Sweet potatoes have a delicious sweet taste.It grows on the roots of a plant known scientifically as Ipomoea batatas. They can be consumed in a variety of ways, but are most commonly boiled, baked, steamed or fried. Sweet potatoes are most commonly orange, but are also found in other colors, such as white, red, pink, violet, yellow and purple.
It is rich in an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which is very effective at raising blood levels of vitamin A, particularly in children .
Sweet potato contains water, carbohydrate, protein , and almost no fat.
Rapidly digested starch (80%)that is quickly broken down and absorbed, increasing the glycemic index value.
Slowly digested starch (9%), which breaks down more slowly and causes a smaller rise in blood sugar levels
Resistant starch (12%)that escapes digestion and acts like fiber, feeding the friendly gut bacteria. The amount of resistant starch may increase slightly by cooling the sweet potatoes after cooking
Cooked sweet potatoes are relatively high in fiber.The fibers are both soluble in the form of pectin, and insoluble in the form of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin.
Soluble fibers, such as pectin, may increase satiety, decrease food intake and reduce blood sugar spikes by slowing down the digestion of sugars and starches .
Insoluble fibers have been associated with health benefits, such as reduced risk of diabetes and improved gut health.
A medium-sized sweet potato contains 2 grams of protein, which is relatively low.
Sweet potatoes contain unique proteins, called sporamins.The sporamins are produced in the potato whenever the plant is subjected to physical damage, to facilitate healing.These proteins may have antioxidant properties .
Sweet potatoes are an important protein source in many developing countries Sweet potatoes are rich in many vitamins and minerals.
– Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A in the body.
-Vitamin C-An antioxidant, which may decrease the duration of common colds and improve skin health .
-Potassium- Important for blood pressure control, this mineral may decrease the risk of heart disease .
-Manganese- important for growth, development and metabolism.
-Vitamin B6- important for conversion of food into energy.
-Vitamin E-A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that may help protect the body against oxidative damage.
-Beta-carotene-An antioxidant carotenoid that is transformed into vitamin A in the body. Adding fat to the meal can increase its absorption.
-Chlorogenic acid-The most abundant polyphenol antioxidant in sweet potatoes.
-Anthocyanins-Purple sweet potatoes are rich in anthocyanins, which possess strong antioxidant properties.
-Coumarins:Sweet potatoes contain small amounts of esculetin, scopoletin and umbelliferon, which may prevent blood clotting and help inhibit replication of the HIV virus .
Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index, are a better source of fiber, and provide similar or slightly higher levels of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin A) than regular potatoes,and do not contain any toxins.
Deficiency of Vitamin A can cause both temporary and permanent damage to the eyes and even lead to blindness. It can also suppress immune function and increase mortality.The intensity of the yellow or orange color of the sweet potato is directly linked to the beta-carotene content.
Oxidative damage to cells is often associated with increased risk of cancer, an adverse condition where cells grow beyond their normal boundaries and into other tissues.
Sweet potatoes contain potent antioxidants that may neutralize free radicals, harmful substances. Purple potatoes have the highest antioxidant activity .
They contain a large amount of vitamin B6. This vitamin is crucial in breaking down a substance called homocysteine, which contributes to hardening of the arteries and blood vessels. Vitamin B6 helps keep the walls of these important blood passageways flexible and healthy which allows blood to flow freely.
sweet potatoes contain high amounts of potassium. Potassium plays an important role in lowering blood pressure by ridding the body of excess sodium and regulating fluid balance. It is also an important electrolyte that helps regulate the natural rhythm of the heart, and maintains normal function of the brain and central nervous system.
Sweet potatoes are A great source of manganese.Manganese support healthy blood sugar levels. This can help stabilize the appetite for hours as opposed to the temporary satisfaction that comes with most other carbohydrates.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins C and E. These are potent antioxidant vitamins that play an important role in disease prevention and longevity.