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The surprising health benefits of sweet potatoes

This is a food with low glycemic index. It prevents insulin resistance and regulates your blood sugar levels. @Shutterstock

The humble sweet potatoes come packed with a variety of nutrients that offer an instant health boost. Read on to know why you must add this to your regular diet.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Published : February 14, 2020 6:00 PM IST

Rich in carbohydrates and vitamin A, sweet potatoes are the superstars of nutrition. However, it has mostly been ignored by nutritionists and dieticians till recently. Now, with studies being conducted on its many benefits, the world is sitting up to notice this humble and sweet root vegetable. A study at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center sought to determine the ascorbic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 content in foliar tissues of sweet potato. Researchers from this institute confirmed that mature and young sweet potato leaves can be a good source of multiple water-soluble vitamins in human diet. Young leaves contained the highest ascorbic acid content, followed by mature leaves and buds. The HortScience published this study. Another study at the journal Heliyon says that the starchy water left over from cooking the sweet potato could have slimming effects.

Let us take a look at a few of the health benefits of including this food in our diet.

Sweet potatoes can regulate your blood sugar levels

This is a food with low glycemic index. It prevents insulin resistance and regulates your blood sugar levels. Sweet potato is a rich source of soluble fibers like pectin, which can increase satiety and prevent spikes in blood sugar. It also contains magnesium which is beneficial for diabetics. People with diabetes must make this fibre-rich root a part of their regular diet. Despite being sweet, it is good for them as it is loaded with many beneficial nutrients. It also keeps your bad cholesterol levels in check and thereby prevents heart diseases.

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It can reduce your stress levels

Sweet potatoes contain magnesium, which reduces stress and anxiety. Magnesium deficiency is a main cause of depression. This mineral protects the brain from anxiety, and It is also known to induce sleep in older adults.

It is an anti-inflammatory food

Sweet potatoes contain vitamins that have potent anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a good source of choline, which reduces inflammatory responses in the body. The purple sweet potato contains anthocyanins, which reduces and prevents inflammation in colon cancer cells. It is also known to reduce cell proliferation in specific cancer cells.

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