Sweet Potatoes – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at NaturalPedia.com

Friday, June 30, 2017 by

Sweet potatoes are popular tubers native to Central and South America. The tubers are readily available all-year round, and have become a staple Thanksgiving meal since its introduction in the U.S. The southern U.S. states produce more than half of commercially grown sweet potatoes. On the other hand, China remains to be the biggest sweet potato exporter globally, producing up to 80 million tons each year. This is followed by Africa with about 14 million tons, Central and South America with two million tons, and the North U.S. with one million tons.

List of known nutrients

Sweet potatoes are among the healthiest vegetables around. The tubers are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body’s overall health. These nutrients include:

  • Beta-Carotene
  • Biotin
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc

Medicinal uses for sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes have a relatively low glycemic index which proves beneficial for patients with diabetes. According to previous studies, sweet potatoes may help lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance in diabetes patients. The high fiber content in sweet potatoes are also found to regulate blood lipids levels and promote proper insulin secretion in patients. This means that sweet potatoes may serve as a healthier substitute to rice or other carbohydrates in patients with the disease.

The tubers are also touted for their high potassium and low sodium content. The low sodium content in sweet potatoes is found to help reduce blood pressure levels. Likewise, the tubers’ rich potassium supply is associated with a 20 percent lower risk in all-cause mortality. Likewise, sweet potatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Both nutrients are important in keeping certain types of cancer at bay including kidney, colon, and prostate cancer.

Additionally, sweet potatoes are touted for their abundant nutrient content that bolsters the body’s immune system and staves off various respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. The high choline levels in sweet potatoes are also found to significantly reduce inflammation. The same compound is touted to promote sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.

Moreover, sweet potatoes are notably effective in keeping a healthy digestive system. The high magnesium and dietary fiber levels in sweet potatoes facilitate the digestive process. Sweet potatoes provide roughage that prevents constipation and acid formation. The tubers’ soothing effects are also known to treat stomach ulcers. This is largely due to various nutrients found in sweet potatoes. Additionally, sweet potatoes are touted to promote the body’s water balance and facilitate healthy weight gain.

Furthermore, the rich beta-carotene supply in sweet potatoes are known to stave off a number of vision-related conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Body systems supported by sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are touted for their benefits to the digestive, immune, and respiratory systems. The tubers’ high nutrient content also support the muscular and nervous systems. Likewise, sweet potatoes support the heart and the eyes.

Ways to use sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes may serve as a healthy alternative to regular potatoes in various fried and grilled dishes. The tubers can also be used in other recipes including baked goods, soups, and dips. Health.com has curated many interesting sweet potato recipes.

Where to learn more

Summary

Sweet potatoes stave off cancer, hypertension, and digestive issues.

Sweet potatoes help control diabetes symptoms and prevent respiratory conditions.

Sweet potatoes reduce inflammation and prevent eye conditions.

Sweet potatoes benefit the digestive, immune, and respiratory systems.

Sweet potatoes also support the muscular and nervous systems.

Sources include:

Care2.com

WHFoods.org

MedicalNewsToday.com

OrganicFacts.net

Health.com

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