Sweet potatoes come in different shapes and colors, and you can find purple, white and orange sweet potatoes.
The starchy root veggie is packed with fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.
12 benefits of sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are abundant in vitamins, minerals and fiber. A 200-gram serving of baked sweet potatoes provides 50 percent of the recommended daily intake of manganese. It provides 180 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 6.6 grams of fiber.
This serving gives you 41.4 grams of carbs, 0.3 grams of fat, 65 percent of vitamin C and 769 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Antioxidants prevent free-radical damage.
2. Supports immune system
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene that turns into vitamin A. This vitamin is important for your immune system.
Vitamin A maintains healthy mucous membranes in the gut lining. A healthy digestive tract is important for your immune system. The lack of this vitamin causes gut inflammation and affects immunity.
3. Improves brain function
Purple sweet potatoes improve the function of your brain. Anthocyanins prevent free radical damage and reduce inflammation.
Eating healthy foods packed with antioxidants lowers the risk of dementia and mental decline by 13 percent.
Beta-carotene gives sweet potatoes their bright orange color. A 200-gram serving of baked orange (skin on) has seven times more beta-carotene than adults need.
The lack of vitamin A leads to xerophthalmia, and sweet potatoes can prevent this condition.
Antioxidants prevent cancer. Anthocyanins block the growth of cancer cells in colon, breast, bladder and stomach cancer.
6. Gut health
Sweet potatoes enhance the function of the digestive system. Antioxidants and fiber provide multiple benefits.
Soluble fiber called viscous fiber absorbs water and softens stool.
Insoluble fiber doesn’t absorb water but adds bulk.
About 20-33 grams of fiber lowers the risk of colon cancer. Antioxidants in purple sweet potatoes increase the levels of good bacteria in the gut.
Vitamin A has an important role for the reproductive system. The lack of this vitamin leads to secondary fertility in women of childbearing age.
Iron is also important for the process. Anemia causes infertility and reduces the risk of ovulatory infertility.
8. Blood pressure
Potassium and magnesium in sweet potatoes regulate blood pressure and prevent coronary issues and stroke.
Magnesium prevents hypertension and lowers blood pressure in pregnant women, too.
Soluble fiber in sweet potatoes makes you full and helps you regulate your body weight. Pectin reduces the amount of food you eat and prevents obesity.
10. Strong hair
Vitamin E in sweet potatoes can help those who deal with hair loss. Thanks to its antioxidant effect, vitamin E reduces oxidative stress which is a known contributing factor for alopecia.
11. Better skin complexion
Vitamin C can be used in the prevention and treatment of hyperpigmentation and photoaging. It neutralizes oxidative stress. Vitamin C and E lower the risk of skin cancer.
This vitamin is important for the production of collagen. Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory effect. It aids in the treatment of acne, skin diseases and wounds.
12. Prevention of ulcers
Methanol extract from sweet potato roots protects gastrointestinal tissues from ulcers caused by aspirin. In other words, sweet potatoes can be used in the treatment of peptic ulcers.
Sweet potato root flour can be used in the prevention of stomach ulcers caused by ethanol. It reduces swelling and protects gastric wrinkles.
Sweet potatoes can be used to lower the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions. The anti-inflammatory compounds shut down inflammation at cellular level.
The best part comes when you realize that sweet potatoes don’t cause blood sugar spikes. Fiber makes sweet potatoes a slow burning starch. In other words, they won’t elevate your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Sweet potatoes are great for you, and you can use them to prevent different health conditions, including vision issues, indigestion, ulcers and hypertension.
You can eat them fried, boiled or baked. Sweet potatoes work great when added to smoothies or overnight oats. Use them to make low-sodium organic veggie broth for your soups. Instead of French fries, eat crisp oven-baked sweet potato wedges.