Sweet potatoes (sweet potato) stand out for having important properties and benefits, thanks to their content of vitamin C and complex carbohydrates. We discover all its most remarkable qualities of the sweet potato.
- The sweet potato is a tuber full of nutritional qualities, being very rich in carbohydrates.
- For this reason it is a very energetic food, but easily digested.
As with celery, sweet potato is another of the most consumed foods in a balanced diet, along with sweet potatoes or potatoes. This is mainly due to the fact that today, and since ancient times, we can find an interesting and good variety of completely nutritious and healthy recipes that have this food as one of the main or outstanding ingredients.
Being a food that contains complex carbohydrates, sweet potatoes become an excellent option to take care of our liver, while helping to maintain blood sugar level. And this is just a good example of many of the properties of sweet potatoes, which we particularly find with this healthy food.
What is sweet potato?
The sweet potato is a tuber, in the same way that other foods are, for example, it could be the case of potatoes, yams or cassava. It is also known by the names of sweet potato, sweet potato or sweet potato. It belongs to the Convolvulaceae family, and is cultivated in a vast part of the world precisely because it is an edible tuberous root.
It is a food native to South America and Central America. For example, in a country like Peru, it has been cultivated for more than 8000 years, even finding representations of sweet potato in a wide variety of pre-Columbian ceramic remains. However, it was not until the end of the 15th century when it officially arrived in Europe at the hands of Christopher Columbus.
As for the sweet potato itself, it is a tuberous root with a characteristic shape and appearance, with the meat that depending on the variety can be white or yellow-orange, and whose flavor makes it a highly acclaimed food, being sweet. For this reason, its use in different desserts is common, as for example it could be the case of traditional sweet potato fritters.
Sweet potato varieties
Did you know that there are different varieties of sweet potatoes, which differ not only in their taste but also in their external appearance)? In fact, as we briefly indicated at the beginning of this note, there are white and yellow varieties.
In Spain, for example, some specific varieties stand out, such as the Yellow from Malaga, the Violet with pink flesh, the Californian with red flesh, the Jasper with reddish flesh, the Blanca from Paris, the Rosa from Malaga or the red variety. .
In addition, we can also mention other varieties such as the Lisa de Tucumán, the Waal (of Guatemalan origin), and the Centennial with reddish meat or the Bagatelles de Nerja.
Nutritional qualities of sweet potatoes
The sweet potato is rich in beta carotene (provitamin A) and in a wide variety of vitamins, among which mainly vitamin C. But it is not the only one that brings because it also has interesting amounts of vitamin E and especially folic acid (vitamin B9).
In addition, it is especially rich in minerals, among which the presence of potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium and iron stands out above all.
Its high content of complex carbohydrates, especially starch, and its fiber content are surprising. On the other hand, it is low in fat and also in protein.
Nutritional information of sweet potato per 100 grams:
|Nutrient||Content / Contribution|
|Vitamin A||14.18 IU|
|Vitamin C||2.4 mg|
|Vitamin B9||80 mg|
Sweet potato properties
High antioxidant content
Due to its richness in antioxidants (especially beta-carotene and vitamins C and E), it is an ideal food when it comes to increasing defenses, helping to enhance the natural immunity of our body. In addition, it helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, thanks to its content of nutrients that are useful in turn to prevent the risk of cancer.
It also provides glutathione, which is naturally involved in eliminating free radicals and heavy metals (such as cadmium), as well as toxins that damage our body. Thanks precisely to its beta-carotene content, it is an ideal food for the eyes, as it helps prevent cataracts.
Benefits for the cardiovascular system
As we indicated previously, due to its high antioxidant content it is an ideal food to prevent cardiovascular diseases, being especially useful in case of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart problems.
Among other important functions, beta-carotenes are suitable for keeping the walls of blood vessels in good condition. While potassium becomes a fundamental mineral for the health of our heart. In fact, its fat content is very low.
Ideal against digestive discomfort
The sweet potato provides beneficial substances for the digestive and intestinal mucosa. Therefore, it becomes a suitable food for all those who suffer from a digestive problem. Of course, the most advisable in these cases is to consume it roasted or boiled, and never fried.
Among the different digestive conditions in which roasted sweet potato is suitable, we can mention the following: gastritis, gastroenteritis, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers.
On the other hand, it provides fiber, thus becoming a very good option when it comes to improving intestinal transit, being suitable in case of constipation.
Suitable for pregnancy
Due to its high content of folic acid, it becomes an ideal food during pregnancy, since 100 grams of sweet potato provide around 80 mg. of this very important vitamin.
As you surely know, folic acid or vitamin B9 is essential when it comes to preventing neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida (spinal cord defects) or anencephaly (brain defects).
In addition, it is known that folic acid could also help reduce the risk of cleft palate, cleft lip, certain types of heart defects, and the development of pre – eclampsia in pregnant women.
On the other hand, due to its complex carbohydrate content, it is a recommended food to maintain blood sugar level, providing energy.
Sweet potato benefits
In summary, below we indicate which the main benefits that sweet potatoes provide us are:
- Helps maintain blood sugar levels.
- Prevents cardiovascular diseases in the blood.
- Rich in antioxidants.
- It stands out for its beta-carotene and vitamin C content.
- Useful to enhance the immunity of our body and increase defenses.
- Beneficial for before and during pregnancy.
- Very good for the heart.
- Suitable in case of digestive disorders.
- Helps improve intestinal transit.