7 Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) You Never Knew
7 Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes (Ipomoea batatas)
7 Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes (Ipomoea batatas).
Brief History Of Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are dicots that belong to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. It is large, starchy,sweet-tasting, tuberous roots that are used as a root vegetable. Sweet potatoes’ origin or domestication transpired in either Central or South America.
Its colour ranges between white, brown, red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, and purple. The leaf blades are very variable, 5 to 13 centimetres long, the shape is heart-, kidney- to egg-shaped, rounded or triangular and pear-shaped, the edge can be entire, toothed or often three to seven times lobed, cut or divided.
Most of the leaf surfaces are bare, rarely hairy, the tip is rounded to pointed. The leaves are mostly green in colour, but due to the accumulation of anthocyanins, especially along the leaf veins, they can be purple. Depending on the variety, the total length of a stem can be between 0.5 and 4 meters.
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Nutrient Composition Of Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet Potatoes contain Energy, Carbohydrates, Starch, Sugars, Dietary fibre, Fat, Protein, Vitamins and Minerals.
Uses And Ways Of Consuming Sweet Potatoes:
¶ Fresh Leaves of sweet potatoes are used as greens in food preparation.
¶ Sweet Potatoes are cooked and eaten with stew or mashed.
¶ It can also be boiled and crushed for potato balls.
Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes:
1. Sweet potatoes help to keep blood pressure in check:
Potassium is contained in one cup of sweet potato baked in its flesh. That’s more than twice as much as a medium banana contains. Potassium works by sweeping excess sodium and fluid out of the body, lowering blood pressure and reducing heart strain.
Potassium also aids in the regulation of heartbeat and muscle contractions. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, only about 2% of Americans meet the daily potassium recommendation of 4,700 mg.
2. Sweet Potatoes Prevent Cancer:
According to studies, the antioxidants found in the peels of sweet potatoes, especially purple sweet potatoes can help to slow down the oxidation process, lowering the risk of cancer. Don’t peel your sweet potatoes if you want to get the most nutrients out of them; just clean them well before cooking.
A study in Asia found that eating a diet rich in vitamin-A-rich vegetables, such as sweet potato leaves, can protect against lung cancer.
3. Sweet Potatoes are Good for the Eyes:
Purple sweet potatoes contain a particular group of antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which are beneficial to the eyes in a study published in Food & Nutrition Research.
4. Improves Brain Function:
Purple sweet potatoes’ anthocyanins have been shown in animal studies to protect the brain by reducing inflammation and preventing free radical damage. Sweet potato extract rich in anthocyanins has been shown to enhance learning and memory in mice, probably because of its antioxidant properties.
5. Sweet Potatoes Boosts Immunity:
Sweet potatoes with orange flesh are one of the best natural sources of beta-carotene, a plant-based compound that your body converts to vitamin A.
Vitamin A is essential for a healthy immune system, and low blood levels of the vitamin have been related to lowered immunity.
6. Sweet Potatoes can Help to Manage Diabetes:
Sweet potatoes are classified as low to high on the glycemic index scale, and some studies have shown that they can help people with diabetes avoid insulin resistance and low blood sugar levels, as well as high blood sugar.
7. Sweet Potatoes have Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins, the majority of which have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Purple sweet potato extracts were found to have the ability to inhibit the development of active inflammatory components in the body in studies conducted on the vegetable version.
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