Sweet potato, scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas, is a dicotyledonous plant from the family Convolvulaceae. It’s a root vegetable, known for the large, starchy, tuberous roots whose leaves and shoots are also edible. They come in two main colours that are orange and purple. Sweet potatoes have numerous health benefits as we shall see from this article.
Benefit 1: Source of Vitamin B6
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of Vitamin B6. This vitamin is useful for lowering homocysteine. A chemical associated with degenerative diseases as well as heart disease. It is an amino acid mostly found in meat. High levels of homocysteine are associated early development of heart .Lowering homocysteine levels can help reduce the risk of heart diseases hence consumption of sweet potatoes is important..
Benefit 2: Vitamin C and Iron
Apart from helping keeping cold and flu viruses at bay, vitamin C is crucial for teeth and borne formation. It is also useful in the healing process of a wound. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of both Vitamin C and iron. The collagen produced by vitamin C is important for a healthy skin, not to mention the role it plays in dealing with stress. Sweet potatoes have also been linked to ability to fight cancer by eliminating toxins that lead to cancer.
Benefit 3: Source of Vitamin D, Potassium and Magnesium
Vitamin D present in sweet potatoes is useful for boosting our energy levels, moods, healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin and teeth. Lack of adequate sunshine has been associated with a condition known as seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).You may also need vitamin D for a healthy thyroid gland. The potassium in sweet potatoes plays the role of an electrolyte that controls heartbeat and nerves. In this way, it helps in muscle relaxation and contractions. For healthy arteries, blood, muscle and nerves, your body needs magnesium. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of this mineral. Magnesium also aids in relaxation as well as for fighting stress.
Benefit 4: Sugar Balance and Weight Management.
Due to their natural sweetness, sweet potatoes are useful in maintaining blood sugar levels. This is important for fighting fatigue as well as gaining weight unnecessarily.
Benefit 5: Source of Carotenoids
Sweet potatoes owe their colour orange to presence of carotenoids such as beta carotene. This is a sure sign of vitamin A in them. This vitamin is useful for improving eyesight as well as combating diseases such as cancer and warding off aging. A study has shown that people who consume carotenoid rich foods such as sweet potatoes have reduced risk of suffering from lung cancer by 32%.
Benefit 6: Sweet potatoes are versatile
The thing with sweet potatoes is that they can be used in a variety of ways. Sweet potatoes can be roasted, steamed, baked, boiled or grilled. They can also be served with soup and stews.
Benefit 7: Fiber Content
Unlike other types of potatoes, Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber which is said to be as much as twice. The presence of starch in sweet potatoes makes a suitable food due to its low Glycemic Index.
Benefit 8: Sweet Potatoes and Arthritis
Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, sweet properties, they are useful for relieving pain from arthritis. They contain beta-cryptoxanthin, alchemical that reduces the risk of rheuthtoid arthritis by as much as half.
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