BENEFITS OF SWEET POTATOES

BENEFITS OF SWEET POTATOES-min

Sweet potatois adelicious and nutritious vegetable. It serves as a great ingredient for most recipes and many people prefer it as a dessert. In addition to itssweetness, it’s a beneficial food to the body.

Most of the foods we eat are unhealthy and it’s not surprising chronic diseases are the leading causes of death. With healthy options like sweet potatoes, it’s possible to stay healthy and live a long and satisfying life. All you have to do is make this type of vegetable your favorite. There is a good reason we’re advising you to include sweet potatoes in your diet.

Nutritional facts for sweet potatoes

Consuming sweet potatoes will provide your body with many nutrients. You’ll get the following from a cooked sweet potato; protein, fats, carbohydrate, iron, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin C, choline, folate, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. Additionally, you’ll get high content of water from it.

Health benefits of sweet potatoes

Help manage stress

With the tough economy, failures in relationships, pressure from work, and generally struggling to control stress, you may need sweet potato in your breakfast plan.Magnesium plays a big role in maintaining normal body functioning. Among the functions it performs, reducing anxiety and stress is one of the most recognized benefits. According to experts, magnesium deficiency in the current diets has led to increased cases of depression globally. Sweet potatoes are full of this stress-relieving nutrient. Therefore, they can refill your body’s magnesium levels and help to control anxiety-related habits and depression levels.

Ensures you’re protected from vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency is a common issue in the modern diet. Suffering from it exposes you to symptoms like low resistance to infectious diseases, skin irritation, stunted growth, poor vision, dry eyes, and skin, among other unpleasant effects. Sweet potatoes are extremely filled with vitamin A due to their high content of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the liver. Each molecule of beta-carotene produces two molecules of vitamin A, which meansthe more levels of it you have in the body, the more vitamin A you’ll have in your system. Having plenty of this nutrient will help you fight off infections, and boost your resistance to diseases.

Helps to improve skin and hair

This root vegetable is rich in Vitamin C, E, and A. Consumption of enough vitamin E help to increase the growth of hair in individuals with hair loss. Vitamin C is effective in dermatological issues and useful in treating hyperpigmentation and photoaging. It also helps to neutralize oxidative stress caused by long exposure to UV light. A combination of vitamin E and C can help reduce skin cancer. Vitamin C is powerful for the synthesis of collagen andoffers anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, making it useful in managing skin diseases and healing wounds. Vitamin A is a great stimulant for collagen and minimizes natural cell aging.

Improves digestion

Sweet potatoes have high levels of fiber, which optimizes thecondition of your gut’s health. Taking them regularly will help you keep your digestive tract in its best status. Also, as mentioned earlier, you’ll be protected from constipation.

Boosts fertility

High amounts of vitamin A helpwomen at the childbearing stage to improve their fertility. Study shows this type of vitamin improves reproductive performance. Also, sweet potatoes have a high dose of iron which helps womento increase their fertility abilities. Studies prove that iron deficiency is linked to secondary fertility issues and ovulatory infertility. Therefore, taking sweet potatoes, a source of iron will improve your reproduction health.

Supports good vision

Vitamin A maintains proper condition of the retina. Its deficiency causes poor vision, and in extreme situations, it leads to blindness. Other eye conditions like cornea dryness, ulceration of conjunctiva, and cornea are also linked to Vitamin A. sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamin A and vitamin C which helps to prevent eye conditions.

Enhances memory in individuals

Eating sweet potatoes regularly can improve your memory. Anthocyanin, present in purple sweet potatoes contain memory-enhancing abilities. These antioxidants contribute to potatoes’ power to good recalling.

How do sweet potatoes look like?

Sweet potatoes are available in varieties and they belong to the morning glory family; Convolvulaceae. In the market,you’ll find their skin ranging from yellow, white, purple, brown, or red. Flesh too are in variety, it’ll either be white, yellow, orange-red or plain orange. Classification of sweet potatoes type is based on its firmness and softness. When cooked, the firm type remainshard while the soft variety becomes moist and soft-like.

Usesand products of sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes serve as food, medicine, beverages,animal feed, and household uses.

Foods-sweetpotatoes are steamed or baked and eaten as a carbohydrate. A cooked version can be peeled, mashed, and then mixed with water or milk to form a paste. For raw version, you can grate and mix with coconut and consume it as a dessert after baking it. Young leaves of sweetpotatoes are prepared and consumed as greens.

Medicines-certain partsof sweet potatoesmay be used in medical applications like inducing vomiting, asthma relief, or a laxative. Sometimes parts of this plant areadded to other medicinal mixtures to boost the effectiveness of the medication.

Beverages-sweetpotatoes have high amounts of sugar in their storage roots. Therefore, most local people cook, treat, and ferment them to produce alcoholic beverages.

Household purposes-vines and old leaves from sweet potatoes serve as padding beneath floor mats.

Animal feed-sweet potatoes’ leaves and vines are used as maintenance food for animals like hogs.

Sweet potatoes recipes

You can enjoy your sweet potatoes in various ways without exhaustinginteresting preparation styles of this type of potato. Here are some ofthe recipes you can consider;

  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Candied sweet potato
  • Oven-roasted sweet potato
  • Air-fried sweet potatofries
  • Louisiana sweet potato pancakes
  • Sweet potato burritos
  • Sweet potatoes bread
  • Sweet potato pound cake
  • Sweet potato muffins
  • Creamy sweet potato with ginger soup
  • Roasted sweetpotatoes with vegetables
  • Butternut sweet potato soup

Conclusion

Sweet potatoes are yummy, and their natural sweetness makes them a perfect ingredient in most dishes. You can bake, boil, roast, or fry. You can add them to any dish to make your meal interesting and more nutritious. Consuming sweet potato skin increases its nutritional value. Hence, it’s healthy if you don’t peel them off.Color of their skin varies from yellow to white and brown to purple. Regardless of the color, you’ll get additional nutrients by eating them.

Marie Salbuvik

Dietician MS, Lund University, Sweden Nutrition plays an important role in human life. Eating habits are one of the factors that affect our health. There is often a misconception among people that nutritionists force a very restrictive diet, but that is not true. In fact, I don't ban any products, but I point out dietary mistakes and help change them by giving tips and new recipes that I've tried myself. I advise my patients not to resist change and to be purposeful. Only with willpower and determination can a good result be achieved in any area of life, including changing eating habits. When I don't work, I love to go climbing. On a Friday evening, you are most likely to find me on my couch, cuddling with my dog and watching some Netflix.

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