Sweet potato is a starchy, sweet tasting, nutritious root vegetable, rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients having incredible health benefits. It’s scientific name is Ipomoea batatas. Thin, brown skin and orange flesh, white, purple and yellow in color are some varieties of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fibers, calcium, folic acid, vitamins like vitamin A, E, C, B1(thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3(niacin), B5( pantothenic acid), B6, D and minerals like magnesium, potassium, beta carotene, phosphorus, iron and copper. It also has several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has low glycemic index.
10 Best Health Benefits of Sweet Potato
Following are the top 10 health benefits of a sweet potato.
1) Aids in Weight Loss
Sweet potato is a nutrient-dense food that keeps you full, so it reduces the feeling of hunger, overeating and ultimately there is a weight loss. Regular exercise and including sweet potatoes in your diet is very beneficial for weight loss. As sweet potatoes are slowly digested, it provides a long lasting energy which is very essential for bodybuilding and thereby it helps to achieve fitness goal. Assisting in losing weight is one of the health benefits of sweet potatoes.
2) Treats Cancer
Sweet potatoes are rich source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps in destroying carcinogenic substances or harmful free radicals that causes cancer. Beta carotene and vitamin C present in sweet potatoes helps in curing different types of cancer like prostate, colon, kidney, intestines and many other. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes is a rich source of beta-carotene. Thus treating cancer is a very important health benefits of orange fleshed sweet potato.
3) Boosts Immune System
Sweet potatoes being a rich source of beta carotene, Vitamins C and B, phosphorus, iron and other nutrients it is absolutely essential for improving our immune system. Vitamin C and beta carotene that converts into vitamin A helps to boost the immune system and lower the risk of various infectious diseases like cancer. The antioxidant properties present in Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system of babies. Giving them relief from cold which if not treated may lead to serious problems is an excellent health benefits of sweet potatoes for babies.
4) Healthy Digestion
The wonderful health benefits of sweet potato juice is that it facilitates healthy digestion. Sweet potato is a rich source of fiber that prevents constipation, clears the gastrointestinal tract and helps easy digestion. Apart from this Vitamin B, and C, calcium, beta carotene and potassium present in sweet potatoes helps in reducing gastritis.
5) Prevent Diabetes
A diabetes patient has to follow a strict healthy diet that can reduce or control the level of blood sugar. Sweet potatoes contain low glycemic index and are a rich source of fibre and magnesium that helps in controlling or reducing blood sugar level or insulin resistance in diabetic patients. So it is advisable and beneficial to include sweet potatoes in the diet for person suffering from diabetes.
6) Strengthening Bones
Strengthening bones is another important health benefits of eating sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes contains large amount of minerals like manganese, beta carotene, zinc, vitamin B that are essential to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis. Manganese helps in keeping our bones and joints healthy. Beta carotene, zinc and vitamin B helps in preventing arthritis. Even the water in which sweet potatoes are boiled can be applied externally on the joints to get relief from arthritis pain.
7) Healthy Pregnancy
Beta carotene (converted into vitamin A by our body), folate, vitamin B6, and C, iron, and some other nutrients present in large amount in sweet potatoes are very beneficial for a pregnant woman. Vitamin A and folate is essential for foetal development and also during lactation. Vitamin B6 helps to prevent morning sickness, formation of red blood cells and vitamin C helps to absorb iron for good health of the baby are certain health benefits of sweet potatoes during pregnancy.
8) Healthy Vision
Vitamin A deficiency can cause eye diseases like dry eyes, night blindness, macular degeneration(an age related disease). Therefore intake of sweet potatoes with skin containing high amount of beta carotene that gets converted into vitamin A in the body is very beneficial to prevent eye diseases and improve our vision. These are the health benefits of sweet potatoes with skin.
9) Prevents Heart Ailments
Maintaining heart health is one of the health benefits of sweet potato leaves. These leaves contain large amount of dietary fibers that regulate the blood flow and prevents the deposition of fat in arteries and veins. It lowers the blood pressure and controls stress and anxiety. Similarly Vitamin K present in the leaves also controls blood pressure and both these nutrients reduces the risk of cardiac arrest.
10) Prevents Anemia
Preventing anemia is the health benefits of white sweet potato. It contains a good amount of minerals like iron, manganese, potassium, copper, phosphorus which helps to prevent anemia. These minerals boosts strength and energy and reduces fatigue, weakness, stress which are the symptoms of anemia.
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