Sweet potatoes are rich in powerful nutrients. One medium-sized potato can provide the body with over 400 percent of the daily vitamin A requirement. Not only that, sweet potatoes have significant amounts of potassium and fiber. Furthermore, even though they have more natural sugars than regular potatoes, they still have a lesser amount of calories. The health benefits of sweet potatoes don’t stop there – there are other significant benefits!
The amazing health benefits of sweet potatoes include its ability to control diabetes, treat bronchitis and asthma, aid in digestion, boost immunity, and also assist the body in its ability to lose weight. Furthermore, sweet potatoes are also beneficial in treating stomach ulcers and arthritis.
What Sweet Potatoes really are?
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Sweet potatoes or yams are crops that are tuberous that have a scientific name of Ipomoea Batatas. The plant of sweet potatoes is actually a vine that has lobed or heart-shaped leaves. The tuber’s color can vary from violet or red to yellow or white. The color of the flesh actually depends on its variety, available minerals, climate, and soil type.
The red variation of the sweet potato has a harder and drier flesh. The yellow and white varieties of sweet potatoes have much juicier flesh. The red variant also has a distinctive aroma which becomes more prominent on boiling. The more orange or reddish the color of the sweet potatoes’ flesh, the stronger the aroma. This is perhaps due to the beta-carotene content of sweet potatoes. The more vibrant the color, the higher the concentration of beta-carotene within the flesh.
Nutritional Content of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, and vitamin A. Furthermore, they also provide a rich source of carotenoid due to the orange color. Additionally, sweet potatoes contain no fat and are relatively low in sodium content. They have smaller amounts of calories than white potatoes even though they have more sugar.
Here is a breakdown of the nutrients that sweet potatoes provide:
A 5 inches long, 2 inches in diameter, and approx. 114 grams of sweet potatoes may provide:
A single medium sweet potato contains approximately 100 percent of the daily needs of many essential vitamins, including vitamin A, along with the following:
- Potassium: 12 percent
- Vitamin B6: 25 percent
- Vitamin C: 25 percent
There are also small amounts of:
Sweet potatoes are an extremely good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant, which is beneficial in reducing the risk of developing various types of cancer. Furthermore, it also helps provide protection from illnesses such as heart diseases and asthma. It also delays body degeneration and aging.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Here are some of the health benefits of sweet potatoes:
Treats stomach ulcers. Sweet potatoes have soothing effects on the intestines and stomach. The calcium, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, and other nutrients provided by the tuber help aid in this benefit.
Treats cancer. The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes is a strong antioxidant and is actually an anti-carcinogenic substance. Hence, it is effective in treating various types of cancer like colon cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer and more.
Reduces arthritis pain. The vitamin B complex, zinc, magnesium, and beta-carotene in sweet potatoes are what makes it a good food for helping to naturally treat arthritis.
Treats bronchitis. Sweet potatoes are a natural way to help treat bronchitis. This is primarily due to the vegetable’s high vitamin C content.
Helps relieve asthma. Sweet potatoes are beneficial in treating congestion in the lungs, bronchi, and nose. Thus, they can help provide relief from asthma.
Boosts immunity. Since sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and have many other antioxidant properties, they are beneficial in helping to boost the immune system. Furthermore, these antioxidants also help provide protection to the body against various illnesses.
Treats inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of sweet potatoes provide the same benefits as ordinary potatoes. This is mainly due to the magnesium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene found in the tuber.
Promotes weight gain. There are good amounts of complex starch, proteins, minerals, and healthy vitamins in sweet potatoes, thus helping to promote weight gain. Furthermore, they are easy to digest –so they can provide energy and bulk builders for those who want to gain weight.
Improves digestion. Aside from just being delicious, the fiber content of sweet potatoes is much higher than that found in common potatoes. These two factors combined with the addition of minerals such as magnesium make sweet potatoes a very beneficial aid for the digestion.
The health benefits of sweet potatoes are numerous and surprising. The above information provides just a few of the many health benefits found in this wonderful addition to your diet. If you want to try new types of foods and add to your health, be sure to include this sweet addition to your diet!