Barili, Cebu - Versatile and nutritious, sweet potatoes pack ample amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese in each serving. It also has anti-cancer properties and may benefit immune function, gut health, brain function, and eye health.
Here are 6 surprising health benefits of sweet potatoes:
1. Highly nutritious
Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, sweet potatoes especially the orange and purple varieties are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals.
2. Promote gut health
Sweet potatoes contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Fiber-rich diets containing 20–33 g of fiber per day have been linked to a lower risk of colon cancer and more regular bowel movement.
3. May have cancer-fighting properties
Sweet potatoes offer various antioxidants, which may help protect against certain types of cancers. In test-tube studies, anthocyanins (a group of antioxidants found in purple yam) have been found to slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells, including the bladder, colon, stomach, and breast.
4. Support healthy vision
Sweet potatoes are incredibly rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant responsible for the vegetable’s bright orange color. Severe Vitamin A Deficiency is a concern in developing countries and can lead to a special type of blindness known as xerophthalmia. Eating foods rich in beta carotene, such as orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, may help prevent this condition.
5. May enhance brain function
Animal studies have found that the anthocyanins in purple sweet potato may help protect the brain by reducing inflammation and preventing free radical damage. Another study found that supplementing with anthocyanin-rich sweet potato extract could reduce markers of inflammation and improve spatial working memory in mice, possibly due to its antioxidant properties.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab those sweet potatoes the next time you visit your nearest market. // ND II Rodora T. Jucom, RND