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Top 10 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes & why you should it Regularly

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Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

In this article, you’ll discover the top 10 health benefits of Sweet Potatoes.

But before we started with the ten health benefits of sweet potatoes let’s quickly learn a bit about sweet potatoes themselves.

Sweet potatoes, also known as yams, are a type of root vegetable that is native to Central, Africa and South America.

They are a staple food in many cultures and have been used for centuries for their nutritional and medicinal benefits.

It comes in various colours such as orange, purple, white and yellow and is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are beneficial for overall health.

It can be consumed in various forms like roasted, baked, grilled, mashed or fried.

They are also a great alternative to regular potatoes as they are lower in calories and have a lower glycemic index.

10 Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Here are some of the benefits of eating sweet potatoes below;

#1 Rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and iron.

Yes, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of several essential vitamins and minerals.

They are particularly high in vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy vision, skin and immune function.

One medium-sized sweet potato contains over 400% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A.

They are also a good source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and supports the immune system.

Additionally, sweet potatoes are high in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and supports heart health, and iron, which is important for carrying oxygen in the blood.

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of other essential vitamins and minerals such as manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and Vitamin E.

#2 High in dietary fiber, which can promote digestion and regularity.

Sweet potatoes are high in dietary fiber, which is important for maintaining healthy digestion and regularity.

Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plant-based foods that moves through the digestive system undigested, helping to add bulk to stools and promote regular bowel movements.

Consuming an adequate amount of dietary fiber can also help prevent constipation and other digestive issues.

One medium-sized sweet potato contains around 4 grams of dietary fiber, which is about 14% of the recommended daily value.

Fiber also has other benefits like helping in weight management and reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

#3 Contains antioxidants that can help protect against cellular damage.

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of antioxidants, which are compounds that help protect cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals can contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of cellular damage.

Sweet potatoes contain several types of antioxidants, including beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body and acts as a powerful antioxidant, and anthocyanins, which are a type of flavonoid that give sweet potatoes their bright orange and purple colours.

These antioxidants are also responsible for their anti-inflammatory properties.

#4 May have anti-inflammatory properties

Sweet potatoes have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body fight off infection and injury.

Still, chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of a variety of health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Sweet potatoes contain antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.

These compounds may help reduce inflammation throughout the body and protect against chronic diseases.

Additionally, sweet potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin E, a nutrient that has anti-inflammatory properties.

Sweet potatoes’ various minerals and vitamins make them a powerful anti-inflammatory food.

#5 May help lower blood pressure and improve heart health

It may help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Sweet potatoes are high in potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure.

Potassium acts as a vasodilator, which means it helps relax the walls of the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily.

This can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Additionally, sweet potatoes are also a good source of magnesium which is an important mineral for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

The fiber present in sweet potatoes also contributes to cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of high cholesterol levels which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Additionally, sweet potatoes also have a low glycemic index which means they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes and metabolic disorders.

Their high fiber content also slows down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Overall, sweet potatoes are a nutritious and heart-healthy food that can be included in a balanced diet to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

#6 May have anti-cancer properties

Sweet potatoes have been studied for their potential anti-cancer properties.

Research suggests that the antioxidants found in sweet potatoes, including beta-carotene and anthocyanins, may have anti-cancer properties.

These antioxidants may help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of cancer.

Some studies have also found that sweet potatoes may have specific anti-cancer properties.

For example, one study found that sweet potatoes may have anti-breast cancer properties, while another study found that sweet potatoes may have anti-prostate cancer properties.

However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and to understand how sweet potatoes may help prevent cancer.

It is important to note that while the compounds in sweet potatoes may have anti-cancer properties, they are not a substitute for cancer treatments prescribed by a medical professional.

A healthy diet including a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains along with regular physical activity and not smoking is always recommended as a way to reduce the risk of cancer.

#7 May help regulate blood sugar levels

Sweet potatoes have been found to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels.

They are considered a low glycemic index (GI) food, which means that they are less likely to cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels compared to high GI foods such as white potatoes and refined grains.

The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels after it’s consumed.

Sweet potatoes have a glycemic index of around 70.

Foods with a glycemic index of 70 or lower are considered to be low on the glycemic index.

