Sweet potato is quite popular due to its delicious taste. There are numerous health benefits of sweet potatoes for our bodies. These are not ideas in the air, but sort of benefits that science has proved.
To give you an idea, here are 15 proven benefits of sweet potatoes that you must know.
The Nutritional Value of Sweet Potato
If we put aside its taste, the first thing that makes the popularity of sweet potatoes is obviously its nutritional value. You can find many nutrients in the sweet potato that help us to stay healthy.
When we look more closely at the nutrients, we find that 100gm sweet potatoes contain 12.2gm carbohydrate, 1.69gm protein, 0.15gm fat, and 2.9gm fibers.
If we look at micronutrients, we see that sweet potato is particularly rich in vitamins, especially vitamin A. There is also a good proportion of vitamin B and vitamin C. To give you an idea, 100gm of sweet potato is equivalent to 218.75% of Nutritional Reference Values (NRVs) for vitamin A. The percentages for NRVs of vitamin B6 and vitamin C is 16.43% and 20.25% respectively.
Other vitamins are also present in the sweet potato but in lesser quantity. These vitamins are vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, and vitamin B9. Note, it also contains Provitamin A Beta-carotene.
Sweet potato is also considered a good source for minerals such as manganese, potassium, and copper. Other nutrients present include calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc. From a calorie perspective, it is considered that 100 grams of sweet potatoes will be equivalent to 86 calories. In addition, it comprises 77% water.
The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
In terms of micronutrients and minerals, science has looked at sweet potatoes to prove the benefits of this tuber. To get an idea, here is a non-exhaustive list of these virtues.
1. Prevention of vitamin A deficiencies
If you have read correctly what we wrote above, this benefit should not surprise you, on the contrary. Indeed, the sweet potato can be good for all the people who suffer from vitamin A deficiency.
It’s no secret that vitamin A plays a vital role in our body. Some developing countries consider vitamin A deficiency a real public health problem.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause damage to the body, both temporarily and permanently.
The main problems due to this type of deficiency are in the eyes. Too much vitamin A deficiency for too long may even result in loss of vision. In some cases, vitamin A deficiencies can also result in a near-total loss of immune function.
2. Balance the blood sugar level
In people with diabetes, there are main problems closely related to insulin secretion and an imbalance in blood sugar levels.
Science has shown that certain types of sweet potato, particularly the so-called Caiapo, have the ability to reduce the symptoms that may occur in individuals with type-2 diabetes.
According to the research that has been done, it has been proven that Caiapo sweet potato has the amazing ability to lower fasting blood glucose and LDL cholesterol levels. In addition, it will also help to increase the insulin sensitivity of an individual.
3. Reduced risk of cancer
Many of the risks of cancer are closely related to a problem in the oxidation of cells. Thus, it is strongly recommended to consume products composed of antioxidants to prevent the onset of this kind of disease.
Specifically, science has concluded that to have a lower risk of catching certain cancers, such as breast, kidney, or stomach, it is advisable to indulge in a diet rich in antioxidants.
Since these kinds of components are found in sweet potatoes, this tuber can become your best ally to help you reduce the risk of cancer.
This function of the sweet potato will also help you slow down the aging of your cells and the consequences that imply.
4. Increased brain function
Further research has shown that sweet potatoes can help stimulate brain function. This implies, in particular, an improvement of the memory. This benefit of sweet potato is due to the many nutrients and antioxidants that can be found in this food.
Scientists who have looked at the subject have testified that purple sweet potato can actively fight brain aging and is able to improve our different learning abilities.
5. Increased immunity
As we mentioned above, sweet potato can play a role in our immune abilities. Since 100 grams of sweet potato makes up 218.75% of our daily vitamin A requirement, and it is normal for this tuber to strengthen our immune system.
To understand a little better this virtue, we must look at the very functioning of vitamin A. Indeed, the latter will stimulate our immune cells that will then be prone to fight against diseases or infections that try to attack our body.
6. Sweet potato improves our visual comfort
In the same way as the previous benefit, vitamin A is important for our eyes. Indeed, this element is essential in order to have a healthy vision. It is not uncommon to see vitamin deficiency cause some uncomfortable symptoms such as dry eyes, conjunctivitis, or, in more severe cases, a complete loss of vision.
In order to minimize this kind of risk and have a healthy view, it is advisable to regularly consume sweet potato which has the advantage of having a surprising composition of vitamin A and antioxidants that also help keep our eyes in good shape.
