Sweet Potato (Shakr Kandi)
The sweet potato benefits that is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of B6 vitamins, which are brilliant at breaking down homocysteine, a substance that contributes to the hardening of blood vessels and arteries, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health. Sweet potatoes’ potassium content is also helpful for your heart, as it lowers blood pressure by maintaining fluid balance, as explained by the American Heart Association. Potassium is also an important electrolyte that helps regulate your heartbeat.
Controlling blood sugar and maintaining energy
For as sweet as they are, sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index (which means they release sugar slowly into the bloodstream). “Sweet potatoes — unlike other starchy foods that elevate blood sugar rapidly after [they’re consumed] due to their metabolism into sugar — will help steady the levels of blood sugar,” Flores said. This means you won’t get blood-sugar spikes, but you will get a steady amount of energy. Flores noted that this regulation occurs even in people with type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, the Beauregard sweet potato, an orange-skinned variety grown in North Carolina, is similar to a white-skinned variety used in Japan to make a dietary supplement called Caiapo, which is marketed to control blood glucose in people with diabetes, according to an article in Perspectives, the magazine of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.
Researchers have found that the Beauregard “has essentially the same protein patterns” as Caiapo. Therefore, consuming sweet potatoes, or extracts from sweet potatoes, may help control blood glucose, and may someday provide a less expensive treatment with fewer side effects, said Jon Allen, a professor of food science at North Carolina State University.
As if that weren’t sweet enough, sweet potatoes are a terrific source of manganese, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Manganese helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and thus maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and it can even stabilize your appetite. It also helps the body utilize antioxidants.
According to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, sweet potatoes contain magnesium, the go-to mineral for destressing. It promotes relaxation, calmness and a good mood, as well as artery, blood, bone, muscle and nerve health, according to Psychology Today.
Immunity and anti-inflammatory properties
“Due to the color-pigmented vitamins, sweet potatoes are high in anti-inflammatory benefits,” Flores said. One sweet potato contains about half of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Vitamins A and E also support a healthy immune system and are powerful disease-fighting antioxidants. While orange sweet potatoes contain more vitamin A, purple sweet potatoes are packed with the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is responsible for red, blue and purple colors in fruits and vegetables. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, pigment-related antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial to overall health and help mitigate inflammatory disorders.
Skin and hair
Vitamin A may help protect against sun damage, according to a 2004 study in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, and vitamins C and E are well-known for their beauty benefits. They encourage healthy, glowing skin and collagen growth.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber, which helps the body maintain a healthy digestive tract and regulates digestion.
“Orange sweet potatoes have been shown to have anti-carcinogenic properties,” Flores said, and the NIH reports that some studies have suggested that beta-carotene may reduce the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women and ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women.
However, purple sweet potatoes may be even more effective than orange sweet potatoes in staving off cancer. “Purple sweet potatoes have been shown to have better cancer-fighting abilities, with a positive effect on cancer cell growth,” Flores said.
If eaten in moderation and prepared in a healthy way (that means not just indulging in sweet potato fries), sweet potatoes are a nutritious, delicious food that should pose no significant health risks. But for a vegetable, they are high in carbohydrates (about 23 grams per medium sweet potato) and calories (about 100 calories). For comparison, one serving of broccoli has about 45 calories.
They may also cause some interesting skin-related side effects. “While there aren’t any severe health problems associated with sweet potatoes, they are high in vitamin A, which the body stores,” Flores said. “When levels get too high, you may notice your skin and nails looking a little orange.” This side effect should decrease if you cut down on sweet potato consumption.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people with a history of kidney stones may want to avoid eating too many sweet potatoes, as the vegetable contains oxalate, which contributes to the forming of calcium-oxalate kidney stones.
Sweet potato facts
Some facts and history about sweet potatoes, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Education and SweetPotatoes.com:
Sweet potatoes are roots, whereas regular potatoes are tubers (underground stems).
Christopher Columbus took sweet potatoes to Europe after his first voyage to the New World in 1492.
By the 16th century, Spanish and Portuguese explorers had taken sweet potatoes to the Philippines and to Africa, India, Indonesia and southern Asia. Around this same time, sweet potatoes began to be cultivated in the southern United States.
George Washington grew sweet potatoes at Mount Vernon.
Nutrients in Sweet Potato(Shakr Kandi)
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
|Amt per Serving||%DV*||Amt per Serving||%DV*|
|Total Fat0g||0%||Total Carbohydrate23g||8%|
|Cholesterol0mg||0%||Dietary Fiber 4g||16%|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0.1 g||0%|
|Saturated fat 0 g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 55 mg||2%|
|Potassium 337 mg||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 20 g||6%|
|Dietary fiber 3 g||12%|
|Sugar 4.2 g|
|Protein 1.6 g||3%|
|Vitamin A||283%||Vitamin C||4%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||10%|