The article will shed light on top 5 health benefits of sweet potatoes.
Normally, sweet potato is identified as orange, but you can see a lot of sweet potatoes in other colors, from white, pink, yellow to purple, white.
The appearance of sweet potatoes has been traced back to the dawn of human history. It is considered as native to Central and South America and first brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus after he returned from the New World. Spanish explorers brough sweet potatoes to other parts of the world, including Africa and Asia, by the 16th century and it has become popular worldwide since then.
Nowadays, China makes up for 80 million tons of sweet potatoes annually, followed by Africa and Central and Sough America with 14 and 2 million.
Sweet potato is a rich source of nutrients and therefore, it has a lot of health benefits. In a raw sweet potato, about 77 percent is water. Carbohydrate makes up for 20.1 percent and protein accounts for 1.6%. Interestingly, this vegetable provides nearly no fat. When cooked, sweet potato is considered as an abundant source of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Besides, carbs are the most important part when it comes to sweet potato. More than half of its carbohydrate content is complex, known as starches.
On the other hand, vitamins and minerals are unforgettable parts of sweet potatoes. Sweet potato provides much beta-carotene that will turn into vitamin A. In addition, it is rich in vitamin C. Other significant nutrients include vitamin B5, B6, E, and potassium.
With this nutritional richness, sweet potatoes have many applications as medicine. Here are top 5 health benefits of sweet potatoes.
1. Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency
The significance of vitamin A to our body is undeniable, and if your body lacks it, then you are likely to experience a lot of health problems. This issue is commonly seen in many developing countries where the deficiency of vitamin A is popular. The first and also most severe effect of the shortage of vitamin A is to our eyes. Eye damage is closely related to the amount of vitamin A and when the body does not get it, blindness is highly possible. In some severe cases, it may even lead to mortality.
Therefore, sweet potato is an excellent method to meet the need. Sweet potatoes are even widely used in many parts of the world, including Africa or India, to supply school children with more vitamin A in their daily meal.
Regarding the provision of beta-carotene, sweet potato even surpasses many green leafy vegetables. Beta-carotene is a special substance that will be converted into vitamin A in our body.
2. Blood Sugar Regulation
When the regulation of blood sugar in the body becomes impaired, the risk of diabetes will increase. Fortunately, one of the best health benefits of sweet potatoes is to prevent this scenario. Some kinds of sweet potatoes, such as ones whose flesh and skin is white, can have positive impacts on patients of type 2 diabetes. In addition, sweet potatoes of Caiapo will enhance the insulin sensitivity.
Many amazing health benefits of sweet potatoes have their origin from the antioxidant quality of this vegetable.
According to some researches, antioxidants in sweet potatoes can eradicate harmful free radicals which are responsible for triggering cancer. Specifically, purple potatoes are the most antioxidant, being 3 times as high as blueberries.
This quality of sweet potato is super beneficial for human health as it is effective in reducing the risk of cancer, especially in stomach, kidney or breast.
In addition to other important vitamins, sweet potatoes also provide a huge amount of vitamin D which has significant influence on bones and our general health. Lack of vitamin D might cause you to suffer from many disorders related to bones, heart, nerves or teeth. Normally, vitamin D is absorbed through the sunlight and when there is a lack of it, seasonal affective disorders will happen and affect your life. And to prevent this scenario from occurring, sweet potatoes should be consumed more and more daily.
5. Skin’s Elasticity
Another benefit of sweet potato’s amount of vitamin C is to benefit the production of collagen, which is fundamental to the skin’s elasticity. It is also one of the best health benefits of sweet potatoes. You are recommended to consume it regularly in order to get rid of stress and depression, which are common catalysts for damaged skin. Besides, the high content of magnesium in sweet potatoes can help you relax the body more easily. Magnesium is very important for different parts of our body, from the heart to muscles, but an estimated 80 percent of the population in North America lacks it.
In general, sweet potatoes are suitable for the majority of us to consume. In some rare cases, it might be a bit harmful to those who are about to have kidney stones due to the presence of oxalates in it.