Sweet potatoes are nutritious and delicious root vegetables. The sweet potato is creamy and soft enough to be an ingredient in several pie recipes, and most people think of the vegetable as merely a dessert ingredient. However, scientists have found that sweet potatoes are among the best sources of Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are also naturally packed with vitamin B5, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and carotenoids due to their naturally orange color.
The sweet potato, also known as the Ipomoea batatas, not only contains many nutrients, but it is also packed with medicinal benefits. Scientists have determined that sweet potatoes contain anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties. Most sweet potatoes are orange in color, but there are others that come in purple, yellow, white, pink, and red. The following are some of the health benefits that you can accrue from including sweet potatoes in our regular diet.
.Sweet potatoes can help manage stress levels:
Sweet potatoes contain a significant amount of magnesium, which is an essential mineral for normal body functioning One of the most important benefits of magnesium is that it helps reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that an increase in magnesium deficiency in modern diets has resulted in a significant increase in the cases of depression reported across the world. For instance, some controlled studies have indicated that magnesium deficiency increases depression in women experiencing premenstrual symptoms.
In addition, magnesium has been found to reduce insomnia in older individuals. Insomnia is a trigger for stress, depression, and anxiety, which is unfortunate as more than 50% of elderly people suffer from some form of lack of sleep.
.Sweet potatoes can help protect/prevent/manage cancer:
Studies have also shown that the purple-fleshed sweet potato is especially effective in the fight against cancer. This variation of the sweet potato has elements that are able to inhibit growth of specific cancers that include breast cancer, gastric cancer, and colon cancer by inducing the cell death of these cancer cells. The vegetable’s high anthocyanin content is believed to be the reason behind the sweet potato’s anti-cancer activity when it comes to gastric and breast cancers.
.Sweet potatoes help prevent Vitamin A deficiency:
Vitamin A deficiency is a serious issue especially in developing nations around the world. The health repercussions of a vitamin A deficiency are grave and can include decreased resistance to infectious disease, increase in infectious morbidity, dry eyes as well increased mortality for both pregnant and lactating women and their children. Sweet potatoes are an extremely important source of Vitamin A because they contain high levels of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is transformed into vitamin A in our livers, with every molecule of beta-carotene producing two molecules of Vitamin A.
.Sweet potatoes are good for digestion:
Sweet potatoes contain large amounts of fibers, which have long been known for improving the health of the gut as well as digestion. Many laxatives in use today are made from fibers, meaning that consumption of sweet potatoes can increase your intake of fibers needed to promote proper digestion. The high fiber content of the sweet potatoes can also aid in preventing constipation in both children and adults.
.Sweet potatoes can help in regulating blood pressure:
Sweet potatoes can help in controlling blood pressure because they are rich in both magnesium and potassium. Studies have shown that a higher intake of potassium results in a decrease in blood pressure, which then significantly reduces the chance of an individual developing a stroke or a coronary problem.
Magnesium is also considered an effective dietary component in the prevention of hypertension, as well as its reduction in both pregnant and non-pregnant patients. In addition, other studies have found that magnesium deficiency in the body increases the risk factors for the development of hypertension.