Sweet potatoes are starchy, sweet tasting root vegetable. They have a thin brown skin on the outside with coloured flesh inside. Most of them are orange, but there are others that come in purple, yellow, white, pink and red.
Sweet potatoes can be eaten whole or peeled. They are creamy and soft enough to be an ingredient in several pies recipes. Also, they are naturally packed with vitamin B5, ribloflavin, niacin, thiamine and carotenoids due to their naturally orange colour. Here are some health benefits of sweet potatoes:
It Helps to Manage Diabetes
Sweet potatoes are categorised as low to high on the glycemic index scale and several studies have shown that it can minimise the occurrence of insulin resistance and low blood sugar in people who are suffering from diabetes.
In other words, the low glycemic means that sweet potatoes release sugar into the blood stream slowly, unlike other starchy foods. Also, it is source of magnesium which has also been shown to minimise the risk of individuals developing type II diabetes.
It Prevents Stress Levels
One of the most important benefits of magnesium is that, it helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have indicated that an increase in magnesium deficiency in modern diets has resulted in a significant increase in the cases of depression reported across the world.
In addition, sweet potatoes reduce insomnia in older individuals. Insomnia is a trigger for stress, depression and anxiety.
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It Protects/ Prevents/ Manages Cancer
Studies have shown that the purple fleshed sweet potatoes is especially effective in the fight against cancer. It has the elements to inhibit growth of specific cancer such as breast cancer, gastric cancer and colon cancer by inducing the cell death of these cancer cells.
It Helps to Guard Against Ulcers
Ulcer occurs when an inflamed tissue is shed from the mucous membrane or from the skin, and it can be quite painful. Therefore, the methanol extract from the root of a sweet potato can protect the gastrointestinal tissues from aspirin-induced ulcers. Sweet potatoes can be used in the treatment and management of peptic ulcers.
It is Good for Digestion
Sweet potatoes contain large amount of fiber which have been known for improving the health of the gut as well as digestion. It can also aid in preventing constipation in both children and adults.
Among other benefits of sweet potatoes, it enhances the memory, boosts fertility, improves hair and skin, and helps in weight management.