Sweet potato is amongst the oldest vegetables today, believed to be in consumption since centuries. In fact, the sweet potato relics found in Peruvian caves date back to 10,000 years ago and serve as the best proof of their consumption even in the prehistoric times. Though sweet potatoes are native to Central America, they are cultivated in almost every country of the world today. At present, there are as many as 400 varieties of the vegetable, with the flesh ranging from white and yellow to orange in color and the thin skin being white, yellow, orange, red or purple. If you want to explore some information on the health and nutrition benefits of eating sweet potatoes, read on further.
Nutritional Value of Sweet Potato
Given below is the amount of nutrients in 100 gm of sweet potatoes:
- Carbohydrates - 20.1 gm
- Sugars - 4.2 gm
- Dietary fiber - 3.0 gm
- Fat - 0.1 gm
- Protein - 1.6 gm
- Vitamin A - 709 μg
- β-carotene - 8509 μg
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1) - 0.1 mg
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - 0.1 mg
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) - 0.61 mg
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) - 0.8 mg
- Vitamin B6 - 0.2 mg
- Folate (Vitamin B9) - 11 μg
- Vitamin C - 2.4 mg
- Calcium - 30.0 mg
- Iron - 0.6 mg
- Magnesium - 25.0 mg
- Phosphorus - 47.0 mg
- Potassium - 337 mg
- Zinc - 0.3 mg
- Calories - 90 kcal (360 kJ)
Health & Nutrition Benefits of Eating Sweet Potatoes
- Being rich in dietary fiber, sweet potato lowers the risk of constipation, diverticulosis and colon and rectal cancer.
- Sweet potatoes have been found to helpful in minimizing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
- Sweet potato is a good snack for those trying to lose weight. It induces a feeling of fullness soon and thus, helps control food intake.
- Consumption of sweet potatoes has been known to help avoid stroke, by bringing down the harmful effects of low-density cholesterol & preventing blood clots.
- The presence of beta-carotene in sweet potato helps the body fight against free radicals and thus, prevents cancer.
- Since sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, they can be consumed by those suffering from diabetes, without any apprehensions.
- The high amount of potassium in sweet potato helps the body in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance as well as cell integrity.
- Sweet potatoes have been found to be beneficial for blood purification as well as lowering of blood pressure.
- Owing to the presence of iron and calcium, sweet potatoes ensure proper blood flow and also improve bone density.
- Regular consumption of sweet potato is good for stomach ulcers and inflamed conditions of the colon.
- Being rich in vitamins and minerals, sweet potato is good for people involved in heavy muscular work.