What Are the Benefits of Sweet Potatoes?

The 'Sweet Potato' is a vegetable from the laughterflower family, which is native to Central America, but is mostly produced in Asia, and is in demand in many continents and countries, especially in the Far East. Compared to the known classic potato vegetable, it is high in fiber, low in calories and high in nutritional value because it does not contain gluten.

Yeni Yüzyıl University Gaziosmanpaşa Hospital Diet Specialist Neslişah Bozkaya Gök gave information about 'Sweet Potato', which has been very popular recently, and prepared the 3-day Sweet Potato Diet and presented it to us.

Nutritional values ​​of a medium sweet potato (weighing 130 g):

  • Carbohydrate - 26,2 g
  • Protein - 2.04 g
  • Fats -0.065 g
  • Fiber - 3,9 g
  • Calcium - 39 mg
  • Potassium - 438 mg
  • Sodium - 71,5 mg
  • Vitamin C - 3.12 mg
  • Vitamin A - It is 922 ug.

In addition to these, sweet potato is a rich food source in terms of antioxidants that protect our body against free radicals.

What are the benefits of Sweet Potato?

Sweet potatoes help control blood sugar levels. It is especially useful for people with diabetes. Although it is called sweet potato, it has high fiber content and helps to improve blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar quickly in the digestive system.

Daily consumption of sweet potatoes, which are high in fiber, can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A 2018 study found that people with higher dietary fiber intake were at a relatively lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

In addition, the high fiber content of sweet potatoes helps prevent constipation. It supports regular bowel movements that create a healthy digestive system.

'Sweet Potato' supplement in cancer diseases

Sweet potatoes have important antioxidants that help fight free radicals known to cause cancer, among other diseases. As well as its color, it is a source of beta-carotene, an excellent antioxidant. Purple sweet potatoes contain anthocyanin content that can help slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells, especially bladder, colon, prostate, stomach, lung and breast cancer.

Rich in vitamin A sources, sweet potato supports eye health positively. High vitamin A is found in many colorful fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, spinach, kale and melons. Beta carotene, a source of vitamin A, contributes to the protection of eye health by transforming it into Vitamin A, which supports the function of the cornea when taken with foods, enables the eyes to see in the body in low light conditions and prevents night blindness.

1 cup boiled sweet potato contains 31.8 mg Vitamin C and supports immunity. People with high levels of vitamin C in the blood have a lower risk of stroke, pneumonia and lung infections, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation.

People who include sweet potatoes in their diet can lose weight more quickly and easily because they will stay full longer. 1 medium sweet potato contains 3,9 g of fiber. High-fiber foods have low calories. Sweet potatoes, thanks to their high fiber content, reduce the levels of ghrelin in the body, the hunger hormone, increase the production of hormones that make you feel full, such as cholecystokinin, and help slow digestion.

In a 2019 study of 345 people in the United States, it was proven that a high-fiber diet that preserves minimum macronutrient intake (daily carbohydrate, fat and protein) and energy intake promotes weight loss in obese and overweight people.

Many people today think that carbohydrate source foods are high in calories and tend to exclude them from their daily eating habits. Since sweet potatoes are in the starchy carbohydrates class, they are generally not preferred in daily diet plans. But a 130-gram sweet potato has only 112 calories, which is 37 calories less than a cup of whole milk. Even though sweet potatoes are included in the group of starchy carbohydrates, they have a low glycemic index due to many of the features I mentioned above.

The glycemic index is among the most important criteria in the weight loss process. Foods with a high glycemic index (GI), such as refined grains, starches, and sugars, are associated with weight gain. In contrast, eating foods with low GI can be beneficial for promoting weight loss. The most important point to note here should be food after steaming or baking, rather than cooking, roasting or frying, to maintain the low glycemic index of sweet potatoes.

Speaking of cooking techniques, cooking the sweet potato with a little cinnamon will greatly assist in balancing your blood sugar. Cinnamon helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and manage appetite, and using the two together creates a satisfying flavorful alternative for you without sacrificing weight loss goals.

Another important point that should not be forgotten is that in order to increase the absorption of vitamin A in the sweet potato content in the body, it must be consumed with a healthy fat source.

If we give an example of a healthy sweet potato menu that you will consume with great taste and pleasure; 

 Baked Chicken & Sweet Potato Menu

4 sweet potatoes, 3 medium chicken breasts, avocado, 3/4 cup drinking water, 1/2 cup red onion, 1 tablespoon coriander, 1 pinch of curry, salt and black pepper

  • After arranging all the ingredients in the ovenware, bake in the 180 degree oven.
  • These materials are for 4 people.
  • Calories: 327 kcal, Fats: 7,6 g, Protein: 30,4 g, Carbohydrate: 31,7 g

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