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8 Amazing Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Health You Never Knew!

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
March 23rd, 2022
8 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Sweet potatoes have a number of health benefits to offer
  • Sweet potatoes’ nutrition includes nutrients like potassium
  • Anthocyanins in sweet potatoes slow the growth of cancer

There are not enough reasons for you to not include sweet potatoes in your nutrition therapy. From the benefits of sweet potatoes for diabetics to providing nutrition for immunity, they contain tons of health benefits to not miss in your diet. In fact, they are the fifth most vital food crop in developing countries. An interesting fact is that more than 105 million metric tons of them are produced each year around the world [1]. 

They are a rich source of vitamins, fiber, potassium, and other nutrients which make them one of the healthy foods you can add to your diet. They taste sweet and starchy, and are available in different colors including white, orange, and purple [2]. Read on to learn about sweet potatoes’ nutrition benefits.  

Sweet potatoes’ benefits 

They may protect from cancer 

Are you at risk of cancer? Consuming them may help as it has cancer-fighting properties. The antioxidants found in them can protect you against several types of cancers. For instance, a group of antioxidants in purple sweet potatoes known as ‘anthocyanins’ slows the growth of colon, stomach, bladder, and breast cancer [3, 4, 5]. Similarly, orange sweet potatoes are also said to have anticancer effects. 

They may promote your gut health 

The soluble and insoluble fibers in them stay in your digestive tract and offer various gut health benefits. Some of these fibers get fermented by your colon bacteria. This reaction creates fatty acids that boost the cells of the intestinal lining, thus keeping them strong and healthy. The antioxidants in them also provide gut health benefits. Antioxidants in certain types of sweet potatoes lead to the growth of healthy gut bacteria. These bacteria can help you resist irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), infectious diarrhea, and other such conditions. 

Sweet potatoes

They may improve your eye health 

They are extremely rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant that gives bright orange color. Once consumed, this antioxidant gets converted to vitamin A. It improves your vision by forming light-detecting receptors. Further, foods rich in beta-carotene can prevent xerophthalmia, a type of blindness. A cup of baked orange sweet potatoes provides 7x the beta-carotene required by adults per day. 

They may maintain your blood pressure 

For a healthy cardiovascular system, consume more potassium-rich foods and avoid eating foods with large quantities of added salt. Having foods rich in potassium help maintain healthy blood pressure levels and improve your heart health. It is a good source of potassium. For instance, a 124g of serving provides around 5% potassium of recommended dietary intake for adults.  

They may strengthen your immune system 

Orange sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene that is converted into vitamin A by your body. The vitamin A in your body contributes to a healthy immune system. A lack of vitamin A increases inflammation in your gut and reduces the immune system’s ability to protect against harmful pathogens [6]. Vitamin A is important for healthy mucous membranes. 

Sweet Potatoes Nutrients

It may improve your brain health 

Munching on purple sweet potatoes may actually improve the functioning of your brain. As per animal studies, anthocyanins in these sweet potatoes reduce inflammation and prevent free radical damage, thus protecting your brain. Studies on mice have also reported an improvement in learning and memory due to antioxidant properties in anthocyanin-rich sweet potatoes. 

They may increase insulin sensitivity 

You can advise them for diabetics as it improves insulin sensitivity. A study reported that white-skinned sweet potatoes increased insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics. Further, the fibers in them can also help people with diabetes as they can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.  

They may help reduce inflammation 

Purple sweet potatoes have the potential to lower the risk of obesity and inflammation [7]. The choline content in them improves your nervous system as it helps with learning, memory, and muscle movement. In fact, a study found that inflammation in asthma patients can be managed with choline supplements [8]. 

Additional Read: Top 6 Benefits of Ghee for Health 

Know about the sweet potatoes’ calories and how much of it you need to consume per day by consulting with a nutritionist. Search ‘doctor near me’ on Bajaj Finserv Health and book an online or in-clinic appointment with top nutritionists and dieticians from the list. Get the right nutrition therapy and advice with regards to your health.

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