Sweet Potato Benefits – Have You Been Avoiding Sweet Potatoes? Here Is What You Are Missing!
When was the last time you have eaten a sweet potato? If it’s really been too long, I must definitely tell you about some incredible sweet potato benefits that you have been missing all the while!
Do you know that a regular consumption of sweet potatoes can keep you away from the most common chronic disorders like obesity, diabetes and certain types of cardiovascular diseases?
Women can stay away from fertility issues and men can stay away from Prostate or colon cancer by making sweet potatoes a part of regular diet! Not just this, there are as many as 10 sweet potato benefits that are going to surprise you! Wait, Are sweet potatoes good for you?
Table of Contents
- Key Points About Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Nutrition
- Sweet Potato Benefits for Health
- What are the Sweet Potato Benefits for Weight Loss?
- Sweet Potato Benefits for Skin
Key Points About Sweet Potatoes!
Sweet potatoes give you almost every nutrient that your body requires for a healthy survival but they lack vitamin D and Vitamin B12.
Well, it does not impact your health drastically but if you are solely following a sweet potato diet, it is a must that you consume vitamin D and vitamin b12 foods along with sweet potatoes.
Also, make sure that you avoid frying sweet potatoes because it increases the calorie content which may add up to your weight.
Fried and spiced sweet potatoes contain 103 calories per 100 grams whereas baked sweet potatoes give 92 calories for the same quantity.
What’s more interesting is that boiled sweet potatoes give only 76 calories for 100 grams. So, it is best to prefer boiled or baked potatoes rather than consuming them in their fried form.
What’s Makes Sweet Potatoes Exceptional – Sweet Potato Nutrition!
All the credit of sweet potato health benefits goes to its amazing nutrient-rich properties! One simple way to boost Vitamin A and vitamin C intake in your body is to enjoy a cup of sweet potatoes.
Consuming one cup of mashed sweet potatoes which is around 330 grams fulfills your daily vitamin A requirement by 1033% and vitamin C by 70%. Surprised much?
Here is a list of all the nutrients present in one cup of boiled and mashed sweet potato and how they help in meeting your daily requirement.
Sweet Potato Nutrition
|Constituents||% DV (Percent of daily requirement they meet)|
10 Astonishing Sweet Potato Benefits For Skin And Overall Health
If you aren’t still impressed by the rich vitamin and mineral content that a typical sweet potato contains, here is an amazing fact that is going to leave you overwhelmed.
Beta-carotene, an antioxidant found in sweet potatoes which makes the vegetable look mesmerizingly orange and yellow also serves your body with huge benefits.
With all the required nutrients along with great antioxidant properties present in sweet potatoes, is there any reason why you should be avoiding sweet potatoes?
Here are 10 amazing ways in which sweet potato nourishes your body!
1. Improve Your Digestion with Sweet Potatoes
Being a great source of insoluble fibre (13 grams of fibre for 1 cup) they eliminate bowel irregularities because insoluble fibre adds more bulk to your stool so that an easy passage of food occurs through your digestive system.
Starch content, much precisely, the resistant starch which makes up to 12% of the total starch helps in a smooth and easy digestion.
If you wish to make the best digestive benefits of sweet potatoes, you can let the sweet potatoes cool for some time soon after you have boiled them before consuming them as such.
2. How Sweet Potato Benefits Your Eye Health?
With as much as 38433 IU (International units) of Vitamin A present in one cup of baked sweet potatoes, there is no doubt in saying that sweet potatoes are an excellent source to improve your vision.
It is the special antioxidant called beta-carotene present in sweet potatoes that gets converted to vitamin A.
Surprisingly, the benefit of relying on natural food source of vitamin A instead of supplements is that our human body does not convert beta-carotene into vitamin A more than required quantities.
The rich content of sweet potatoes prevents the conditions like macular degeneration in which the retina of the eye may get damaged.
3. Should Diabetics Consume Sweet Potatoes?
Most of the people suffering from diabetes refrain themselves from consuming sweet potatoes considering the carbohydrates present in them but sweet potatoes have a great positive impact on the blood sugar levels.
It is true that sweet potatoes contain carbohydrates but the glycemic index of sweet potatoes is only 44 (when boiled) which does not have any adverse effect on the blood sugar levels.
In fact, sweet potatoes help in the release a protein hormone called adiponectin which helps in a proper regulation of insulin hormone and reduces the blood glucose levels.
Resistant starch, present in sweet potatoes helps in improving insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is how effective the body is in reaction to insulin hormone.
4. How Sweet Potatoes Control Blood Pressure?
Two important minerals that help in regulating the blood pressure are potassium and magnesium. Fortunately, 1 cup of boiled sweet potatoes contains 59 mg and 754 mg of magnesium and potassium respectively.
Potassium is required for lowering blood pressure because a proper balance of potassium and sodium levels is essential for the removal of excess fluid from your blood.
When there is excess fluid, your blood pressure goes up. So, when people with high blood pressure take potassium rich foods, excess sodium is filtered through kidneys and a proper balance of potassium and sodium is obtained which ultimately results in the reduction of blood pressure.
Magnesium, on the other hand, provides a great relaxation to your blood vessels and reduces the systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
5. Sweet Potatoes and Its Anti-Cancer Properties
Anthocyanin which is a plant pigment present in sweet potatoes is responsible for imparting purple colour to the vegetable.
