From curries to tikkis and roasts, sweet potatoes find use in quite a few Indian recipes. They are a type of bindweed and belong to the morning glory family of creeper plants. Sweet potatoes vary in colour, from orange, yellow and white to purple, with the orange one being the most common. While it is not as popular as potatoes, this root vegetable with a sweet taste is quite nutritious. Below, we take a look at five health benefits it provides.
Rich in Fibre
Sweet potatoes are high in fibre content, which takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. The stomach remains full for longer durations and prevents excess hunger, thus discouraging weight gain and obesity. Fibre also aids digestion by absorbing water and increasing the volume and weight of the stool. The possibility of constipation and fissures gets reduced.
Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. These nutrients in the tuber crop are known to suppress inflammatory responses in our bodies.
Sweet potatoes contain pigments called carotenoids which neutralise free radicals that cause oxidative damage of cells. The vegetable is also rich in Vitamin C and E, which are antioxidants that protect the skin from damage caused by exposure to YV rays of the sun and delay ageing effects.
Studies on purple sweet potatoes have found that the compound anthocyanin, which provides colouring in sweet potatoes, can reduce tumour in bladder cancer, breast cancer and gastric cancer. Anthocyanins can trigger apoptosis or cell death in the cancer cells.
Diabetes and cardiovascular ailments
Since sweet potatoes have high fibre content, it is an effective treatment for high blood sugar in diabetic patients. White sweet potatoes, in particular, were found to have this ability, in a study.
Diabetic patients are at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Anthocyanins and fibre, present in sweet potatoes, help maintain heart health.