Ipomoea batatas or sweet potato is characterized as an underground tuber. Sweet potatoes are nutritious, high in fiber, very fulfilling, and tasty. They can be easily boiled, baked, steamed, or fried. Cooked sweet potato nutritional facts are popular as it is a good source of an antioxidant called beta carotene, which effectively boosts blood levels of vitamin A, specifically in children.
These tubers are also known as yams in some parts of the world.
Sweet potatoes are only remotely related to regular potatoes. They come in various sizes and colors, such as orange, white, and sometimes purple. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Moreover, they provide multiple health benefits and can be added to your diet without any modifications.
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The nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces or 100 grams of sweet potatoes are:
- Calories: 86
- Water: 77%
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Carbs: 20.1 grams
- Sugar: 4.2 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
A medium-sized sweet potato comprises 27 grams of carbs. Its main ingredients are starches that make up 53% of the daily carb content. They also have a medium to the high glycemic index (GI) that varies from 44 to 96. It is a measure of how fast your blood sugar level increases after eating a meal.
Sweet potatoes have a high GI index, and eating them in large portions may not be suitable for people with type 2 diabetes. Such individuals can take it after boiling because boiled sweet potatoes have a lower GI value than baked, fried, and frosted ones.
When it comes to starches, they are often split into three categories according to how they are digested after being consumed. These three categories are:
Rapidly Digested Starch (80%). This type is quickly broken down and absorbed, resulting in the GI value.
Slowly Digested Starch (9%). This type breaks down slowly and causes only a slight rise in blood sugar levels.
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Resistant Starch (11%). This type avoids digestion and acts like fiber, feeding beneficial gut bacteria. This resistant starch can rise slightly by cooling the sweet potatoes after cooking.
According to the cooked sweet potato nutrition facts, they are relatively high in fiber, with a medium-sized sweet potato carrying 3.8 grams. This fiber is both soluble and insoluble in the form of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Moreover, soluble fibers can increase fullness, lessen food intake, and reduce blood sugar by reducing the digestion rate of starches and sugars.
However, sweet potatoes are not a good source of protein and contain only 2 grams. Although sweet potatoes contain unique sporamins protein that can equal about 80% of their total protein content. Recent research also suggests that these proteins may have antioxidant properties. Despite being comparatively low in protein, sweet potatoes are essential for this macronutrient in numerous developing countries.
Following are the health benefits of sweet potatoes:
1-Promotes Gut Health
The antioxidants and fiber in sweet potatoes can regulate gut health. You can get two types of fibers by consuming them: soluble and insoluble. The viscous fibers absorb water and soften your stool, while the non-viscous fiber does not absorb water and add volume. Your body can not digest either kind of fibers, but they stay in the digestive tracts, providing various gut-related health benefits.
Likewise, the bacteria in your colon can also dissolve these fibers, making composites called short-chain fatty acids. These components fuel the cells of your intestinal lining, keeping them healthy and strong.
Moreover, consuming a diet that contains 20 grams to 33 grams of fiber daily can lower the risk of colon cancer and regulate bowel movements. The antioxidants in sweet potatoes have the same role and provide gut benefits.
2-Improves Brain Function
Eating purple sweet potatoes can enhance your brain function. The anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes can shield the brain by decreasing inflammation and preventing free radical damage.
Moreover, supplementing with anthocyanin-rich sweet potato extract can improve learning and memory in animals, likely due to its antioxidant properties.
3-Supports Immune System
It is known that orange sweet potatoes are one of the excellent natural sources of beta-carotene. This plant-based compound converts to vitamin A in your body after consumption. Vitamin A is significant to a healthy immune system, and low blood levels signify reduced immunity. It is a critical element that aids in maintaining healthy mucous membranes.
Diets have the most impact on your health, and you should not add or take anything out of your regular diet without consulting professionals. If you already do not have a doctor, you can book an appointment with the best nutritionist in Karachi through Marham.