Is sweet potato healthy enough to be considered as one of the best weight loss foods? What are the health benefits it offers us to be in good shape and healthy? Why is sweet potato nutrition better than your average starchy vegetable?
Is sweet potato healthy as a root crop vegetable? Yes, it is one of the root crops that serve many purposes. The appearance of the sweet potato comes in different shapes and color. The covering layer of the plant is brown and thin. The flesh inside can be in different colors—white, purple, yellow, or orange. The parts of the sweet potato plant are edible, unlike your regular potato which has poisonous leaves. Therefore, you can make recipes from the roots and leaves.
Sweet potato offers vitamins and nutrients. You can have sweet potato proteins and the unique phytonutrients like polysaccharide. The proteins you can get are called sporamins, which have antioxidant properties. Also, you can get vitamin A from sweet potato as beta-carotene.
Other nutrients that you can get from sweet potato are B vitamins, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. With this, you can have sweet potato as one of your diet food. The health benefits of sweet potatoes can be acquired in a single cup serving. For example, sweet potato offers 438% of vitamin A that our body needs daily. You can get up to 30% B vitamins and 25% potassium of the daily-recommended amount.
As to your diet needs, sweet potato can provide a quarter of fiber you need in a day. Also, if you consume the medium size, you can have 103 sweet potato calories and almost 24 grams carbohydrates.
Indeed, sweet potato is not a complicated food but excellent food for your weight loss program. It is a simple yet reliable food source of many vitamins and minerals.
Now, let us briefly point out the classification of sweet potato. The significance of these facts is for us to understand better our question – are sweet potato healthy to consume?
Variety of Sweet Potato
Is sweet potato healthy with different varieties? Sweet potato can be categorized according to its flesh color variations. You can have yellow-orange, white, and purple sweet potato. Even that they are classified differently, the nutrients and health benefits that they offer are almost the same.
The most common sweet potatoes are those of yellow-orange flesh color. Its color has significance because of the beta-carotene or vitamin A it possesses. According to various studies, there are about 100-1600 micrograms of vitamin A in 99 grams of sweet potato. It is equivalent to 35% to 90% vitamin A to sustain our body.
On the other hand, the purple-flesh variety is a good source of anthocyanins, one of the flavonoids with antioxidant. Also, it comes with anti-inflammatory properties that promote our digestive system. An adequate amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory can reduce the risk of health problems. It can eliminate and prevent the spreading of free radicals and harmful chemicals.
According to a study, the purple sweet potatoes have 3.2 higher antioxidant compared to other berries. Including the flesh and skin of a sweet potato, it can offer antioxidants. If you use sweet potato leaves for cooking, you can also have enough supply of antioxidants.
If you are wondering about the similarities between the purple sweet potatoes and the purple yam, then wait no further.
They are different in all angles. Though yam is also a root crop, it has very different characteristics as compared to the purple sweet potato. Yam comes from the West African term ‘nyami,’ which means to eat. Yam is commonly grown in African and Asian countries. Once grown, you can harvest them at a larger size than any sweet potato.
Sweet Potato Health Benefits
Is sweet potato healthy considering as part of your meal plan? Then you can have the most amazing nutritional value in a very simple healthy food. However, some things need to be cleared for us to understand the health benefits of sweet potatoes fully.
Keeping your blood sugar level normal
For instance, we always need to eat healthy food that can regulate our blood sugar for us to maintain its average level. You can try the white sweet potato to promote insulin sensitivity.
For us to use all the sugar we intake, we need to have sufficient insulin that can instruct our cells to absorb and process the glucose in our blood. The improvement of insulin will help normalize this process. Given this, sweet potatoes promote the average level of blood sugar.
According to a study, sweet potato has anti-diabetic properties. Caiapo is a type of white sweet potato that offers these properties. In the study, a group of people with high blood sugar levels provided with four grams of caiapo. After six months of daily consumption of caiapo, their blood sugar levels have been reduced.
It proves that sweet potato plays a significant role to keep our blood sugar level reasonable. Keep in mind that sweet potatoes have high fiber contents. Fiber’s significance in our health is to absorb the sugar content of the food that affects our insulin sensitivity. You can have an adequate amount of fiber from sweet potato. Medium size can have 15% of the fiber you need daily.