Vegetables and Vegetables

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes – Know what this food is for

The sweet potato ( Ipomoea potatoes ) is originally from South America, more precisely from the Andes, and has been cultivated by the indigenous people for at least 10 thousand years. There are around 400 varieties of this vegetable, and although it appears to be closely related to the common potato and yam, it is actually part of a completely opposite family.

When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they were enchanted by the sweet taste and smooth texture of sweet potato and took it to Africa, Asia, Indonesia and India. Nowadays, this vegetable is widely cultivated all over the world.

In Brazil, four types of varieties can be found: the purple, yellow, reddish potato and the white sweet potato (which is also known as terra-nova or angola).

It consists of one of the vegetables with the greatest amount of nutrients found in nature and, because of that, it brings many health benefits, in addition to contributing to fitness. It is also a very versatile food, which can be used in cooking for the preparation of different types of dishes, whether sweet or savory.

Among the numerous properties of sweet potato is the presence of phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, omega 3, vitamins A, B, C, K, E and fatty acids.

Sweet potatoes also contain a large amount of anthocyanin and beta-carotene, two natural compounds that are important for our body’s health. Anthocyanin is a natural pigment that has an anti-inflammatory action. Beta-carotene, on the other hand, helps to minimize the chances of developing several types of chronic diseases, such as cataracts, heart disease, retinal degeneration caused by age and even cancer.

Consuming a medium-sized sweet potato supplies the recommended daily requirement for vitamin A for an adult. In addition, it helps to supply the body with a generous amount of vitamin C, potassium and fiber.

The best way to enjoy the benefits offered by sweet potatoes is to cook them in the skin. It can also be eaten as a baked sweet potato, as a mashed sweet potato, or in chips.

SWEET POTATO BENEFITS AND HARMS

The benefits of sweet potato are many, as it has a powerful antioxidant effect, which helps to maintain healthy skin, in addition to preventing against some types of cancer and taking care of the digestive system. It also has anti-inflammatory action, which heals internal and external inflammation faster and more effectively. Learn more about the benefits of this vegetable.

SWEET POTATOES AND WEIGHT TRAINING

Sweet potato is currently being used by athletes and people who practice bodybuilding, as it has an amount of carbohydrates that contribute to increased energy and given more energy to gain muscle mass. The reason this happens is because the carbohydrates present in sweet potatoes are digested more slowly than potatoes , which maintain energy levels for a longer time.

Other components present in this vegetable that contribute to training is the presence of fibers that, in addition to helping to control appetite by promoting satiety, help in muscle rebuilding and fat burning. Potassium, on the other hand, helps balance nerve functions and muscle control.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO WEIGHT LOSS

Doubts about whether sweet potatoes make them fat or thin are very common, due to the carbohydrate found in them. The high amount of dietary fiber present in sweet potatoes reduces appetite, as it makes it absorbed by the body more slowly. Therefore, it is possible to say that sweet potatoes can contribute to weight loss.

This causes the feeling of fullness to be prolonged, which contributes to weight loss. Also, the amount of calories is low, as a 100g serving of sweetpotato contains only about 90 calories.

Eating this vegetable also helps lower blood sugar and insulin spikes, as well as lower belly fat. Therefore, sweet potatoes are fattening only when consumed in an exaggerated way.

SKIN HEALTH BENEFITS

The reasons why sweetpotato helps keep skin younger and healthier is because of vitamin A, which protects against the damage caused by exposure to the sun. Vitamins C and E increase collagen production, which improves skin texture and also prevents premature aging.

PROTECTS HEART HEALTH

One of the reasons sweetpotato contributes to a healthy heart is because of the potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure, which regulates the heartbeat. Potassium in sweetpotato also lowers blood pressure, maintaining fluid balance that also helps regulate your heartbeat.

It also has vitamin B6, which helps prevent heart attacks. This is because this vitamin, among other functions, reduces the presence of an amino acid called homocysteine, responsible for vascular degenerative diseases, such as in the case of a heart attack.

HELP IN PREVENTING CANCER

Studies carried out with beta-carotene, a component found in abundance in sweet potatoes, revealed that it may be related to the prevention of certain types of cancer. Among them are cancer of the prostate, cervix and ovaries. The presence of carotenoids, substances that are also found in sweet potatoes, shows that they are capable of reducing the chance of cancer and breast recurrence.

CONTROLS STRESS

Sweetpotato is rich in magnesium, a mineral that contributes to stress reduction. Because of this, consuming this vegetable helps in relaxation and keeping calm, in addition to taking care of the nerves.

HELPS REGULATE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

Although sweet potatoes contain lots of starch, they can regulate blood sugar. The reason for this to be possible is due to the presence of dietary fiber, which contributes to balance the pace of digestion. This makes it recommended even for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Another factor that benefits those people who have type 2 diabetes is that, according to research done, sweet potato extract causes increased levels of adiponectin, a hormone that helps regulate insulin metabolism.

PREVENTS ATTRITION

Eating sweet potatoes helps prevent chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis. This is because it is rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, which reduces the chances of developing inflammatory arthritis by up to 50%. Furthermore, due to the high amount of vitamin C in sweet potatoes, it contributes to the production of collagen, which also minimizes the risk of developing some types of arthritis.

THE HARMS OF SWEET POTATOES

If consumed in excess, sweetpotato can cause a thyroid disorder, hindering the absorption of iodine. For this to be avoided, it is necessary to cook this vegetable. However, if ingested in a moderate way, it will not harm your health.

SWEET POTATO: RECIPES

Sweet potato recipes can be made in a variety of ways: roasted, boiled or fried. The roots can also be used to make soups and the leaves can be braised. If you have no idea how to make sweet potatoes, here are two tasty tips that make use of this delicious and healthy ingredient.

CHICKEN WITH SWEET POTATO

Chicken is a dish that goes very well with sweet potatoes. See how easy it is to prepare a delicious recipe combining these two ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg of chopped chicken thigh and drumstick
  • 2 big sweet potatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup of onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • ready sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup of green scent
  • Black pepper
  • salt to taste

Preparation mode

  1. Cut the chicken into pieces and season as you like. Put oil in a pan and brown the onion and garlic, adding the seasoned chicken afterwards.
  2. Add the sliced ​​potatoes (finger-thick) when the chicken is well cooked.
  3. Add the pepper strips, grated carrots, tomatoes, black pepper and salt. Add water little by little and stir so that the sweet potato cooks. Potatoes cook quickly, so don’t stir for too long.
  4. As soon as the sweet potato is tender, add the ready-to-eat sauce and green scent. Mix and let it heat up a little longer. Serve afterwards with white rice.

SWEET POTATO SHAKE

Among the reasons for the current consumption of sweetpotato, diet is among the main ones today. Learn how to make a healthy, nutritious shake that helps keep your body in shape.

Ingredients

  • 100 g of sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons of quinoa
  • 1 banana
  • 300 ml of ice water

Preparation mode

  1. Wash the sweet potatoes, cook and peel. If you are unsure how to cook sweet potatoes, bake them whole or cut into slices. Leave for about 20 minutes, or until golden, in an oven at 180°C.
  2. Place in a blender with the other ingredients to blend.
  3. If it gets too thick, add a little more water.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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