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of dietary fiber, which slows down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, helping to regulate blood sugar levels.

They also contain complex carbohydrates, which are broken down more slowly by the body than simple carbohydrates and can help prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.

For people with diabetes, consuming sweet potatoes can be a good way to control blood sugar levels when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

However, it’s always important to consult a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations, especially if you have diabetes.

#8 May promote healthy skin and hair

Sweet potatoes may have benefits for healthy skin and hair due to their high content of vitamins and minerals.

One of the key nutrients in sweet potatoes that may benefit the skin is vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy skin, specifically the skin’s epithelial cells.

Vitamin A is also known to be beneficial for preventing acne and other skin conditions.

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin C, which is important for collagen synthesis and maintaining skin elasticity.

Collagen is a protein that helps keep skin firm and smooth and is important for preventing wrinkles and age-related skin changes.

Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties that can help protect the skin from environmental damage.

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin E which has moisturizing properties and helps in skin repair and rejuvenation.

Furthermore, Sweet potatoes are also a good source of minerals such as Copper and Zinc which are essential for healthy hair growth.

Eating sweet potatoes as part of a balanced diet can be beneficial for maintaining healthy skin and hair, but it’s important to note that diet is just one of the many factors that contribute to healthy skin and hair.

Other factors such as genetics, age, skin type, lifestyle habits and skincare routine also play a role.

#9 May aid in weight management

Sweet potatoes can be a helpful food for weight management because they are relatively low in calories and high in nutrients.

A medium-sized sweet potato contains around 103 calories, which is less than many other types of starchy vegetables.

Additionally, sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce overall calorie intake.

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of complex carbohydrates, which are broken down more slowly by the body than simple carbohydrates.

This can help prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, which can contribute to feelings of hunger and cravings.

Moreover, sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense, meaning they are low in calories but high in essential vitamins and minerals.

Eating nutrient-dense foods can help support weight management efforts by providing the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly, while also helping to reduce cravings for less healthy foods.

It’s important to note that weight management is a complex process that depends on multiple factors such as diet, exercise, lifestyle, and genetics.

Eating sweet potatoes as part of a balanced diet and regular physical activity can be beneficial, but it’s always important to consult a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

#10 Can be prepared in a variety of ways, making it a versatile ingredient in cooking

It can be prepared in a variety of ways, making them a versatile ingredient in cooking.

Some popular ways of cooking sweet potatoes include:

  1. Baking: Cut sweet potatoes into wedges or slices and bake in the oven until tender.
  2. Boiling: Cut sweet potatoes into chunks and boil until tender.
  3. Mashing: Peel and cut sweet potatoes into chunks, then boil or steam until tender. Mash with butter or milk and seasonings.
  4. Roasting: Cut sweet potatoes into wedges or slices and toss with oil, herbs, and spices. Roast in the oven until tender and crispy.
  5. Grilling: Cut sweet potatoes into wedges or slices, brush with oil, and grill until tender and charred.
  6. Frying: Cut sweet potatoes into thin slices or wedges, then fry in oil until crispy.
  7. Steaming: Peel and cut sweet potatoes into chunks and steam until tender
  8. Stir-frying: Cut sweet potatoes into thin slices and stir-fry with other vegetables and seasonings.

Sweet potatoes can also be used in savoury dishes like soups, stews, and curries and also in sweet dishes like pies, cakes and muffins.

They can also be used in salads, and sandwiches and are a great alternative to regular potatoes in hash browns and fries.

Sweet potato’s versatility in cooking makes it a great addition to any meal.

Final Thoughts on benefits of sweet potatoes

In conclusion, sweet potatoes are nutritious and delicious root vegetables that offer a wide range of health benefits.

They are rich in vitamins and minerals, high in dietary fibre, and contain antioxidants that can help protect against cellular damage.

It may have anti-inflammatory properties and may help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

They may have anti-cancer properties and may help regulate blood sugar levels.

Also may promote healthy skin and hair and may aid in weight management.

They can be prepared in a variety of ways, making them versatile ingredients in cooking.

Incorporating sweet potatoes into a healthy diet can provide many health benefits and make a delicious addition to any meal.

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