7. Help to lose weight
Science has also examined the relationship between a sweet potato and weight loss, and conclusive results have been put forward. It seems that incorporating this food into diet would help get rid of the few extra pounds that cannot be lost.
This is mainly due to good nutrient and fiber content.
In addition to its composition, it is important to note that sweet potato has the ability to make us feel full stomach and helping to minimize snacking behaviors that are far beneficial for weight loss.
8. Help to manage stress
Science has also proven that sweet potatoes can help manage stress levels in the body. This is because of a good amount of magnesium. Why is this important? Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency leads to a greater risk of depression.
In some cases, it is also possible that sweet potato helps to treat insomnia problems in some individuals, such as the elderly. It’s no secret, sleep problems also greatly promote stress and anxiety. Including sweet potato in diet can help patients.
9. Anti-inflammatory properties
The various scientific studies that have been conducted on this subject have also come to prove that sweet potatoes have the capacity to act as anti-inflammatories.
This is because this tuber has a large vitamin composition which itself has this kind of benefit. It also contains a good composition of choline which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties for the body.
10. Sweet potato limits the appearance of ulcers
Ulcers are disorders that affect many people on our planet. They turn out to be particularly unpleasant and painful.
Some studies have suggested that sweet potato has the ability to effectively protect gastrointestinal tissues from this type of problem, usually caused by external sources of stress.
11. Cardiovascular risk reduction
Cardiovascular disorders, unfortunately, affect a large number of individuals and can have dramatic consequences. It is necessary to take effective solutions to minimize the appearance of such problems.
According to the researchers, a sweet potato diet could have this kind of benefit for the body. This is due to the antioxidants found in this tuber. Indeed, by suppressing oxidation, it is possible to significantly limit the development of cardiovascular diseases.
12. The antimicrobial capacity of sweet potato
Although this effect is less important than those mentioned above, it has been proven that sweet potato has some antimicrobial activity.
As a reminder, we call an antimicrobial something whose function is to kill or slow down the growth of microbes in our body. Specifically, by eating sweet potato, you make sure to limit the growth of foodborne bacteria that may be on your plates.
13. Improve hair and skin
In addition to offering benefits inside our body, it turns out that the sweet potato can be favorable to different external elements such as our hair and skin.
This is due to a good composition of vitamins. These are particularly known for increasing the number of hair.
14. Sweet potato promotes digestion
In general, we consider that sweet potato has the power to promote our digestive system. This is due to the good amount of fiber found in this tuber.
For several years now, science has come to prove that fibers played more than a positive role in the proper functioning of our gut. In some cases, sweet potatoes are thought to prevent constipation problems in both children and adults.
15. Sweet potato and fertility
Thanks to the high concentration of vitamin A found in sweet potato, this food is ideal for people who wanted to increase their fertility.
According to some studies, it has been concluded that vitamin A has the power to dramatically improve reproductive performance. Good consumption of vitamin A will also have the power to fight effectively against infertility problems.
All these are 15 health benefits of sweet potatoes. Let’s take a look which should be preferred.
Sweet Potato or Potato: Which Would be the Best?
With all the benefits of the sweet potato that we just mentioned, it may be legitimate to wonder about the kind of tuber to choose for its different meals. Some people have not hesitated to replace potatoes entirely with sweet potato, thinking that this was the healthiest choice possible.
To get an idea, it is important to compare these two foods. These two tubers, when boiled and skin removed, have about the same amounts of water, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The difference will come in the amounts of sugar and fiber that are higher for sweet potatoes.
The latter is also considered to have a lower glycemic index, particularly because of a slower absorption of sugar due to a complex starch and a high content of soluble fiber.
Although both tubers are good sources of vitamin C and potassium, we must not neglect the vitamin A intake that the sweet potato offers and to which we owe many of its virtues. Note that in some cases, potatoes can be considered more satisfying.
Nevertheless, we must not forget that these contain elements called glycoalkaloids that prove to be harmful to our bodies.
To conclude, we can say that sweet potato has a lower glycemic index and are a better source of fiber in relation to ordinary potatoes. People who decided to favor sweet potatoes for a healthier diet were therefore right to make this choice.
In summary, we can say that the sweet potato is a tuber that should not be neglected in order to put the odds on his side to stay healthy. Its various benefits proven by science are proof that this tuber can help us daily to take care of our organism. In addition to this, it is important to take into account that this food is particularly cheap, thus making its virtues accessible to all.