Sweet potatoes are one of the oldest foods in the human diet. Their starch content is similar in every way to other root vegetables and tubers that have played prominent roles in human development. These starches have provided humans with a critical source of carbohydrates that has allowed for expansion of our brain size as a species and has been supportive of human health and the health of hundreds of human generations. Sweet potatoes are a great source of numerous nutrients that range from trace minerals to vitamin E, and from fermentable fiber to an array of carotenoids. In all, one cup of sweet potato contains more than 20% of the DRI for at least 10 nutrients. They can be a staple of a healthy diet and are the true definition of a “superfood”.
Unlike potatoes, these vegetables do count towards your 5-a-day because they are lower in starch than other carbohydrates and are usually eaten in addition to the starchy part of the meal.
The serving size of one cup (133 grams) of raw sweet potato provides 114 calories. It possess 0.07 g of lipid fat, 2.09 g of protein, 4 g of dietary fiber and 5.56 g of total sugars. The same amount offers 943 µg of Vitamin A, 0.201 mg of Copper, 0.278 mg of Vitamin B6, 1.064 mg of Vitamin B5, 0.343 mg of manganese and 4 grams of Iron.
Here are some of the top benefits of sweet potato:
They help with your digestive function- Sweet potatoes are easy to digest and a healthy food for your digestive tract. First, they contain a moderate amount of fiber, about 4 to 6 grams per average size potato. The soluble fiber in sweet potatoes makes your stool softer and easier to pass. While moving through the digestive tract the fiber attaches to cholesterol and helps remove it from the body. These vegetables also contain magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants which all contribute to help reduce inflammation, remove heavy metals and regulate the digestive process.
Enhance immunity– Sweet potatoes possess high amount of beta carotene, Vitamin B and X, phosphorus, iron which enhance the immune system that helps to counteract from various health afflictions as well as health conditions.
Treats ulcers on stomach– Sweet potatoes soothe the intestines and stomach. Due to the presence of Vitamin C and B complex, potassium, beta carotene and calcium, it helps to cure the stomach ulcers effectively. The roughage prevents from resultant acid formation and constipation which also reduces the risk of ulcers. The soothing and anti-inflammatory properties in sweet potatoes help to reduce the inflammation and pain caused by ulcers.
Supple, Youthful Skin- Vitamin A is a major league skin care vitamin – and it’s incredibly multi-functional. What do I mean by that? Well, since Vitamin A works by normalizing skin functions, it’s helpful for treating a variety of skin conditions. Glycemic index effects
Another benefit of sweet potatoes is their low glycemic index, or GI. While refined grains, such as white bread and white rice, make your blood sugar increase rapidly, lower-GI foods like sweet potatoes cause a lower blood sugar spike. Therefore, low-GI sweet potatoes are often beneficial for people with diabetes who want to fine-tune their blood sugar control, notes the American Diabetes Association.