Have you ever wondered how beneficial sweet potato can be for you? I still remember my grandmother’s affinity towards sweet potatoes. Although I was not very fond of it, occasionally we all had it. As I grew up, I started eating those religiously, and today, I would love to comment on my personal research about them.
What is a sweet potato?
Scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas, sweet potato is a dicot plant which is grown worldwide. These are delicious root vegetables which are abundantly rich in starch. Available in wide varieties of size and colors, they are a rich source of antioxidants. On the other hand, they have a low Glycemic Index in comparison with white potatoes. Thus, you do not need to worry about an unexpected spike in your blood sugar levels.
What are sweet potatoes rich in?
This underground tuber is loaded with antioxidants such as beta carotenes. A sufficient intake of beta carotene is essential for an optimum vitamin A concentration. This makes sweet potatoes a must intake for those suffering from a lack of optimum blood levels of Vitamin A.
3.5 ounces of sweet potatoes or a single serving of 100 grams will supply you with the following –
- 86 calories
- 77 % of water
- 1.6 grams of proteins
- 20.1 grams of carbohydrates
- 4.2 grams of sugars
- 3 grams of fiber
- 0.1 grams of fats
Besides these essential nutrients, you receive pro-vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin E.
ARE THERE ANY HEALTH BENEFITS OF CONSUMING SWEET POTATO?
There are many. Nutritionally rich potatoes can work wonders for all age groups. Here are some of them,
They are rich in antioxidants:
Sweet potatoes are found to be rich in antioxidants such as beta carotenes. We all know how antioxidants are useful to our body’s as they contribute towards enhancing our body’s defense mechanism. Majorly, it helps in lowering the risks associated with cardiovascular disorders and functions as an essential precursor of vitamin A. As Vitamin A plays a pivotal role in the development of the immune system, vision and intercellular communication, a proper intake of beta carotenes are essential. Having sweet potatoes regularly ensures that you never fall short of optimum beta carotene levels.
Sweet potatoes are anti-inflammatory:
Inflammation can prove to be fatal if it is left unchecked for a longer period. Uncontrolled inflammation sends an open door invitation to cardiovascular disorders, type 2 diabetes, and the growth of cancerous tissues. Researchers have shown promising results of sweet potato extract in reducing brain tissue inflammation.
They have a low Glycemic Index:
Although you might find some sweet potatoes to be excessively starchy in their composition, they are also rich in fibers. This high fiber content shall defend you from experiencing blood sugar level spikes by slowing down the burning process of starch. Potassium contained in it facilitates easy flushing of the excess amounts of sodium and other body fluids. As these are flushed out, it reduces the strain on your heart, and your blood pressure levels are optimized. It may also interest you to know that potassium is directly associated with the regulation of heart rhythm and facilitates your muscle contractions.
Helpful in losing weight:
If you take a dig at the biochemistry of starch content of sweet potatoes, you will find that approximately 12 percent of it is resistant starch. The human body is not potent enough to digest and absorb resistant starch. On the other hand, replacing your carbohydrates intake with sources of this starch helps you with the fat burning process. Surprisingly, it is resistant starch which triggers your body to secrete satiety producing hormones.
HOW TO ADD THEM TO YOUR DIET?
Confused about how to include them as a part of your diet? Here are some common ways to do so –
Bake or steam them:
For this, you need to take a medium size sweet potato and wash it thoroughly to remove all mud and other particles. Place it in a suitable container and steam it. Once done, peel off its skin from all sides. To modify its taste, you can squeeze half lemon or add some salt or oregano to taste.
Steam a medium-sized sweet potato. After peeling off its skin, cut into two halves first and then into four longitudinal pieces. Sprinkle some condiments such as turmeric and dry mango powder and shallow fry them. As soon as the color of your wedges changes, turn your flame off and drain off excess oil with the help of a tissue paper.
Parboil two medium sized potatoes and sweet potatoes. Once done, remove their skins and chop them finely. Apply melted butter and subject them to microwave grill till they turn brown. Add red chili powder and cumin powder to a cup of yogurt and mix it well with the grilled potatoes. Serve them with mint and tamarind chutney.
Have it in any way if you really care for the nutritional requirements of your body.
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