From South America to Asia, the sweet potato is a common diet for many people. In some urban centers, it is processed into snacks. They are also one of the oldest foods today, since man first thought of it in the highlands of Peru. What’s more, sweet potatoes are known for their very high nutritional value and considerable health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Eating Sweet Potatoes
- The sweet potato is packed with dietary fiber. Fiber sluices and cleans up wastes and built up noxious matter in the digestive tract and promotes better absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
- Sweet potatoes bring down the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol as well as reduce the frequency of occurrence of blood clots. Thus, the root helps keep cardiac disorders at bay.
- Being rich in iron and calcium, sweet potatoes help in building up bone density and maintaining good health of the teeth.
- Research says that the proteins found in the tubers can decelerate the process of ageing significantly. These proteins protect the heart from damage, ward of cardiac diseases, prevent diabetes and also provide cosmetic benefits. Consuming 1 to 2 servings per week promises to ward off wrinkles and keep your skin supple and youthful.
Nutritional Value Of Sweet Potatoes
- For those who are involved in very strenuous and rigorous jobs, the sweet potato is very good, because it is loaded with vitamins and minerals, in addition to being a good source of carbohydrates.
- For those suffering from stomach ulcers and inflammation of the colon, a diet based on sweet potato is very beneficial. It contains enzymes that help to coat the stomach lining and ease swellings and inflammations.
- Sweet potatoes contain vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, manganese, dietary fiber, potassium and iron.
- A medium sized serving of sweet potato supplies you with more than your everyday requirement of vitamin A, one third vitamin C requirement, 15 % of daily dietary fiber requirement and 10 % of potassium.
- The tuber is packed with pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), thiamine (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), niacin, and riboflavin. These vitamins work as co factors for various enzymes during the metabolic processes.
- Vitamins A and C are also anti inflammatory, thereby making the sweet potato an excellent food for those suffering from asthma or arthritis.
Medicinal Properties Of Sweet Potatoes
- The sweet potato is exceedingly potent in the fight against cancer. It is rich in beta-carotene, which is good in fighting off free radicals. Sweet potatoes are chock full of anti oxidants which scavenge and annihilate most free radicals which cause excessive impairment. Thus, they stave off the development of cancer. The beta-carotene and vitamin C work to rid the body of cancer-promoting free radicals. Fluid and electrolyte balance is maintained well by sweet potatoes.
- A diabetic can eat sweet potatoes without having any anxiety, given that; the root has a low glycemic index. The glycemic index of a particular food indicates the food’s effect on an individual’s blood sugar level. If a food has high glycemic index, there will be fast glucose absorption, rapid rise in the blood sugar and a quick plummeting as well. High-glycemic foods are not desirable. It is always better for the body to slowly absorb glucose, maintain a moderate rise in sugar level and experience a gradual return to the regular level. The sweet potato has a low glycemic index, thus it is definitely beneficial for diabetics.