Natural, tasty, and full of vitamins and minerals, it’s no wonder that sweet potato has been considered an omnipresent dish on our tables. For so many years, it’s known as the oldest vegetable cultivated by man.
It’s not only food that warms up the soul in holidays but also a nutritious gift from mother nature.
Benefits of eating sweet potatoes
1. Helps with digestion, low cholesterol, and healthy weight loss
Research by the Cleveland Clinic shows that sweet potatoes are fat-free, protein-filled, and dietary fiber food by excellence. So, fiber is the main component in maintaining a healthy tract, preventing constipation and regulating digestion.
In fact, one medium-sized sweet potato has approximately 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein, and sporamins being the main one.
It has been proved that the protein found in the sweet potato water can be the new miracle drink for weight loss, as it puts a leach on appetite and regulates metabolism.
Hence, it has the amazing power of cleansing those blood vessels of cholesterol and triglycerides and pumping out more of the metabolic hormones leptin and adiponectin.
2. An anti-inflammatory powerhouse
Anthocyanin, an antioxidant found in abundance in purple sweet potatoes has great anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies have shown that the consumption of this healthy food reduced inflammation drastically in the brain and nerve tissue in the body. So, the intake of it extracts lessened the effects of many health problems such as multiple sclerosis.
Sweet potato is also a great agent in mitigating inflammation related to serious health issues like Asthma, Bronchitis, Arthritis, stomach ulcers and cancer.
3. Improve cognitive function
A daily serving can help you stay alert, at full speed and ready to take on the next challenge whether physically or mentally.
This virtuous veggie has the reputation of improving cognitive function and literally helps fight off brain cell degeneration. That being said, sweet potato consumption has the power to undo some types of brain dysfunction. It also helps with learning and memory among other things.
4. Energy booster
Contrary to mainstream beliefs, sweet potato is a superfood for the superheroes. It’s considered as an unmatched source of energy.
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An average sweet potato is packed with slow-burning fiber. It has a low amount of cholesterol and contains virtually no fat. This miraculous root vegetable is loaded with provitamin A (carotene), vitamin C, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6) and potassium along with many other minerals, which makes it the king of energy foods.
5. Reduces blood pressure
Research made by The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggests that the high concentration of potassium in an average sweet potato can lower blood pressure and cut down the risk of a stroke by up to 24%.
A small baked sweet potato contains twice the amount of potassium as a banana, which makes it the go-to food for athletes and people suffering from hypertension.
This magical electrolyte found in a good amount in those root vegetables is a major factor in regulating the heartbeats. It maintains a good functioning of the brain and central nervous system alike. In fact, this backs off the research made by the Medical News Daily that suggests that a diet high in potassium can decrease the risk of dying by a whole 20%!
6. Good for your heart and arteries
This phenomenal gift of nature comes in handy in heart matters as well. Dietary slow-burning fibers present in sweet potatoes is said to cut down the risks of developing certain heart conditions and cardiovascular diseases.
Substantial research and studies made during recent years note that a high fiber diet shields us against various conditions such as heart disease, diverticulosis, diabetes, constipation and different kinds of cancers among others.
Equally important, vitamin B6 present in high dosage in potatoes is a crucial factor in helping us build new red blood cells and lower our risk for heart problems by reducing the chemical homocysteine in our organism.
Homocysteine is associated with degenerative illnesses like heart attacks, Vitamin B6 contributes in maintaining healthy arteries and blood vessels to assure blood flowing in a healthy freeway.
Therefore, as they are naturally rich in beta-carotene and vitamin E, sweet potatoes are the perfect heart-friendly vegetable of all.
7. Helps with sleep, stress and promotes relaxation
Apart from being a great source of vitamins and antioxidants, the plants are loaded with different beneficial minerals such as magnesium and iron. In fact, Magnesium is well known for its relaxation effect; it’s the « chill pill » for stress-free and good mood seekers. Moreover, this type of potatoes contains choline as well, which is a key agent in muscle relaxation, fatigue, and sleep problems.
8. Immunity booster
The antioxidant properties of sweet potatoes can help fight off illnesses. Actually, the high concentration of vitamin C and beta carotene in this tuber helps build a stronger immune system. So, one sweet potato provides you with half of your daily needs of vitamin C. Add to that, Vitamins A and E are also huge promoters of a healthy immune system.
9. A powerful anti-cancer food
Beta-Carotene, a nutrient present excessively in potatoes is a potent agent that hinders cancer cell growth and helps in preventing from this malicious disease.
That’s why incorporating high beta-carotene foods in our diet may reduce oxidative damage. Thus the risk of developing some kind of cancers such as the stomach, kidney, in prostate and breast cancers.
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Studies have shown that this orange tuber high in carotenoids contains powerful antioxidants useful in neutralizing free radicals, a substance responsible for increasing the risk of cancer.
Sweet potato is the potent anti-cancer food that is, helps drastically in reducing the risk of ovarian and breast cancer in postmenopausal and premenopausal women.
It’s also known for playing an effective role in protecting against prostate cancer, according to the Harvard School of Public Health and the Journal Carcinogenesis study published in 2013.
10. Delays aging
Have you ever wondered why most of your skincare ointments have Vitamin A, C, and Retinol in them? Obviously, those components play a major role in fighting off aging and skin degeneration.
As a matter of fact, these veggies happen to be a major source of those components as one medium-sized potato accounts for 100% of our daily requirements of vitamin A and 47% of the daily recommended vitamin C.
This nutritiously versatile tuber can actually delay aging, protect your skin and give the shine and power back to your hair! Too good to be true? Not at all!
In fact, Beta-carotene by converting vitamin A in the body helps repair the damage caused by UV lights and offers protection of the skin from the sun.
It also enhances the production of new skin cells for a glowing, moisturized and wrinkle-free complexion. In addition, Vitamin A has its virtue on hair as well as it treats hair loss and dryness and strengthens those strands.
So for your new face cream or hair mask, opt for a home-made natural sweet potato-based remedy, it is totally worth it!
11. Loads and loads of vitamin D
Both a vitamin and a hormone, Vitamin D are a major player in calcium absorption; it helps build up healthy bones and teeth and support the thyroid gland as well as boosting our mood and energy levels.
Deficiency in this vitamin could cause you mood swings and gloominess, whereas, a healthy intake of this vitamin will promote your immune system, boost your general health and protect you from mental disorders like dementia.
I think I made my point here! So next time on your trip to the grocery store, make sure to fill up on those yummy creamy orange-fleshed babies!