(BeWellBuzz) Sweet potato, more commonly known as yams in the US, is not only an excellent nutritional staple to have on hand, but they are also greatly affordable. This deep orange vegetable is a nutritional power house that delivers a multitude of benefits to anyone’s diet, more so than any traditional, white or yellow fleshed potato.
Lets take a closer look at the top 10 benefits of sweet potato.
1. High in Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 helps your body reduce the levels of homocysteine, a chemical that that is naturally produced in our bodies that increases the risk of digestive problems and some types of heart diseases.
2. A Great Source of Vitamin C
We all know the basic values of vitamin C. It helps to ward off colds and flus, but it also plays a large role in tooth and bone formation, blood cell formation and collagen production. Collagen helps your body in the maintenance of your skins elasticity and youthfulness and plays a role in helping your body handle stress better, as well as protecting your body against toxins that are said to have a link to some cancers.
3. Good source of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is more than just a vitamin, it is a naturally occurring hormone that your body produces just by getting some sunlight. This is why we need to have a good source of vitamin C, especially in winter, when there is not much direct sunlight to go around. Vitamin D is critical in the maintenance of your immune system, but also plays a role in your mood maintenance, your energy levels, the development of healthy bones, a strong heart and much more.
4. Good Source of Iron
Along with maintaining your energy levels iron plays a huge role in the production of white blood cells, the proper functioning of your immune system as well as the adequate resistance to stress and the proper metabolizing of all types of proteins.
5. High in Magnesium
Magnesium is known as the anti-stress and relaxation mineral, but magnesium is also beneficial to your bones, heart, blood, arteries, nerve functions and muscles. While this is an important mineral, stats show that more than 80 per cent of the population is magnesium deficient.
6. They are high in Fiber
Sweet potatoes contain the most fiber when compared any other type of potatoes. Experts say that levels of fiber run as high as double in sweet potatoes. The high fiber of this starchy vegetable makes sweet potatoes an excellent low GI food.
7. High Vitamin A Content
Vitamin A, or Beta Carotene as it is also known, is a highly important antioxidant. Vitamin A is said to be most beneficial for fighting off cancers of all types and is the most potent antioxidant known to man. With the anti-cancer benefits, vitamin A also helps protect your skin from UV damage caused by the sun, by repairing damaged cells and protecting new cells from damage. There is way more Vitamin A in a medium sized sweet potato than is require in the average person’s RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance).
8. Offers Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Because sweet potato contains the above vitamins and minerals, it makes a great cocktail that holds huge anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory properties in sweet potato benefit your body both internally and externally, from your nerve tissue to your brain tissue.
9. Sweet Potato Benefits for Arthritis
As arthritis is a type of inflammation the anti-inflammatory properties in sweet potato helps to treat arthritis. However, there is a secret weapon in the arsenal called beta-cryptoxanthin, which is said to play an important role in the prevention of chronic inflammation. Most studies show that beta-cryptoxanthin from sweet potatoes can lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis by as much as 50 per cent.
10. Offers Relieve for Stomach Ulcers
Sweet potatoes also play a very important role in the soothing of the stomach and in preventing stomach ulcers. This benefit is brought on by the cocktail of the above mentioned vitamins and minerals along with others like potassium and calcium. The high fiber content of the starchy vegetable also helps in problems with acidity and constipation. Sweet potatoes also help patients who already have ulcers, by soothing the inflammation caused by the ulcers.
While there are many foods that offer health benefits to those who eat them, there is not many foods that offer as many benefits as the common sweet potato, making this the food that everyone should have in their home at all times.