentration of fiber and nutrients.
You should know and understand by now that sweet potatoes aren’t as simple as a regular potato that just come off as sweet as they are. Sweet potatoes are powerful veggies that could surely provide you with exceptional health benefits.