The food gods have blessed us with a vegetable that not only tastes great but also has so many positive effects on our health. The good news is it is one of the top weight-loss foods out there. Sweet potatoes, with their syrupy flavor that makes them melt on your tongue, are a nutritious approach to fulfilling a yearning for carbohydrates. Nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, and a lot of slow-release carbs are present. Here are some of the reasons why it could be a crucial dish for people trying to reduce weight.
As they are rich in beta-carotene and other nutrients that are good for your skin, sweet potatoes are the healthiest option if you’re trying to slim down. There is no fat, but there is a lot of fiber and not many calories. They are versatile and make a terrific addition to dinner; try baking, grilling, or making chips and air-frying them. Foods that are high in fiber and water content help curb binge eating. If you want to eat healthier, try including them in your snack routine and staying away from fried varieties.
Many cultures use sweet potatoes as a main source of nutrition. They contain lots of
- vitamins and other nutrients.
Both “sweet potato” and “yam” are sometimes used interchangeably. They are unrelated, however. In comparison to sweet potatoes, yams are far more starchy and have a drier consistency. In this piece, we’ll discuss whether or not sweet potatoes are good for you. Also included are potential health hazards and suggestions for including sweet potatoes in the diet.
What are the weight loss advantages of sweet potatoes?
Sweet potatoes include a type of starch called resistant starch, which fills you up without being absorbed by your body. Several mechanisms by which resistant starch aids in weight loss and maintenance have been identified, according to a study published in 2014. These mechanisms include, among others, a rise in the release of peptides that signal fullness and a fall in fat storage within fat cells.
Following are the weight loss advantages of sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fiber
When it comes to dietary fiber, sweet potatoes really shine. They are great for people with diabetes and aid with weight loss as a bonus. The vegetable’s nutritional fiber is dense, so it occupies up a lot of space in the stomach and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. It cuts down on the potential for overeating and weight gain even more.
Extremely low-calorie foods
One of the most important recommendations for weight loss is to consume low-calorie foods. The comparatively low caloric content of sweet potatoes makes them an ideal meal for when you are desperate for food. This does not mean that you should cook it and eat it; instead, want to bake or grilled it to promote weight reduction.
Sweet potatoes contain a lot of water in it
Water, like fiber, occupies a lot of space in the stomach and slows digestion, so drinking a lot of it might help you feel full for a long time after eating a little. Therefore, less likely you are to eat or binge on fried snacks if you consume plenty of water-rich foods.
Sweet potatoes’ glycemic index is quite low
Blood sugar spikes from eating foods with a high glycaemic index have been linked to the development of diabetes, obesity, and other conditions. To their benefit, sweet potatoes have a low glycemic value, making them a healthy option for persons with diabetes and those trying to cut down on their weight. (Also Read: Five low Glycemic index (GI) monsoon fruits that may help control diabetes). Sweet potatoes’ benefits are not only confined to weight loss it can also benefit people in a lot of other ways.
Following are the other health advantages of sweet potatoes
Support Healthy Digestive System
Sweet potatoes’ fiber and antioxidants help keep the digestive tract healthy. There are two kinds of fiber in sweet potatoes, soluble and insoluble. Neither variety is suitable for human consumption. Since it is unable to pass through the digestive system, fiber is able to promote a number of positive effects there. Viscous fibers are particularly effective at absorbing water and reducing stool hardness and other than these fibers do not swell when wet. Colon bacteria can ferment some soluble and insoluble fibers to produce substances called short-chain fatty acids, which feed and strengthen the cells that line your intestinal tract.
High-fiber diets, notably those having 20-33 grams each day, have been related to a decreased chance of developing colon cancer and regular bowel movements.. It’s possible that the anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants in sweet potatoes also help the digestive system. Antioxidants in purple sweet potatoes have been shown in lab experiments to encourage the development of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Intestinal health improves and diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and infectious diarrhea are less likely to occur when there are more of these bacteria present.
Possibility of aiding in the control of type-2 diabetes
According to the study’s intriguing findings, regular intake of sweet potato and sweet potato stems may help regulate blood sugar in type-2 diabetes. However, additional evidence from carefully conducted studies is required to verify these results.
