Weight Loss Special, 7 Reasons To Add Sweet Potato To Your Meal

Sweet potatoes or Shakarkand are sadly underappreciated in Indian cuisine. This perennial tuber is available throughout the year in most parts of the country but is especially popular in winter. Street carts selling freshly roasted sweet potato is a common sight in most cities, piping hot and sprinkled with ghee and salt, this simple treat is an end-of-year favourite. 

But aside from the delicious taste, sweet potatoes offer several health benefits over their regular cousins. 

Here are 7 benefits of sweet potatoes you should know:

Sweet Potatoes for Blood Sugar Control:

Sweet potatoes receive acclaim for their potential to stabilise blood sugar levels, particularly when compared to their white potato counterparts. Their higher fibre content, with a 1-cup serving containing 6.6 grams of fibre, compared to russet potatoes' 2 grams per cup (according to the USDA), can lead to a more consistent rise and fall in blood sugar levels. This makes sweet potatoes a wise choice for those managing diabetes or other blood sugar-related conditions.

Support for Eye Health:

Much like carrots, sweet potatoes promote healthy vision, thanks to their abundance of vitamin A, according to USDA data. Vitamin A contributes to overall visual health and may help prevent conditions such as macular degeneration and age-related cataracts. Additionally, sweet potatoes boast a high beta-carotene content, a compound that aids in macular health and sharp vision.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, acting as an antioxidant, may help reduce inflammation by combating pro-inflammatory free radicals within the body. The increased levels of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes may improve cardiovascular health.

Improved Digestion:

Sweet potatoes, thanks to their soluble fibre, assist in promoting effortless bowel movements. This soluble fibre absorbs water in the colon, creating bulk and providing nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria. Additionally, purple sweet potatoes may alleviate diarrhoea by influencing the diversity of intestinal flora.

Cardiovascular Health Protection:

The unique nutrient composition of sweet potatoes, including their fibre content, makes them a delicious and heart-healthy dietary choice. They are a valuable source of soluble fibre, which can lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, sweet potatoes provide a significant dose of potassium, aiding in blood pressure regulation.

Potential for Increased Longevity:

Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes may contribute to a longer, healthier life by acting as an antioxidant that helps prevent damage from free radicals. Higher beta-carotene intake has been linked to a reduced risk of mortality from various health causes.

Weight Management:

Despite their carbohydrate content, sweet potatoes can support weight management. Their high fibre content keeps you feeling full between meals and contributes to your daily fibre target. Research indicates that increased dietary fibre intake can promote weight loss and adherence to a chosen diet plan.