sweet potato natural health benefits | uses - Health & Food
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               Sweet potato natural health benefits    

Recent studies show that sweetpotato contains such functional components as polyphenols, anthocyanins and dietary fiber, which are important for human health.

Sweetpotato roots are a good source of carbohydrates, while sweetpotato tops (leaves and stems) contain additional nutritional components in much higher concentrations than in many other commercial vegetables. Sweetpotato leaves are cooked as a vegetable in many parts of the world. They are rich in vitamin B, ß­carotene, iron, calcium, zinc and protein, and the crop is more tolerant of diseases,

Nutritional values:

Depending on varieties and growing conditions, sweetpotato leaves are comparable to spinach in nutrient content.

sweet-potato
                     sweet-potato

The average mineral and vitamin content in a recently developed cultivar, Suioh, is 117 mg calcium, 1.8 mg  iron, 3.5 mg   , carotene, 7.2 mg    vitamin C, 1.6 mg        vitamin E and 0.56 mg vitamin K/100 g fresh weight of leaves.    Levels of iron,      calcium and carotene rank among the top, as compared with other major vegetables. Sweetpotato leaves are also rich in vitamin B,   ß­carotene, iron, calcium, zinc and protein.
Studies have shown thatsweetpotato leaves contain as many vitamins,minerals and other nutrients as spinach. The content of these nutrients differs according to harvesting period and variety.

Oxalic acid poses a problem whenusing sweetpotato leaves as food,

but its content does not change greatly according to the harvesting time and is less than one­fifth that of spinach.

For these reasons, the use of sweetpotato leaves as a vegetable and for food processing should definitely be encouraged.                            As a crop, sweet potato is more tolerant of diseases, pests and high moisture than many other leafy vegetables grown in the tropics.

Sweetpotato leaves are an excellent source of antioxidative polyphenolics, among them anthocyanins and phenolic acids such as caffeic, monocaffeoylquinic (chlorogenic), dicaffeoylquinic and tricaffeoylquinic acids, and are superior in this regard to other commercial vegetables

Antioxidative and Antimutagenicity :       Cancers occur through such processes as initiation, promotion and progression in body cells. Initiation is a kind of mutation that occurs in cancer and anticancer genes. Thus, controlling the gene mutation brought about by the carcinogens leads to cancer prevention.

Sweetpotato leaves are a good supplementary resource of antioxidants and antimutagenic compounds. An investigation was conducted to examine the effects of 82 kinds of vegetable juice and plant components on the division and multiplication of cancer cells, and it was found that sweetpotato has especially high cancer checking rates.

Health Beneficial Function     Compounds
Antioxidative activity    Polyphenol, vitamins, anthocyanin
Reduction of liver injury                                            Anthocyanin‚ ß­carotene
Antimutagenicity                                                      Polyphenol, vitamins, anthocyanin
Anticarcinogenesis                                                     Ganglioside
Antihypertension                                                    Polyphenolics, vitamins, anthocyanin
Antimicrobial activity                                              Dietary fiber, polysaccharide
Anti­ inflammation                                                   Dietary fiber 
Promotion of bowel movement                            Dietary fiber, jalapin
 

Anti­diabetic effect (WSSP)                                     

Acidic glycoprotein
Anticaries effect                                                      Dietary fiber
Ultraviolet protection effect                                  Polyphenolics, vitamins

BENEFITS OF SWEET POTATOES: · Vitamin A  : A medium sweet potato has over four times the recommended daily amount of vitamin A which plays a vital role in vision, bone development and immune function.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, so be sure to eat your sweet potato with a little bit of fat, like a pat of butter or a drizzle of olive oil, to maximize vitamin absorption.

Vitamin C : Like citrus, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, which helps fight infections, heal wounds and absorb iron. A medium sweet potato provides 37 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

Manganese Sweet potatoes are a good source of manganese, which helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and optimal thyroid function.
Fiber Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, a nutrient that bulks up food, keeping you full longer. Fiber also keeps your bowels healthy and lowers cholesterol.

A medium sweet potato baked in its skin has 4 grams of fiber, more than a packet of instant oatmeal. Complex Carbohydrates Sweet potatoes are made of complex carbohydrates (energy) that are released at a steady pace for a constant source of vitality, so no sugar highs or lows to worry about.

Antioxidants Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants compared to other vegetables. Antioxidants help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

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