The next time you are in a grocery store, try to pick purple-fleshed sweet potatoes because these are rich in anthocyanin which reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.
Also, the proteins present in sweet potatoes have a positive influence on colon-rectal cancer cells. The protein not only helps in mitigating the growth of cancer cells, but it also prevents the cells from spreading from the original site of the attack to other parts.
6. How Sweet Potatoes Impact Fertility in Women?
A good quality and quantity of Cervical mucus is essential for conceiving and beta-carotene present in sweet potatoes helps in increasing cervical mucus.
Foods that are rich in vitamin A prevents the menstrual irregularities and helps women to have a regular menstrual cycle which is necessary for reproduction.
This also benefits women suffering from Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) as the menstrual cycle becomes regular and the hormonal imbalance diminishes!
Maintaining a perfect level of blood sugar without any spikes or fluctuations is important for conception. It has been proven that sweet potatoes regulate the blood glucose levels and result in a proper ovulation.
7. Keep you away from frequent flu and cold
Carotenoids play a giant role in keeping up your immune system since these are one of the powerful antioxidants which eliminate the free radicals from your body.
One of the major health benefits of sweet potatoes is that they keep you away from infections since they increase your resistant power.
The abundance of Vitamin C is an added advantage as it helps in reducing the oxidative stress which may otherwise increase the production of free radicals.
With the presence of rich amounts of Vitamin, A, vitamin C and other plant pigments like anthocyanin and carotenoids, sweet potatoes make the best foods for stabilizing your overall immunity!
8. Sweet potato health benefits for mental health
Consuming foods rich in magnesium is said to reduce the levels of stress and anxiety. This is because magnesium can attach themselves to the receptors of an important chemical present in the brain called GABA.
When there is a magnesium deficiency in your body, there is no way you can be happy and stress-free because magnesium is important for activating the receptors of GABA.
When the levels of the chemical GABA are very low, you can be subjected to the symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.
Potassium present in sweet potatoes helps in controlling your blood pressure which makes you feel stress-free and normal.
9. What are the Sweet potato benefits for weight loss?
When you are on a weight loss mission, it is essential for you to keep a note of what you have been feeding your stomach. Not many are aware of the magic sweet potatoes can do in making you look slim.
The magic, of course, lies in sweet potato nutrition. Here are 4 wonderful ways in which sweet potato benefits for weight loss.
Rich Fibre Source
Sweet potatoes are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibres both of which help in weight loss.
Eating those foods that are rich in soluble fibres can keep your stomach full for long periods and therefore they reduce your appetite.
Unlike insoluble fibre, soluble fibre mixes with the water content in the body and in many ways aids in the reduction of the belly fat.
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, adds in more bulk to your stools which keeps your digestive system healthy and clean.
How Sweet Potatoes Boost Your Metabolism?
Sweet potato contains 77% of water in them. This excellent property of sweet potatoes improves the rate of your metabolic activities which is very much essential for a healthy weight loss.
When there is a good water content, there are fewer chances for fat to get piled up in your body and there is a greater chance of detoxification both of which result in weight loss.
How Does the Carbohydrate Content not Affect You?
Generally, carbohydrates influence the blood sugar levels by causing fluctuations in the levels. But, the impact of carbohydrates depends on the Glycemic Index of the foods.
When GI is low, it does not raise your blood sugar level. Many are under the wrong assumption that the carbohydrates in sweet potatoes may cause a negative effect on their glucose level since 1 cup of boiled sweet potato contains around 60 grams of carbohydrates.
But, the Glycemic Index of sweet potatoes is very low. (Only when boiled and cooked for half an hour) sweet potatoes show a GI of 46.
When GI is high, it may increase the glucose content in the blood making you prone to overweight and diabetes.
Make sure that you do not bake the potatoes since the GI increases drastically due to baking!
Calorie Content of Sweet Potatoes
Calories give you energy! An excellent property of sweet potatoes is that though these are low in calories, they keep your stomach full and occupied and decrease your hunger pangs because of good fibre content in them.
One cup of mashed potatoes contains around only 250 calories which do not let you put up the weight so easily.
10. Sweet Potato Benefits for Skin
Sweet potatoes are the best source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C which are individually beneficial for attaining a healthy, glowing skin in a natural way.
Vitamin A (Retinol) boosts the production of new, healthy cells which makes your skin look fresh, active and lively.
Retinol also helps in increasing the production of collagen (a type of fibroblast) which makes you look young by preventing the occurrence of wrinkles and lines.
Vitamin C is responsible for producing collagen and for promoting a healthy, radiant skin. Though there are many sources of vitamin C, sweet potatoes aid in providing many other benefits apart from promoting a great skin texture.
Apart from this, antioxidants present in sweet potatoes reduce the number of free radicals whose function is to damage the healthy skin, making your skin look dull and worn out.
All the power to cure most of the common problems like overweight, fertility issues, skin problems, diabetes, including the prevention of cancer lies within a sweet potato!
Being the best source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, potassium, plant pigments, antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fiber, great water content, low calories and anticancer properties, avoiding sweet potatoes will make you regret for the rest of your life, for you will be missing upon all the above mentioned 10 amazing sweet potato benefits.