The second wave of COVID19 is knocking on the door. Many countries have already experienced an increased rate of viral infection. The authorized vaccine is yet to release. Now we must focus on healthy eating to strengthen our immunity system. Healthy foods are not always expensive. Though being highly affordable, the organic food ‘Sweet Potato’ – locally known as ‘Misti Alu’ – is miraculously beneficial to the human mind and body. In this article, we are going to talk about the health benefits of Sweet potato.
Sweet Potato Health Benefits
Rich in Multiple Nutrients
One average-sized sweet potato can supply about 112 calories, 0.07g of fat, 26g of Carbohydrate, 2g of protein, and 3.9g of Fiber. In addition to these, sweet potato is enriched with a bunch of significant nutrients including Vitamin A, B, C, D, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, zinc, etc.
Keeps the Heart Healthy
The American Heart Association (AHA) advises people to consume potassium-rich foods instead of sodium enriched foods to promote the cardiovascular system. Sweet potato is a rich source of potassium. According to USDA, about 100g of mashed sweet potato contains about 475mg of potassium. The required DV (daily value) of the potassium of adults is about 4700mg.
Potassium can play a diverse beneficial role in health. This nutrient not only removes excess fluid from the body; but also maintains the sodium-balance. These actions contribute to preventing strains on the heart, lower down the blood pressure, regulate the rhythm of the heart, and heal muscle contractions.
Copper deficiency can lead to diverse complications such as blood pressure, LDL cholesterol deposit, homocysteine, etc. Regular consumption of sweet potato can relieve you from these conditions; but how? Sweet potato delivers the essential nutrient Copper that helps to produce fresh red blood cells in the body contributing to improved heart health and functions.
Strengthens Immunity System
Sweet potato is highly enriched with antioxidants. Consumption of 100g serving of baked sweet potato, you get 19.6 mg of organic vitamin C. The DV of required vitamin C for men and women is 90mg and 75mg respectively. Vitamin C deficiency can cause severe skin disease Scurvy. Lack of vitamin C in the human body can promote iron shortage leading to anemia.
Vitamin C intake can repair tissues and heal wounds. What is more? Vitamin C and Vitamin A can promote the anti-aging process of the body-cells. Besides leaving anti-tumor effects, these nutrients strengthen the immune cells of the body to prevent the attack of viruses and infections. During the coronavirus pandemic situation, Sweet Potato must be included in the everyday diet to fortify your natural immunity system.
Read Vitamin C: Where to Found and How Much to Consume
The beta-carotene properties of Sweet potatoes functions as a potent antioxidant. This provitamin is converted to the vitamin-A inside the body cells. These antioxidants can prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals and thus cut down the risk of cancers, especially lung cancer and prostate cancer.
In sweet potatoes, about 80% protein is stored as sporamin. Study shows that this special kind of protein inherits anti-cancer properties. Researches also forecast that sporamin may restrain the development of cancer cells in the colorectal, tongue, and gallbladder areas. Though there is no superfood to check cancer single-handedly, sweet potato can keep your immune strong against cancer.
Controls Blood Sugar
Sweet potato is a slow-burning starch food carrying complex carbohydrates and fiber. About 100g servings of baked sweet potato supplies about 3.3 grams of fiber. Are you scared about consuming sweet potato because it is a starchy food? Don’t worry! The fiber contents of sweet potatoes can prevent the spike in blood sugar.
This food can make you feel full for a longer period. Therefore, sweet potato can help you fight obesity. And some reaches have shown that sweet potato intake may regulate blood sugar in the cases of type 2 diabetes.
Enhances Brain Function & Reduces Anxiety
Sweet potatoes bear brain function inductive nutrients including +choline, manganese, etc. Choline supports the process of cognitive developments as well as brain-growth. It can also promote the synthesis process of neurotransmitter acetylcholine that works for sending messages to the brain- cells.
On the other hand, Manganese can bind to neurotransmitters and assist the movement of electrical impulses throughout the body in a faster way. One cup servings of baked sweet potato can deliver about 43% of the DV of manganese.
Do you have the tendency of forgetting things frequently? Sweet Potato can help you. The anthocyanins content of sweet potatoes may bear memory-enhancing properties. Furthermore, Sweet potatoes promote relaxation and calmness of mind by virtue of its magnesium property. Magnesium deficiency can enhance the risk of mood swings, depression, and headaches.
Improves Gut Health
The dietary fiber can prevent constipation; maintain healthy digestive functions, and cuts down the risk of colorectal cancers. Sweet potato also bears resistant starch that preserves the “good” bacteria living in the gut area. Adding the fiber-enriched food sweet potatoes to your regular diet, you can improve your digestive health in a natural way.
Moreover, some Studies revealed that Sweet Potato can also improve the healing process of ulcers and wounds in the stomach. If you can add sweet potato to your regular balanced diet, it may lessen inflammation. The Cyanidin property of sweet potatoes can reduce the inflammation of the digestive tract and other parts of the body.
Promotes Eye Health
Sweet potato is an excellent natural source of beta-carotene or vitamin A. Consumption of one sweet potato can deliver 400% of the daily required amount of Vitamin A to the human body. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for preserving eye health.
Besides this, Sweet potato carries some other nutrients that also contribute to improving vision and eye conditions. Among these, nutrients, there are some potent carotenoids, such as lutein, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, etc. Furthermore, research shows that sweet potatoes contain anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that also contains vision enhancing properties.
Sweet potato Side Effects
On the whole, sweet potato is no less than a superfood for its multifarious benefit to the mind and body. However, like any other food, the surplus consumption of sweet potato can harm your health. Sweet potato contains oxalates that bind the calcium and other minerals. Excess oxalate intake may encourage the formation of stones in the kidney. Therefore, people who have a history of kidney stones should consult with doctors before eating sweet potatoes.
Source: United News of Bangladesh