Sweet potatoes are often consumed as a snack. They can be easily found both in traditional market or modern market, even several nutrition’s in sweet potatoes is good for our body, we have to be aware of the risk for our health that might come after we consume sweet potato.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potato
- Preventing Diabetes.
The patients of diabetes have such a strict eating pattern. They have to eat good and healthy food and avoid sweet food source. Sweet potatoes can still be consumed by the patients of diabetes because it can manage the level of blood sugar. They can be used to replace rice or another source of carbohydrate.
Sweet potatoes contains low glycemix index. In the lattest research, it shown that sweet potatoes can reduce the level of blood sugar and insulin resistance in diabetes patient. Mangnesium in sweet potatoes can help to control the level of our blood sugar in our blood. Therefore, people who consume high diet of magnesium rarely suffer from diabetes type 2.
The fibers in sweet potatoes bring such significant differences too. Based on the recent research, the patient of diabetes type 1 who consumes high diet of fiber has increased their blood sugar, lipid and insulin. A medium sweet potato contains of 6 gr of fiber. However, the patients of diabetes should consume sweet potatoes based on the suggested portion.
- Reducing Blood Pressure.
Maintaining the low intake of sodium is important for reducing blood pressure. Meanwhile, the intake of potassium is the same important. In one sweet potato contains of 542 milligram of potassium. High potassium intake can decrease 20% the risk of death because of high blood pressure. Besides maintaining our cholesterol level, sweet potatoes can manage blood pressure.
- Influencing Fertility.
For women who are still in their fertility period, consuming more iron from plant can influence their fertility. Vitamin A in sweet potato (it is first consumed as beta caroten then it is converted into vitamin A in our body) is important during pregnancy and breast feeding.
- Increasing Immunity.
Sweet potatoes contain high vitamin C and beta carotene that offer high immunity from the strong combination of their nutrition. Vitamin C in sweet potatoes functions as illness prevention through a virus, such as flu.
- Resolving Inflammation.
Choline is one of important and multifunction nutrition’s in sweet potatoes. It is useful for our sleeping pattern, muscles, and memory. It is also useful for maintaining the cells membrane structure, nerves impulse transmission, absorbing fats and resolving inflammation. In the study that is published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, the extract of sweet potatoes has anti-inflammation effect and a positive antilipogenic.
Even though sweet potatoes are not part of potatoes, they have anti-inflammation effect. Supported by beta carotene, vitamin C and magnesium, sweet potatoes are effective to heal both external and internal inflammation.
- Healthy Eyes.
Bright color in fruits or vegetables shows that those fruits and vegetables contain of important substances. Sweet potatoes have such a bright yellow color. It shows that it contains of high Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Vitamin A in sweet potatoes can fulfill our 1.033% of our daily nutrition. Lack of vitamin A deteriorates the outside segment of fotoreceptor which eventually breaks normal vision. Consuming vitamin A with high beta carotene will return our vision ability. Vitamin C and E in sweet potatoes are proven effective to support the health of our eyes as well as prevent them from degenerative failure.
- Healthy Digestive System.
High contains of fiber in sweet potatoes prevents constipation and promotes healthy digestive system. The fibers in sweet potatoes are higher than potatoes. However, sweet potatoes have food source that are easy to digest so that they are good both for our colon and stomach. Moreover, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium and calcium in sweet potatoes are effective in reducing gastritis.
- Energy Source.
Sweet potatoes contain important mineral, such as iron and magnesium that can increase our energy to do the activities. Iron stimulates the production of red blood cells for our body so that we will not feel easily get tired. Iron can increase the oxygen distribution to our body. In a medium sweet potato, provides 162 calorie, 0 gram fat, 37 gram of carbohydrate (including 6 gram of fiber and 12 gram of sugar), and 3,6 gram of protein.
Besides, sweet potatoes provides more than 100% of vitamin A, 37% of vitamin C, 16% of vitamin B-6, 10% pantotenat acid, 15% potassium and 28% mangan that we need daily. It also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphor, zinc, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, and folic acid. The varied colorful skin of sweet potatoes,such as yellow, dark purple, or brown brings such a massive contribution of fibers, potassium and quercetin. Therefore, it is suggested not to peel the skin of sweet potatoes. You also must consider ways to increase stamina by eat high carbohydrate food like sweet potatoes.
- Resolving Bronchitis and Asthma.
Vitamin C and other nutrients in sweet potatoes are effective in resolving bronchitis and asthma. They have such warmth effect to make us warm which is good for bronchitis patients. Besides, their aroma is effective to resolve nasal congestion which is good for asthma patients.
- Relieving Arthritis
The composition of beta carotene, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B complex make sweet potatoes are chosen to relieve arthritis. How? Boil sweet potatoes and use the water to relieve the painful areas using clothes.
