8 Reasons To Include Sweet Potato In Your Diet

If you’re a fan of potato and tend to binge eat potato-based dishes, you might have heard that sweet potato is a healthier alternative. The humble sweet potato is not only as delicious as a potato but also healthier. Commonly mistaken for yam, sweet potato is a nutritional powerhouse with several health benefits. Here are some of them.

1. Boosts Immunity

The vitamin C in sweet potato boosts immunity.

If you frequently suffer from bouts of cold, fever or joint pain, you might want to include sweet potato in your daily diet. Sweet potato is one of the richest sources of vitamin C, which boosts immunity and keeps diseases at bay. By reducing cell damage due to oxidation, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and protects you from falling prey to harmful microbes and toxins. In fact, studies believe that foods rich in vitamin C can lower risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and an increased lifespan.1

2. Reduces Inflammation

Sweet potato has anti-inflammatory properties.

While local inflammation helps in the healing of wounds, it’s chronic inflammation that we’re concerned about. Chronic inflammation can lead to conditions ranging from digestive disorders and rheumatoid arthritis to certain cancers. Sweet potato possesses anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its high levels of vitamin A.2 3

3. Keeps Your Eye Healthy

The carotenoids in sweet potato keeps your eye healthy.

The orange color of sweet potato is due to

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the presence of carotenoids, an organic pigment. Carotenoids have been observed to promote eye health and reduce your risk of eye diseases like cataracts. Since the elderly are more prone to eye disorders, it’s wise to consume sweet potato if you’re over the age of 60. It’s important to note that carotenoids are best absorbed when combined with a high-fat food. So, eat baked sweet potato alongside foods like avocados or nuts (pecans).4

4. Supports Wound-Healing

Sweet potato supports wound healing

Sweet potatoes can aid wound-healing and make the process quicker, thanks to its antioxidant content. Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, the main protein that skin is made of. Without vitamin C, your body might not be able to heal wounds properly.5

5. Assists Weight Loss

The fiber in sweet potato can help you lose weight.

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Twelve percent of sweet potato is made of fiber, which is a nutrient known for its weight loss benefits. Fibrous foods tend to fill you up faster, prevent you from overeating, and thus help you lose weight. Additionally, the fiber in sweet potato is slow digesting, which makes sure you stay full for long periods of time without feeling hungry in between meals.6

6. Treats Diabetes

Sweet potato helps manage diabetes.

Studies have revealed a link between potassium and diabetes. A low level of potassium in the body is believed to increase the risk of type II diabetes. Sweet potato contains a high amount of potassium, which can help manage your blood sugar levels. Fiber is another nutrient present in sweet potato that contributes to its anti-diabetic properties.7 8

7. Reduces Blood Pressure

Sweet potato can prevent hypertension.

If you have high blood pressure or hypertension, you’re at an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. Including high-fiber foods like sweet potato may help in the regulation blood pressure. Sweet potato is rich in magnesium and dietary fiber, both of which might reduce blood pressure levels and prevent hypertension.9 10

8. Promotes Lung Function

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The magnesium in sweet potato plays an important role in promoting lung function. The fiber in the vegetable also helps treat inflammatory lung conditions. If you suffer from bronchitis, asthma, or any other respiratory disorder, sweet potato is one of the foods you need to include in your diet.11

Boil or roast your sweet potato and sprinkle some cumin and pepper on them for added flavor. You could also add them to your salad, along with avocados and lettuce. However, if you suffer from kidney disease or kidney stones, avoid eating sweet potato as it could aggravate the condition.

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