Ipomoea batatas is the scientific name for sweet potatoes, which are tuberous crops. The plant is a creeper with lobed or heart-shaped leaves. The color of the tuber can range from purple to red to pale yellow and white, depending on the variety, soil type, climate, and minerals available. Sweet potatoes are inherently sweet, as their name implies, and their flavor can be improved by roasting them.
They are also packed with other nutrients that include vitamins as well as provide phytosterols, isoflavones, and amino acids such as leucine, glutamic acid, and threonine. A single serving of sweet potato alone will provide more than 400% of your daily dose of vitamin A!
The flesh of red sweet potatoes is drier and firmer, whereas the flesh of white and yellow sweet potatoes is juicier. The red type has a distinct aroma that intensifies as it is boiled. Its antioxidants and vitamin content are responsible for the variety of flavors, textures, and colors. The beta carotene content in reddish and orange sweet potatoes is high, while the purple sweet potato is low The purple sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are high in anthocyanin.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have many health benefits and here are some of them:
It helps in managing diabetes
Contrary to popular belief, sweet potatoes may be diabetes-friendly. They are a delicious and versatile substitute for white potatoes. Rich in fiber and beta-carotene, sweet potatoes can be included in various preparations. While more studies are required to ascertain its role as a part of diabetes reversal courses, they are safe to be included in your diet, especially considering their low glycemic index.
It improves digestion
The fiber content in sweet potatoes is higher than that of common potatoes and they taste better too! When these two factors are combined with other minerals like magnesium, which is present in these root vegetables, it makes an excellent facilitator for digestion. They are easy to digest since they mainly contain starch. They are soothing to the stomach and intestines, so you can avoid any difficulties in digesting them. Furthermore, fiber feeds the little microbes in our gut and thus help support and promote a healthy gut.
It helps to boosts Immune System
Sweet potatoes are excellent immune system boosters that defend your body from a wide variety of conditions. As mentioned above, not only are they rich in antioxidants and vitamins, they are also rich in manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. All these nutrients help in strengthening the immunity and keeping you healthy.
It helps to promotes weight gain
Sweet potatoes contain good amounts of complex starch, along with healthy vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Moreover, they are very easy to digest. Thus, they provide a lot of energy and are excellent bulk builders for people looking to gain weight.
People who have recently suffered from illnesses, or are self-conscious about being frail or abnormally thin should welcome this news about sweet potatoes since there are no associated side effects, which most of the synthetic bulk building dietary supplements have.
The fiber content in sweet potatoes is higher than that of common potatoes and they taste better too!
It helps to reduces inflammation
Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and are primarily due to the presence of beta-carotene, anthocyanins, vitamin C, and magnesium. Beta-carotenes and anthocyanins are active bio-compounds that may exert antioxidative effects when consumed and thereby reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Research studies have shown these compounds to promote immunity.
Treats Stomach Ulcers
Research shows that a high fiber diet and a diet rich in vitamin C reduces the risk of developing stomach ulcers. This is good news because sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and vitamin C. They also contain B-complex vitamins, potassium, and calcium are all very effective in curing stomach ulcers. Moreover, the roughage obtained from fiber prevents constipation and the resultant acid formation, thereby reducing the chance of ulcers. Their anti-inflammatory and soothing properties also reduce the pain and inflammation of the ulcers.
It helps to treats bronchitis
Sweet potatoes are believed to be capable of warming up the body, possibly due to the sweetness and other nutrients that impact body temperature. This property is also beneficial for people suffering from bronchitis, along with its powerful effect on congestion. The concentration of vitamin C, iron, and other nutrients helps to treat bronchitis.
It helps to reduces arthritis pain
Beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B complex make sweet potatoes a highly important food source for managing arthritis. The water in these tuberous vegetables are boiled can also be applied externally on joints to ease the associated pain of arthritis.
It helps to prevents dehydration
The fiber or roughage present in sweet potatoes helps the body retain water. This maintains water balance in the body, keeping you hydrated and your cells functioning efficiently.
Other benefits of sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are effective for helping people quit addictions like smoking, drinking, and taking certain narcotics. They are good for the health of arteries and veins, as they protect their walls against hardening. The high concentration of beta-carotene (an alternative form of vitamin A) and phosphorus are excellent for both ocular and cardiac health.