Sweet Potatoes (شکرقندی): Health Benefit and Nutritional Values

Sweet potatoes are also referred as Yam occasionally. It is excellent source vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C Vitamin B Complex such as B6, B1 and B2. It also contains mineral such as potassium, manganese, copper and phosphorous. It is rich source of dietary fiber and niacin.

Sweet potatoes are full of nutritional pack. If we take or eat one medium size of sweet potatoes it gives approximately 400% of daily nutritional need of Vitamin A. Beside it is rich in dietary fiber and potassium.  It contains more gram of natural sugars as compare to potatoes which is good for health.

Sweet potatoes or Yam are names commonly used and refer same thing. If we look at both Scientifically they are not related to each other. Whereas Yam is mostly grown in Africa more and it is much dryer and more-starchy than sweet potatoes

Regular usage of all kind of vegetables and fruits is associated with many health related benefits and avert many adverse health condition.

In various research and published studies, it is recommended to increase the consumption of plant food such as sweet potatoes this will decrease the risk of:

  • Obesity or overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease

With the regular use of sweet potatoes, it will increase life span, it also provides energy and lower the body weight. This means Quality of Life, which is dream of all of us and strive by most of the worldwide population now and in coming years.

Sweet Potatoes are effective in managing and controlling metabolic disorder such as Blood Pressure, Diabetes either it is Type 1 or Type2. We discuss below both of them:

Blood Pressure

We know very well consuming low sodium (normally known as Table salt) is good for lowering blood pressure, side by side increasing the potassium intake is highly effective. Sweet potatoes are also source of potassium. Daily recommended potassium intake is 4,700mg where as one medium size of sweet potato provides approximately 550milligram. With regular and high consumption of potassium it is associated with 20% decrease in mortality rate,

Good for Diabetic patient: Sweet potatoes are rated as low on glycemic index (GI). The number is associated with type of food, that tells the food’s effect on a person’s blood glucose level.100 represents the value of standard, an equivalent amount of pure glucose.

Sweet potato consumption in routine use may reduce episode of low blood sugar and insulin resistance in diabetic patient. Second benefit in type 1 diabetes patient are the content of fiber in the diet will makes the significant difference. In studies, it is proofed the food containing high fiber will lower the blood sugar levels.  In case of the patient with type 2 diabetes this improve blood sugar, lipid and insulin level.

As per research and evaluation one medium size of sweet contains with skin have 6 grams of fiber. The daily need of fiber as per American dietary guide lines is 21-25gram for women and in male it is 30 -38 grams. We need balance diet to attain this level where as sweet potato is useful source of dietary fiber.

Regulate gastric motility and improve digestion. Sweet potato has high fiber content which may help in preventing constipation and manage gastric motility which lead to healthy digestive system.

Fertility: The more consumption of iron from plant source is good for women of child bearing age and it also promote fertility. As per Harvard Medical School publication which states Vitamin A present in sweet potatoes is highly essential needed during pregnancy and lactation. It promotes the syntheses of hormone which is essential.

Natural resistance or Immunity in body: Vitamin C and beta-carotene is precursor and source of Vitamin A, both of them help in developing natural immunity, Plant food such as sweet potato is rich source for above mentioned two ingredients.

Eye Sight or Vision improvement: As per research by Duke University on vision which states deficiency of Vitamin A causes to deteriorate outer segment of eye photoreceptors. This may lead to damaging normal vision. To correct vitamin A deficiency can be achieved by consuming foods which are high in beta carotene.

Presence of antioxidant such as vitamin C and E in sweet potatoes which help in improving eye health and prevent degenerative disorders.

List goes on listing the benefits of sweet potatoes, it is excellent gift and abundance source of nature for mankind. As listed in several studies higher intake of all available fruits which means 3 or more serving per day will reduce the risk of progression of age related macular degeneration (is a medical condition which may result in blurred or no vision).

 

Article written by Mahmood Hussain for Baby First Pakistan website, facebook, twitter, linkedin and other popular social media

About Mahmood Hussain

Professional Experience More than 36 years work experience in Healthcare & Pharmaceutical sectorDirector & General Manager Baby First (Pvt.) Ltd Pakistan March 2011 – till to date I have been associated with Baby First (Pvt) Ltd for more than 5 years. It is advisory, community and social interaction medium for parents 16-38 years and babies 0-6 years.General Manager Aga Khan Health Service Pakistasn December 2005 – December 2007 (2 years 1 month)Based at Karachi Pakistan Worked as General Manager managing Karachi & Baluchistan Health care services of AKHSP which includes primary and secondary health care centers and diagnostic centers on all areas nearly 102 centers which include three leading hospitals in Karachi.General Manager Janssen Cilag (Johnson & Johnson) February 1998 – January 2005 (7 years)Education MBA, Marketing 1995 – 1996, Preston University MSc, Biochemistry 1970 – 1974, Karachi University

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