#HealthBytes: Know the surprising health benefits of sweet potato
Do you like sweet potatoes? They are starchy root vegetables that are available in a variety of colors, including orange, white, yellow, and purple. The roots are typically stir-fried or made into gravies and are rich in several vitamins and minerals that have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer properties. Here are some of its surprising health benefits that you should know.
Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fibers that the body can not absorb, and hence they remain in the gut and help in forming a healthy gut microbiome. In addition, several studies conclude that sweet potatoes contain antioxidants that promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. This leads to a reduced risk of intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome.
Vitamin A deficiency is a severe health condition that is common in developing countries. This condition can cause growth impairment in children and can also give way to fertility issues, dry eyes, and night blindness. Sweet potatoes are one of the best solutions when it comes to Vitamin A deficiency as they contain beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in the body.
Sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of antioxidants that reducethe risk of certain types of cancers. The antioxidants known as anthocyanins found in purple sweet potatoes are known to reduce the growth of cancer cells in the bladder, stomach, and breast. Laboratory studies also confirm that orange sweet potatoes and sweet potato peel extracts have a host of anti-cancer properties.
Diets rich in magnesium and potassium help in regulating blood pressure levels. Studies have linked a higher intake of potassium to lower blood pressure levels, which reduces the risk of complications like strokes. A reduction in magnesium level is known to increase the chances of hypertension. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of both magnesium and potassium and help maintain blood pressure.