7 Amazing Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

benefits of sweet potatoes

People all over the world grow sweet potatoes, which have sweet and starchy roots.

They are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and come in many shapes and sizes, such as orange, white, and purple.

In addition, they are simple to add to your diet and are beneficial for you in many ways.

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Here are six shocking ways that sweet potatoes are beneficial for you.

1. Highly nutritious

You can get a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals from sweet potatoes.

One cup, or two hundred grams (g), of baked sweet potato with skin.

  • Calories: 180
  • Carbs: 41 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Fiber: 6.6 g
  • Vitamin A: 213% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 44% of the DV
  • Manganese: 43% of the DV
  • Copper: 36% of the DV
  • Pantothenic acid: 35% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 34% of the DV
  • Potassium: 20% of the DV
  • Niacin: 19% of the DV

Also, sweet potatoes, especially the orange and purple kinds, have a lot of vitamins that keep your body safe from free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules that are unstable and can damage DNA and cause inflammation.

Free radical damage has been associated with long-term diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and aging. So, eating things that are high in antioxidants is beneficial for your health.

2. Promote gut health

Sweet potatoes have fiber and vitamins that can be beneficial for your gut health.

There are two kinds of fiber in sweet potatoes: soluble and insoluble.

Both types of fiber are difficult for the body to break down. This means that fiber stays in your digestive system and helps your gut health in many ways.

Viscous fibers are a type of soluble fiber that soaks up water and makes your stool softer. But fibers that aren’t sticky or soluble don’t soak up water and add bulk.

The bacteria in your colon can also ferment some soluble and solid fibers. This produces chemicals called short-chain fatty acids, which feed the cells that line your colon and keep them healthy and strong.

People who eat 20–33 g of fiber every day have a lower colon cancer risk, as well as more frequent bowel movements.

Sweet potatoes may also be good for your gut because they contain vitamins.

Studies in test tubes have shown that the antioxidants in purple sweet potatoes help healthy gut bacteria grow. These bacteria include some types of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.

People who have more of these types of bacteria in their guts tend to have better gut health and a lower chance of getting irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and infectious diarrhea.

3. Support healthy vision

Sweet potatoes contain large amounts of beta-carotene, the vitamin that gives them their vibrant orange color.

Every day, you can get more than twice as much beta-carotene from an orange sweet potato baked with the skin on, which is about one cup (200 g).

Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which your eyes use to create light-detecting cells.

People in poor countries often don’t get enough vitamin A, which can cause xerophthalmia, a type of blindness. Eating foods that are high in beta-carotene, such as orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, may help keep this condition at bay.

It looks like purple sweet potatoes are also beneficial for your eyes.

Older test-tube studies have shown that the anthocyanins in them protect eye cells from damage, which may be important for your overall eye health.

4. Cancer-fighting properties

There are many vitamins in sweet potatoes that may help protect against some types of cancer.

Purple sweet potatoes contain anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant. Studies have demonstrated their ability to inhibit the growth of bladder, colon, stomach, and breast cancer cells in test tubes.

In the same way, mice that ate a lot of purple sweet potatoes had lower rates of colon cancer in its early stages. This suggests that the anthocyanins in the potatoes may protect against cancer.

Studies on test tubes and animals have also shown that extracts from sweet potato peels can help fight cancer. But studies haven’t yet looked at these effects on people.

5. Improve brain functions

If you eat purple sweet potatoes, they may help your brain work better.

An animal study found that the anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes could help protect the brain by lowering swelling and stopping damage from free radicals.

In another study, mice receiving anthocyanin-rich sweet potato extract as a supplement exhibited fewer signs of inflammation and improved their spatial working memory. This may be due to the extract’s antioxidant properties.

However, human trials have not tested these effects. Eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants generally reduces the risk of mental decline and dementia by 13%.

6. Support immune system

Beta-carotene is a plant-based substance that your body turns into vitamin A. Naturally, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes have a lot of it.

Low blood levels of vitamin A have been associated with a weakened immune system.

It’s also important for keeping your nasal membranes healthy, especially the ones that line your gut.

Numerous pathogens can enter your body through your gut. So, having a healthy gut is a big part of having a healthy immune system.

Studies have shown that not getting enough vitamin A makes your gut more inflamed and makes it harder for your immune system to fight off possible threats.

There haven’t been any studies that look into whether sweet potatoes in particular affect the immune system, but eating them often can help keep you from getting too little vitamin A.

7. Aids in Weight Management

Even though they are high in nutrients, sweet potatoes are low in calories, which makes them a beneficial food for managing your weight. Their high fiber content makes you feel full, which helps you eat fewer calories altogether.

Sweet potatoes also have a lot of complex carbohydrates, which give you energy that lasts without making your blood sugar rise quickly. You can enjoy a satisfying and healthy food that helps you lose weight, or you can keep it off by adding sweet potatoes to your diet.

How to add them to your diet

There are lots of easy ways to eat more sweet potatoes. You can bake, boil, roast, steam, or pan-cook them; you can eat them with or without the skin.

Their natural sweetness complements many spices, making them suitable for use in both sweet and savoury recipes.

Here are some common ways to eat sweet potatoes:

  • Peel, slice, and bake sweet potatoes to make chips.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into pieces or matchsticks, and bake them.
  • To make sweet potato toast, cut the potato into thin pieces, toast them, and then add things like nut butter or avocado on top.
  • We have peeled, cooked, and mashed sweet potatoes with milk and spices.
  • If you bake sweet potatoes whole, they get soft enough to pierce with a fork.
  • To make sweet potato hash, peel the potatoes, cut them up, and cook them in a pan with onions and peppers.
  • Cut sweet potatoes into rings, cook them, and then add sauce.
  • Adding sweet potato puree to baked goods makes them more moist without adding fat.

Because beta-carotene dissolves in fat, cooking sweet potatoes with a little fat, like coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado, can help the body absorb it better.

Some older studies say that cooking sweet potatoes slightly lowers their beta-carotene content, but they still keep at least 70% of this nutrient and are a great source of it.

The bottom line

Sweet potatoes are root vegetables that are high in nutrients and come in a variety of colors.

They have a lot of fibre and vitamins, which keep your body safe from free radical damage and help your brain and gut stay healthy.

Also, they have a lot of beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A to help your eyesight and immune system.

Sweet potatoes are a great carbohydrate for most people because they can be used in both sweet and savory recipes.

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