Might Prevent Cancer
Several types of antioxidants found in sweet potatoes have been linked to a reduced risk of developing cancer. Studies in vitro have shown that the antioxidant anthocyanins, purple sweet potatoes have this trait can inhibit the growth of several different types of cancer cells, including those located in the areas of the human body and these include
- Stomach, and
As with mice, humans who consumed a lot of purple sweet potatoes may benefit from the anthocyanins they contain and reduce their risk of developing colon cancer. It has been discovered that sweet potato extracts, as well as sweet potato peel extracts, exhibit anti-cancer activities in vitro. This, however, has not been tested in human research.
Promote Sound Vision
β-carotene is an anti-oxidant responsible for the orange color of sweet potatoes, and is present in high concentrations in these tubers. More than 7 times per day need of beta-carotene for an adult can be met by eating just one cup (200 grams) of cooked orange sweet potato with skin. Vitamin A is produced from beta-carotene and used to create the retina’s light-sensitive cones. Xerophthalmia, a kind of blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency, is a major health issue in third-world countries. There is evidence that purple sweet potatoes help with eyesight. The anthocyanins they supply have shown promise in protecting eye cells from harm in test tube experiments, suggesting they may play an important role in preserving general eye health.
Potentially Boosts Brain Power
There’s some evidence that eating purple sweet potatoes can boost mental acuity. According to research conducted on animals, the anthocyanins included in purple sweet potatoes possibly help shield the brain from harm by lowering inflammation and blocking free radical production. Improved learning and memory may be attributable to the antioxidant qualities of an extract of sweet potatoes high in the pigment anthocyanin. Diets high in fruits, veggies, and antioxidants have been linked to a 13% decreased incidence of cognitive decline and dementia, but this has not been tested in humans.
Sweet potatoes are potential Immune System Boosters
One of the best natural sources of the plant chemical beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A in the body. Inadequate concentrations of vitamin A in the blood have been connected to a compromised immune system. Many possible disease-causing microorganisms are first encountered by the body in the digestive tract. Inadequate levels of vitamin A have been linked to increased inflammation in the digestive tract and a diminished ability to fight against disease and infection. Sweet potatoes may help avoid vitamin A deficiency, but no research has been done to assess whether or not they have any effect on immunity.
Increasing Insulin Sensitivity to Treat Diabetes
A white sweet potato skin extraction was shown to increase insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics in a study from 2008. In 2000, researchers gave lab rats either white-skinned sweet potatoes or an insulin activator called troglitazone and observed their blood sugar levels over the course of 8 weeks. People who ate sweet potatoes had lower levels of insulin resistance. However, additional human research is required to confirm these advantages. Sweet potatoes are useful because of the fiber they contain. There appears to be a correlation between fiber intake and a decreased risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes, according to the literature. About 2.5 grams of fiber may be found in a 124-gram portion of boiled sweet potato, which is roughly half a cup.
What are the risks associated with sweet potatoes?
There’s potassium in sweet potatoes. Those who take beta-blockers should consider whether or not a high potassium diet is safe for them. These are often prescribed by doctors to treat heart disease, although they have been linked to increased blood potassium levels. Those who already have kidney issues should also watch their potassium intake. People with renal disease should limit their intake.
If a person with renal disease takes higher potassium than their kidneys can filter, for instance, they could develop serious consequences. Some products may be at risk of being tainted by pesticides, so keep that in mind as well. The Environmental Working Group publishes annual rankings of products based on how likely they are to contain harmful substances. The sweet potato dropped to the 31st spot in 2019. The best strategies to reduce exposure to potential contaminants are to use organic methods of production or to cultivate your own food. A number of sweet potato and sweet potato-based goods can be bought online.
The Bottom Line
Colorful sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious option. They aid in digestive health and brain function because of their high levels of fiber and antioxidants. Beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A and helps maintain healthy eyes and a robust immune system, is also abundant in these foods. Because of their adaptability, sweet potatoes are an excellent carb option for most individuals. They can be served in both sweet and savory meals.
There have been surprisingly few reports of allergic reactions to sweet potatoes, so it is safe to use them in a healthy diet. However, they do contain oxalates, which can prevent calcium and other nutrients from being absorbed. Oxalates in food have been linked to kidney stones. Minimizing your intake of foods high in oxalate is recommended for those who either already has kidney stones or are at greater risk of acquiring them.