- Overcoming Cancer.
Beta carotene is anti-oxidant that functions as the antidote of free radical against cancer. It, together with vitamin C in sweet potatoes, becomes an important component to overcome cancer, especially colon cancer, kidney, heart, and prostate.
- Reducing Addiction.
Sweet potatoes are effective to reduce addiction to cigarette, liquor, and several types of narcotic. Besides, they are good for our veins and arteries. High concentration of beta carotene and phosphor are good for our eyes and cardiovascular.
- Keeping Our Teeth and Gum Healthy.
Vitamin A is the important vitamin contains in sweet potatoes. However, vitamin C is another important that as important as vitamin A. Vitamin C in sweet potatoes can fulfill our 70% of vitamin C that we need daily. The vitamin C in sweet potatoes can prevent our gum from bleeding and loose teeth.
- Strengthening Our Bones.
Another important benefit of sweet potatoes is for strengthening our bones. Sweet potatoes have mineral substance that is beneficial for prevent us from osteoporosis and arthritis. Sweet potato consists of 44% manganese. Manganese is a mineral that is able to keep our bones and joints healthy. Eating sweet potato regularly can prevent us from osteoporosis.
- Managing Our Cholesterol Level.
Sweet potatoes can manage the level of cholesterol in our body because they contain 33% fiber. The fiber is a kind of carbohydrate that is proven to level down the cholesterol level in our blood. Eating sweet potatoes as a therapy for high cholesterol patient seems to be a good idea.
- Keep Our Heart Healthy.
Sweet potato is also good for our heart because they contain 27% of Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is good to prevent the cumulating of homosistein in our blood. If the level of homosistein in our blood is high, it can trigger the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Healing Stress.
Vitamin B in sweet potatoes in the form of Pantotenat Acid helps sweet potatoes to produce stress hormone so that our body has sufficient vitamin B while it is under stress.
- Relieving HIV/AIDS.
Beta carotene in a sweet potato is beneficial for relieving HIV virus infection. Sweet potatoes do not only bring benefit for our health but also for our beauty.
Benefits of sweet potatoes for our beauty:
- Keeping the Elasticity and the Beauty of our Skin.
Sweet potatoes contain high source of vitamin C. Vitamin c is needed for producing collagen that is very useful for keeping the skin elasticity. Besides, sweet potatoes also consist of vitamin A and vitamin E that make our skin healthier and more shiny. Therefore, consuming sweet potatoes are strongly suggested.
- Overcoming Oily Skin.
Sweet potatoes can be used as face mask for overcoming oily skin problem. We steam sweet potatoes until they are well-cooked. Let them cold before mashing them with a fork or potato masher. Add a spoonful of honey and apply it to our face. Let the mask for 20-30 minutes before washing it with water. We can apply the mask to our neck, too. Sweet potatoes functions to moisture our skin and prevents us from early aging.
- Improving Our Skin Texture.
After boiling sweet potatoes, keeping the water that has been used for boiling them is a good idea because the water contains nutrition that is beneficial for improving our skin texture as well as cleaning it. Strain the water well, keep it in the bottle and put it in the refrigerator. Use this water as a toner for our skin face. This natural toner will absorb the dirt, clean our face pores, and calm the irritated skin.
- Improving Our Rough Heels.
Whenever we find our heels rough, use the water that has been used for boiling sweet potatoes to make our heels smooth. Use the water while it is still warm to soak our feet. Applying this method routinely will make our rough heels smooth fast.
- Removing Dark Circle around Our Eyes and Swollen Eyes.
We can use the cold sweet potatoes slices to heal our eyes problems. Put the slices under our eyes. Let them there for a few minutes so that the nutrition can be absorbed by our skin.
Sweet potatoes are also beneficial for pregnancy because they contain nutrition and healthy substances that are suitable for pregnant women.
Benefits of sweet potatoes for pregnancy:
- High vitamin A.
Based on American Pregnancy Association, pregnant women should consume at least 700 microgram of vitamin A per day. A cup of sweet potato that is cooked without peeling contains of 1.922 microgram of vitamin A. It is the same as almost 300 % of our recommended daily intake.
- High Vitamin C and Iron.
Vitamin C is important for our body. One of its functions is for absorbing iron. Iron is an important mineral both for the mother and the baby. The National Institutes of Health recommends pregnant women to consume 80-85 milligram of vitamin C and 27 milligram of iron every day. A cup of baked sweet potato with its skin contains 39,2 milligram of vitamin C. It is the same as fulfilling half of recommended portion of sweet potato per day. Meanwhile, a cup of sweet potato contains of 1,38 milligram of iron.
- Contains Fiber.
