Sweet potato, botanically known as Ipomoea batata is an economical and wonderful staple food available widely in winters. It is often confused with yams but scientists believe that yams and sweet potatoes are different. Yams are starchy roots popularly grown in Western Africa. Sweet potatoes are small in size and possess a relatively thin peel. On the other hand yams are larger than sweet potatoes and have dark brown to pink skin.
Nutritive Value of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses adding many important nutrients to your diet. You can eat them boiled, steamed, roasted grilled or baked. Give wings to your cuisine abilities and make a delicious salad full of sweet potatoes or a sandwich to satiate your taste buds. Listed below are various health benefits of sweet potatoes.High Fiber Content
As compared to potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes contain more fibers. Because of high fiber content, they give a “slow burning” property to your meal. This implies that the caloric energy of sweet potatoes is utilized steadily and more effectively than low fiber carbohydrate. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Vitamin B6 breaks down homocysteine, a crucial substance for maintaining hardness of blood vessels and arteries. Since sweet potato contains high amount of vitamin B6, they are helpful in warding off heart and vascular ailments.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in potassium content and potassium is crucial in reducing your blood pressure by eliminating surplus sodium and maintaining fluid balance.Enriched with Beta-Carotene
Vitamin A or beta carotene is a vital antioxidant that helps you protect your skin from damage caused by sun exposure. Sweet potatoes are enriched with beta carotene and keep you protected against macular degeneration or vision loss. Good Source of Manganese
Manganese is a trace mineral and is extremely crucial in the carbohydrate metabolism and supports normal blood sugar levels. Manganese also acts a cofactor for enzymes that are important in the production of energy and better utilization of antioxidants.
Manganese is present in good amount in sweet potatoes. Eating a medium sized sweet potato provides you sufficient amount of manganese to meet your body’s demand. Enriched with vitamins C and E
Sweet potatoes are rich sources of vitamin C which as you know is beneficial for protecting you against flu and cold. Vitamin C enhances your immunity and with this strong immunity you can fight invading infection easily and effectively. Besides infection, the citrus vitamin keeps your skin radiant and blemish-free.
Sweet potato also contains vitamin E- the vitamin that is responsible for maintaining longevity and prevention of diseases.
With the impeccable combination of beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E, sweet potato is considered as a wonderful ‘ beauty food’ as these vital ingredients are capable of giving a vibrant, healthy and radiant complexion to your skin. Good Source of Natural Sugars
Being sweet, the sweet potatoes are full of natural sugars that are released steadily in the blood flow upon ingestion. The natural sugar provides a regular and safe source of energy and does not give you spikes of blood sugar that can cause weight gain and fatigue.
You should eat sweet potatoes at least twice a week to get a good supply of calcium, manganese, magnesium, beta carotene, potassium and iron. This will keep you healthy and fit!