Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are nutritious, fibrous tubers that not only taste delicious, but also have numerous health benefits.
Studies show that sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, thus helping decrease the risk for cancer. They can decrease fasting blood glucose and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and also increase insulin sensitivity. The ones that are purple in color have the highest antioxidant activity, which is three times higher than certain types of blueberries.[1,2,3,4,5]
Sweet Potatoes For Vitamin A Deficiency
Vitamin A plays a vital role in our body and a deficiency can lead to temporary or permanent damage of the eyes and even blindness, in severe cases. A prolonged deficiency of vitamin A can suppress immunity and increase mortality, especially among children and pregnant and lactating women.[4,6]
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene that is transformed into vitamin A in our bodies. The intensity of the orange or yellow color of the sweet potato is directly linked to the beta-carotene content.
In comparison to other beta-carotene sources, orange sweet potatoes have a better ability to raise the blood levels of vitamin A as they contain the ‘trans’ variety of beta-carotene that is easily utilized in the body.
How To Take It
Include a generous helping of sweet potatoes in your diet to get your daily fix of vitamin A.
Here are some simple and delectable sweet potato recipes that you can try.
- 5 Tastier Ways To Eat Sweet Potatoes
- Healthy Meals: Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Spaghetti With Salmon
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4. Adelia C. Bovell‐Benjamin. Sweet Potato: A Review of its Past, Present, and Future Role in Human Nutrition. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. Volume 52, 2007, Pages 1–59
5. Cevallos-Casals, B.A. and Cisneros-Zevallos, L.A. (2002). BIOACTIVE AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF PURPLE SWEETPOTATO (IPOMOEA BATATAS (L.) LAM). Acta Hortic. 583, 195-203 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2002.583.22 http://dx.doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2002.583.22
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7. Michael A Ameny1, and Paul W Wilson. Relationship between Hunter Color Values and β-Carotene Contents in White-Fleshed African Sweetpotatoes (Ipomoea batatas Lam). Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Volume 73, Issue 3, pages 301–306, March 1997.
8. Jalal F, Nesheim MC, Agus Z, Sanjur D, Habicht JP. Serum retinol concentrations in children are affected by food sources of beta-carotene, fat intake, and anthelmintic drug treatment. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Sep;68(3):623-9. PubMed PMID: 9734739.