Sweet potatoes are known for their starchiness and sweetness. These root vegetables are available in a variety of colors, such as white, orange, purple, and sizes. They are known among nutritionists for their abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Owing to all the amazing nutritional content, sweet potatoes also give humans a lot of health benefits. In this article, we will tell you the top six sweet potato benefits.
Benefits of eating sweet potatoes
Below are given the benefits that you will get by consuming sweet potato:
- Packed with nutrients
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So, if you have consumed one cup or 200 grams of baked sweet potato, including its skin, you will get the benefit with:
- Calories: 180
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Fiber: 6.6 grams
- Carbs: 41.4 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Potassium: 27% of the DAILY VALUE
- Pantothenic acid: 18% of the DAILY VALUE
- Copper: 16% of the DAILY VALUE
- Niacin: 15% of the DAILY VALUE
- Vitamin A: 769% of the DAILY VALUE
- Vitamin C: 65% of the DAILY VALUE
- Manganese: 50% of the DAILY VALUE
- Vitamin B6: 29% of the DAILY VALUE
In addition to the above nutritional value, sweet potatoes are also a rich source of antioxidants. Due to the presence of various antioxidants, your body can fight the harmful free radical. Free radicals form the root of many chronic diseases that cause damage to the DNA and increase the rate of inflammation.
As, free radicals are connected to chronic diseases such as cancer, aging, and heart diseases. So, to stay away from these diseases, consume sweet potatoes. Sweet potato benefits the body with ample antioxidants.
- Supports gut health
Another sweet potato health benefit is that it supports gut health. The presence of fiber and antioxidants in sweet potatoes acts as a plus point g for our gut health. Sweet potatoes have both types of fibers in them, soluble as well as insoluble.
As both types of fiber are non-digestible by our digestive system, the fibers need to stay in our gut until fully absorbed. By accommodating in our gut, they benefit our digestive tract by providing various benefits. One of which is feeding the good gut bacteria.
Viscous fiber, which is a type of soluble fiber, gets absorbed by water resulting in smoother stool. Whereas, the presence of non-viscous fiber, which is a type of insoluble fiber, does not get absorbed by water, thus adding bulk to the stool.
We need 20 to 33 grams of fiber in our daily diet to have a low risk of colon cancer and a smooth bowel movement.
The presence of antioxidants in sweet potatoes also supports the gut. It has been scientifically proven that purple sweet potato contains antioxidants that support the birth of gut bacteria, that includes species such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
The optimal level of these bacteria ensures better gut health for the functioning of the intestines. Thus, lowering the symptoms of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome and infectious diarrhea.
- Helps in maintaining a healthy vision
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant, due to which sweet potato gets its bright color. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene, which when consumed, gets converted into vitamin A. Thus, benefitting our eyes with light-detecting receptors.
By consuming a cup or 200 grams of baked orange sweet potato, one gets more than enough beta-carotene needed for daily intake.
If someone is low on vitamin A, they may develop a special type of blindness which is called xerophthalmia. So, eating foods that have beta-carotene in them will help you to maintain a healthy eye-sight.
Whereas, the purple sweet potato also has something to do with the benefit of vision. In research, it has shown the presence of anthocyanins. That is a compound useful to prevent the eye from any sort of damage. Thus, taking care of the overall eye health.
- Has cancer-fighting properties
As we already know that sweet potatoes have a variety of antioxidants that might prevent the human body from getting cancer. So, purple sweet potato has a group of antioxidants named anthocyanin.
Due to the presence of anthocyanin in the body, the activity and growth of the various cancer-causing cells might slow down. Therefore, it might prevent the occurrence of colon, stomach, bladder as well as breast cancer.
Moreover, this fact has been proved in the case of colon cancer. Where the consumption of anthocyanin, slowed down the growth of the cancer-causing cells. Thus, proving the protective effect of sweet potatoes.
The extracts from sweet potato peels and orange sweet potato also contain some anti-cancer properties.
- Supports the immune system
We know about the compound beta-carotene that turns itself to vitamin A. well, the presence of vitamin A is also necessary for the human immunity system. One needs to consume an adequate amount of orange skin sweet potato to get this benefit.
In addition to that, vitamin A also helps in maintaining the blood sugar level. It maintains the mucous membrane, thus ensuring a healthy lining of many organs.
When one is deficient in terms of Vitamin A, they suffer from an increased level of inflammation. So, it is important to keep this vitamin leveled up.
- Enhances brain functioning
The nutrients extracted from consuming purple sweet potatoes improve the functioning of the brain. The presence of anthocyanin protects the brain from inflammation and damage by free radicals.
Sweet potato benefits a person with enhanced learning and sharp memory. All owing to its oxidant property.
The bottom line
So, here were the top 6 benefits of eating sweet potatoes. If you wonder in what way you should consume these, you can have them steamed, baked, boiled, and even pan-cooked. Some of the popular recipes of sweet potatoes include sweet potato chips, fries, and even toasts.