A starchy root vegetable, sweet potatoes are grown worldwide. They are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. They are easy to add to your diet and offer some health benefits.
Check out these five surprising sweet potato benefits.
1. Helps prevent Vitamin A deficiency
Particularly in developing nations around the world, vitamin A deficiency is a serious issue. Vitamin A deficiency has grave repercussions for pregnant and lactating women, including decreased resistance to infectious disease, increased infectious morbidity, dry eyes, and a higher risk of death.
Sweet potatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene, making them an excellent source of Vitamin A. Each molecule of beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the liver.
2. Supports digestion
Fiber is high in sweet potatoes, which promotes a healthy digestive system. High levels of phytosterols found in sweet potatoes may provide protection against stomach ulcers and may be useful in preventing and treating ulcers caused by NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen).
3. Sweet potatoes are anti-inflammatory
The majority of the vitamins in sweet potatoes have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The purple sweet potato has been proven to inhibit the production of active inflammatory components in the body by extracts found in the vegetable variant. The high concentration of choline in sweet potatoes makes them a very versatile nutrient.
Choline reduces inflammation in the body as a result of reducing inflammatory responses. Choline is effective in reducing incidences of systemic inflammation in the body.
4. Beneficial for the eyes
The orange flesh of sweet potatoes is a result of the presence of beta-carotene. Our body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, which forms light-detecting receptors in our eyes. Good vision at night and healthy eyes depend on vitamin A.
According to a study by Food & Nutrition Research, purple sweet potatoes contain an antioxidant known as anthocyanins, which has also been shown to benefit the eyes.
5. Reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes
Sweet potatoes contain compounds that may help control blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index (GI), so when boiled, they won’t spike your blood sugar as quickly as high-GI foods.
Carbohydrates are abundant in sweet potatoes. The glycemic index of some cooking methods, like baking, roasting, and frying, will spike your blood sugar. Consult your doctor or dietitian about how to include this veggie safely in your diet if you have type 2 diabetes.
About 77% of sweet potato fibers are insoluble, and they play a role in preventing diabetes. Fibers promote insulin sensitivity, which aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels.
In addition, they are an excellent source of magnesium, which has also been shown to reduce the risk of type II diabetes in individuals.