Versatile and nutritious, sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables. These vegetables are grown all over the world; There are different colors and sizes such as orange, white and purple. Rich in manganese, vitamins A and C, this food also has anti-cancer properties. It is also known to support immune function, gut health, brain function, and eye health. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of sweet potatoes.
1. Extremely nutritious
Sweet potatoes are an amazing source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The nutritional value of 200 grams of boiled sweet potatoes is as follows:
- Calories: 180
- Carbohydrates: 41 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Oil: 0.3 g
- Fiber: 6.6 g
- Vitamin A: 213% Daily Value (DV)
- vitamin C: 44% of total weight
- Manganese: 43% of total weight
- Pantothenic acid: 35% of the total
- Vitamin B6: 34% of total weight
- Potassium: 20% of the total
- Niacin: 19% of total weight
In addition to all this, sweet potatoes, especially orange and purple ones, are rich in antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can damage DNA and cause inflammation. Free radical damage; It is associated with chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and aging. Therefore, foods rich in antioxidants are very beneficial for health.
2. Supports Gut Health
The fiber and antioxidants in sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial for gut health. These vegetables contain two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. The body cannot digest any type of fiber. This way, the fiber stays in the digestive tract and helps keep the gut healthy. But how?
For example, some fibers absorb water, causing the stool to soften. Some fibers are fermented by bacteria in the colon into short-chain fatty acids that support gut health. Consuming foods containing 20-33 grams of fiber per day can significantly reduce the risk of colon cancer.
3. May Fight Cancer Cells
In sweet potatoes, she finds several antioxidants that protect against certain types of cancer. For example, in one study, anthocyanins were found in purple sweet potatoes; It has been found to slow the growth of bladder, colon, stomach, and breast cancer cells. In test tubes of various studies, the shells of this food have been found to have anti-cancer properties.
4. Supports eye health
Sweet potatoes are very rich in beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant. One cup (200 grams) of boiled sweet potatoes contains twice the amount of beta-carotene an adult needs per day. Beta-carotenes are converted in the body to vitamin A, which is used to build receptors. To sum up, sweet potatoes can help prevent vision loss and improve eye health.
5. Improves brain function
Study; Research shows that the anthocyanins found in purple sweet potatoes improve brain function by reducing inflammation and preventing free radical damage. However, these effects have not been tested in humans. However, it has been scientifically proven that foods rich in antioxidants reduce the risk of dementia by 13%.
6. Strengthens the immune system
We mentioned above that sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene. These compounds, which are converted into vitamin A, are critical for a healthy immune system. These components are also very important for maintaining the health of the mucous membranes inside the intestines. The gut is where the body is exposed to many pathogens that can cause disease. Therefore, a healthy gut is an important part of a healthy immune system. Research shows that vitamin A deficiency increases gut inflammation.
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