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Sweet Potatoes contains Potassium and Fiber in high amounts and also natural sugar like a potato but with fewer calories and more nutrients. These are loaded with Vitamin A. We find 2 types of sweet potatoes – red and white/yellow. The red ones have drier and harder flesh whereas the white/yellow ones have juicy flesh. They are often called yams but there sure is a difference between the both.
Sweet Potato Calories-
1 cup of sweet potato contains about 114 calories, 27 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams sugar, 2 grams protein and 0 grams fat. It has 86 calories per 100 gm which makes it perfect for weight loss.
15 Nutritional and Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
1. Fibre for Digestion
As mentioned these potatoes are rich in fiber but also it contains magnesium, so fiber mixed with minerals makes an excellent facilitator for digestion. They are easy to digest as they mainly contain starch. Hence, soothing to the stomach and intestine. Also, the presence of phytosterols prevents gastric ulcers and duodenal.
2. Healthy Weight Gain
The fiber, minerals and protein provide a lot of energy. So if you’re still looking for a dietary supplement – Sweet Potato it is. The problem with gaining weight arises when your focus is muscles without fat. You don’t want to be a fat person who can also lift weights. The main thing about gains is calories, the body needs calories to expand. The plan is to not cut out all the carbs at once, so sweet potatoes are a sweet option as they are rich in vitamin C and fiber – and this gives a bump to your weight without adding up on any bad fat!
3. Weight Loss
Sweet potato combined with vegetables, yoghurt and high fiber foods can help shed weight faster without compromising on taste. These contain about 86 calories per 100 grams which is less than half of that of a potato. Plus sweet potatoes keep you full longer, as it forms a gel-like mesh in the stomach, hence, preventing overeating. It promotes the production of good gut bacteria and prevents fat absorption, resulting in a boost in metabolism – leading to weight loss.
4. Treat Inflammation
With Beta-carotene, vitamin C and magnesium – the sweet potato effectively treat internal and external inflammation. It already contains anti-inflammatory properties. It is the beta-carotene that gives the potato the orangish colour (1 cup = 375% of your daily value). Also, the skin of the sweet potato contains the phytonutrient compound that protects us from toxins in the digestive system. This reduces inflammation in the body and prevents long-term chronic illnesses.
5. Fights Cancer
For cancers of the colon, intestine, prostate, kidney and other internal organs; one must include sweet potatoes in their regular diet. It contains Beta-carotene and an anti-carcinogenic substance (which forms the colour of the peel) – which is an excellent antioxidant. Also, it is rich in Vitamin C.
These potatoes are not called sweet for no reason, off-course the taste is one main element. But contrary to a popular belief – it’s actually beneficial for diabetics. These improve the function of insulin by proper secretion and regulates blood sugar levels. So it is an option for diabetics to replace potatoes and rice (for carbohydrates) with sweet potatoes.
7. Prevents Dehydration
The fibre helps retain water in the body – maintaining the water balance. With maintained water balance the cells function more efficiently – keeping one hydrated for longer than usual. They are low in sodium, fat and cholesterol – which results in less reduction in the amount of water in the body.
8. Helps Quit Smoking and Drinking
Well, smoking, drinking or using drugs can take a huge part of your life. there are several ways to get rid of them now but what can be better than eating – it’s comfortable, everybody likes to eat and it’s cheaper and accessible whenever. Sweet potato is chewier than regular potatoes hence, it is a better option for munching – also regular fries will ultimately give you more problems to handle altogether.
There has been a discussion about smokers confusing hunger with a craving to smoke. The taste of vegetables and fruits actually makes the taste of nicotine or cigarettes worse and dairy products do the same for drinking. So, if you’re trying to quit, try chewing on sweet potato or have a glass of milk the next time you crave for a smoke or a drink. (Also, avoid eating meat – it’s mostly best paired with alcohol)
9. Boosts Immune System
Again, the Beta-carotene and vitamin C works its magic in enhancing the immunity of the body. The sweet potatoes boost the cell activity in the body, especially the T cell which are also called the ‘helper’ cells that fight infections. A research states that and an increase in magnesium intake protects the brain from anxiety – so including sweet potato in the regular diet is suggested for a better immunity.
10. Hair and Skin
The nutrients in sweet potato prevent our skin from early ageing, this happens because of the abundance of vitamin A in it. It is a proven study that deficiency of vitamin A can make the skin dull and dry and causes radical damage – but the antioxidant properties also solve that. The sweet potato also has a hidden component which is – Carotenoids and this gives the skin a natural glow. And once again, vitamin C to the rescue – it delays the fine lines and onset of wrinkles.
The vitamin A also builds cells and tissues (for scalp) – resulting in improved health of hair. The vitamin C and iron in the sweet potato are good for hair growth. So it works not only for internal health but also keeps you young and beautiful.
11. Healthy Heart
Sweet Potato contains a good amount of Vitamin B6 and it helps break down substances that can harden the arteries and blood vessels – which mostly leads to heart attacks. Also, the fiber in it lowers the bad cholesterol level and keeps the heart healthy. This vegetable also helps regulate heartbeat and nerve signals – while maintaining a low blood pressure.
12. Releases Stress
Sweet Potatoes have been said to elevate mood for up to four hours! It’s basically nature’s gift to all of us. Now, you remain energetic longer as the fiber content lowers down the rate at which blood sugar level rises. Hence, energy release is slowed down. It contains some amount of Vitamin D as well which keeps the hormone function in check and this balance is good for a healthy heart, mind and mood. The magnesium content also helps reduce stress and anxiety.
13. Treats Asthma
Sweet Potatoes effectively cures congestion of the nose, bronchi and lungs. As mentioned, it contains beta-carotene and this nutrient is converted into vitamin A in the body which can reduce the effect of exercise-induced Asthma. These contain vitamin C and iron that boosts immunity and also clears congestion by maintaining a body temperature.
14. Enhance Brain Function
These potatoes prevent oxidative damage in the brain also it improves memory and enhances cognitive functions. With the abundance of antioxidants – sweet potatoes can lead to serious ailments like Alzheimer’s. The starch in it becomes a perfect source of energy for the brain which helps to improve spatial learning and memory. And the vitamin B is proved to lower stress levels.
15. For Stronger Bones
Sweet potatoes are rich in Magnesium and Potassium which can boost bone health. It contains vitamin A in a good amount, which also promotes strong bones but there has been a debate on -excessive intake of vitamin A that can lead to bone loss. So, consulting a doctor beforehand is always recommended.
The final pick on the sweet potato is that it has some chemical yet nutritional components that help heal you from both inside and out. From bones to the hair on your head, to muscles and memory, it got it all covered.