Fiber is needed to support our health, especially our digestive system. One of the common problems that are faced by pregnant women is constipation. By consuming 22-28 gram fiber everyday will minimize the digestive problem. Pregnant women should eat 28-34 gram fiber per day. In a cup of sweet potato contains 6,6 gram of fiber.
- Contains Potassium.
19 years old adult and pregnant women should consume 4, 7 gram of potassium per day. Meanwhile, breast feeding women should increase the potassium intake to 5, 1 gram per day. Sweet potatoes contains 950 milligram of potassium. Sweet potatoes are beneficial both for pregnant women and breast feeding.
- Contains Vitamin B-6.
Vitamin B – 6 is one of the most important vitamins during pregnancy because it forms red blood cells and prevents morning sickness. The American Pregnancy Association suggests pregnant women to consume 1,9 milligram of vitamin B – 6 everyday. A cup of sweet potato contains almost 0,6 milligram of vitamin B – 6.
The interesting fact of sweet potatoes related to pregnancy:
If we want to have twins’ children, consuming sweet potatoes probably is a good idea. The inhabitants of Igbo-Ora, Yoruba in Nigeria are sure that sweet potatoes are the only cause of hyperovulation and level up the chance of having twins baby.
In West Africa, the level of identical and non-identical twins’ baby is higher than in Europe or Japan. African believe that the high level of having multiples because their staple food is sweet potatoes. Some experts in West Africa and Europe believe that the natural substance of Phytoestrogen hormone in sweet potatoes can trigger ovarium to produce more than one cells in both sides of ovarium at the same time.
Perhaps only a few people know that sweet potatoes have their extraordinary benefits for people who are on diet.
Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Our Diet:
Sweet potatoes contain higher carbohydrate than common potatoes. A medium potato contains 26 gram of carbohydrate. Meanwhile, sweet potato contains only 23 gram of carbohydrate. Thus, sweet potato is good for our diet.
- Rich of Fiber.
Besides low in carbohydrate, sweet potatoes contain of high fiber. The fiber of sweet potato is twice higher than in common potato. Consuming high fiber food to reduce our weigh is a good idea. High fiber food will make us feel full longer and prevent us from eating healthy snack. Besides, high fiber food will decrease the calorie and prevent us from gaining weight because high contains of fiber gives “slow burning quality”.
It means that the energy calorie that is used is slower and more efficient than low fiber carbohydrate. Sweet potatoes contain higher carbohydrate than common potatoes. A medium potato contains 26 gram of carbohydrate. Meanwhile, sweet potato contains only 23 gram of carbohydrate. Thus, sweet potato is good for our diet. Consuming a steamed sweet potato without peeling is better than eating a portion of oatmeal.
- Low Calorie.
Sweet potatoes are low in calorie. Therefore, this is important for us who want to reduce the weight. A medium of sweet potatoes contains 300 – 400 of calorie. Therefore, sweet potato is suitable for people who are on diet.
- Controlling Our Blood Sugar.
Sweet potatoes are rich of carbohydrate and carotenoid that can control our blood sugar level in our blood as well as the level of insulin. A substance in sweet potatoes increases adiponectin, a hormone that controls the level of sugar in our blood.
Our body responses well to watery food, Therefore, watery food make us full fast and longer and prevent us from too much eating. Thus, this well help us to reduce the weight and to prevent it level up fast.
Note: There are various ways to cook sweet potatoes for our diet. However, grilling, steaming, boiling are the best way of cooking sweet potatoes for diet since frying them will change sweet potatoes into bad fat. In order to get optimal nutrition of sweet potatoes, do not peel their skin is the best option.
- The water content of sweet potato = 68.5 gram, and rice = 13 gram
- The protein content of sweet potato = 1.8 gram and rice = 6.8 gram
- The calorie content of sweet potato = 123 cal and rice= 360 cal
- The carbohydrate content of sweet potato = 27.9 gram and rice = 78.9 gram
- The content of phosphor of sweet potato = 49 miligram and rice = 140 miligram
- The content of calcium of sweet potato = 30 gram and rice = 6 gram
- The content of iron of sweet potato = 0.7 miligram and rice=0.8 miligram
- The content of vitamin A of sweet potato = 60 SI and rice= 0
- The content of vitamin B1 of sweet potato = 0.09 miligram and rice= 0.12 miligram
- The content of vitamin C of sweet potato = 22 miligram and rice=0
Sweet potatoes contain oxalic acid. It is a natural substance that is found in several vegetables that can crystal as oxalic stone in urinary tract of several people. Therefore, people who have the history of suffering urinary tract problem should avoid eating sweet potato.
Perhaps eating sweet potato can be considered from now on because it does not only offer such a cheap price but also numerous extraordinary benefits.