Sweet potatoes health benefits: Is it healthy or not?
Is sweet potato healthy or not? Instead of gaining popularity, such a vegetable is being pushed to the sidelines despite having so many health benefits. Yes, I am talking about sweet potatoes. You will be glad to know that this single vegetable gives you multiple benefits with a hundred of nutrition as fiber, iron, calcium, selenium. Moreover, they are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Elsewhere, sweet potatoes are also naturally packed with vitamin B5, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and carotenoids due to their naturally orange color. If you want to know about sweet potato health benefits, is it healthy or not? How does it help your skin and hair? Is there any side effect of it? To know all the answers, you need to look forward.
What is sweet potato?
Sweet potato is a root vegetable that is creamy and soft in texture that one can enjoy as a dessert and in different forms. The common color of sweet potatoes is orange, but other forms of these potatoes are purple, yellow, white, pink, and red. Some study suggests that the deepest the coloring of sweet potatoes the higher the nutritional content.
Health benefits of sweet potatoes:
- Protect you from any infection and eye-related problem:
Vitamin A deficiency:
- decreased resistance to infectious disease
- increase in infectious morbidity,
- Dry eye
- Vitamin A deficiency can lead to a particular type of blindness known as xerophthalmia.
- Increase mortality for both pregnant and lactating women and their children.
Sweet potato has a high amount of vitamin A containing high levels of beta-carotene (4, 5), which is transferred into vitamin A. 100gm of sweet potatoes has a whopping 284 percent of vitamin A that you need for a day which can save you from all these problems, as mentioned earlier. Purple sweet potato also is helpful for your eyesight.
- Helpful for maintaining diabetes:
Diabetes when alarming:
Diabetes is harmful to your health, and when it becomes alarming, it can affect your entire body damaging nerves, amputations, and eyes. Even those who have diabetes are at risk of heart diseases, blood vessel disease, and stroke. For controlling diabetes, you should avoid food that increases your blood sugar level and drive insulin.
However, sweet potato helps in regulating blood sugar levels in your body. The high amount of fiber in sweet potatoes helps to control blood sugar levels in your body and is helpful for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. “Sweet potatoes can be regularly consumed by people with diabetes in limited quantities.” (The better India, Dr. Nedunchezhiyan Maniyam, the principal scientist at ICAR-CTCRI, Bhubaneshwar.)
- The magnesium minimizes the risk of individuals developing type II diabetes.
- Minimize the occurrence of insulin levels.
- It has a moderately low glycemic index that also aids in the regulation of blood glucose levels.
Manage your stress level:
If you are in long time stress, you can face several health issues such as headaches, an upset stomach, high blood pressure, chest pain, and problems with sex and sleep. It also can lead to emotional problems, depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry. So, you need to focus on that and work on it. In that case, sweet potato can be your best choice.
Sweet potato contains a high amount of manganese that helps in reducing stress and anxiety. Manganese deficiency also increases depression in women who experience premenstrual symptoms. If you are suffering from a lack of sleep, manganese also helps you with insomnia. So, take sweet potato to alleviate the symptom of depression of anxiety and depression.
Prevent alarming disease cancer:
Life-threatening disease cancer also can be prevented by consuming sweet potatoes, especially purple-fleshed sweet potatoes. It has some mind-blowing content as polyphenol content to control prostate cancer and a high amount of anthocyanin to control breast cancer, gastric cancer, and colon cancer by inducing the cell death of these cancer cells. “The vegetable’s high anthocyanin content is believed to be the reason behind the sweet potato’s anti-cancer activity when it comes to gastric and breast cancers (20).” (March 18, 2017/in Health /)
Elsewhere, it is also found that the presence of carotenoids such as beta-carotene also reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Have brain health properties:
- Anthocyanin in purple sweet potato possesses memory-enhancing properties.
- Potassium is helpful for brain function.
We can say that food rich in fruits and vegetables reduces mental diseases by 13%. So, make a habit of eating vegetables more and more.
Better for your digestion:
Proper digestion of food is necessary to keep you healthy. It helps to break down your food into nutrition and benefits your entire body. If you face an undigested problem, that can lead to several health problems. You can face stomach-related issues too. How does sweet potato help you with indigestion?
Sweet potato carries two types of fiber soluble and insoluble. Fiber helps to improve the health of the gut. Fiber also allows you to get rid of constipation both in adults and children. One sweet potato has about 4 grams of plant-based fiber.
“Test-tube studies have found that antioxidants in purple sweet potatoes promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, including certain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species” (Healthline, written by Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT on January 9, 2019)
Sweet potato benefit for hair and skin:
Sweet potato is rich in vitamin A, E, and C that are helpful in hair loss. Besides, beta carotene in this potato also works excellent in preventing hair thinning and reducing dullness in hair. You can also consume it for natural protection for your hair.
Even you can use sweet potato as a hair mask, simply adding it with olive oil and honey to make a paste. Then, you can apply it all over your hair to promote hair growth.
These nutrients in potatoes also benefit your skin. How does it help your skin?
- Give you a natural glowing look
- Make your skin softer and younger
- Boost collagen that tightens your skin.
You can also use it as a facial scrub to benefit your skin.
Other health benefits of sweet potatoes:
- A healthy amount of iron in sweet potato also boosts fertility in women.
- Higher intake of fiber is associated with reducing body weight
- The increased amount of choline and vitamin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
- methanol extract from the root of a sweet potato can protect the gastrointestinal tissues
Is eating sweet potatoes every day bad for your health?
There have no possible side effects of sweet potatoes. According to some studies, consuming a high amount of this food can make your skin and nails looking a little orange. It also has a high glycemic index, almost as high as a white potato if you consume it too much.
Besides, sweet potato also has complex carbohydrates, which sometimes produce gas in your stomach.
Elsewhere sweet potato has following disadvantages:
- High in Carbohydrates.
- Low in Protein.
- Low in Fat.
- Lack of Vitamin D.
- Lack of Vitamin B12.
- Low in Iron.
Otherwise, you can have this delicious soft food every day and can add it to your regular food diet but in a moderate number.
As a whole, we can say, if you want to grab the health benefits of sweet potatoes properly, you need to consume them with skin that is full of fiber. Moreover, it is best to avoid sugar and butter with sweet potatoes. However, while buying sweet potatoes, choose the one with a vivid hue. Enjoy this delicious food like soup, smoothies, salad, and so many different forms.