Sweet Potato

Your food your medicine: Case of sweet potato

Introduction

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are herbaceous perennial plants which are grown as an annual crop and belong to the family of convolvulaceae. Sweet potatoes have diverse leaves structure ranging from medium to large in size and cordate, palmate, rounded triangular, spear-shape lobed almost divided. It contains a lot of starch and its root tuber has a sugar taste. Tubers are used as root vegetables which can be fried (chips), boiled, baked and ground into flour. The fresh leaves are consumed as green vegetables. Sweet potatoes are now recommended by many people because of their high beta-carotene and vitamin content.  Interesting benefits of sweet potatoes include;

  • High nutrient content
  • Can improve attention and short-term memory
  • Maintain eye health
  • Improved digestion and regularity

Highly nutritious 

Sweet potatoes are rich with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibre. For instance, 0.2 kg (200 grams) are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, potassium, copper, niacin, among others. Magnesium promotes relaxation and optimal sleep. Vitamin A is also key for maintaining healthy skin, vision, and organ function. In total, the nutrients are fundamental for supporting immune function thus, limiting cold and flu. The above benefits, there is a huge promotion for sweet potato yoghurt in Ghana due to its associated nutrient benefits. 

Enhance brain function

Sweet potatoes are thought to contribute to optimal brain health. In particular, the high content of anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes is though to reduce free radical damage and boost concentration and short-term memory.

Benefit of the eye

Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene. When it is utilised, it produces vitamin A which is useful for eyesight. When one has age related macular degeneration, it causes loss in the centre of the field of vision of which carotene and vitamin A in sweet potatoes defend the eye against age related muscular degeneration. 

Improves digestion and regularity

Sweet potatoes have high fibre content which functions to prevent constipation. Thus, serving as a stimulant for intestines while maintaining regularity. Again, the fibre stays within the digestive tract and provides a variety of gut-related health benefits. To the constipated, it is recommended that one must eat sweet potatoes as it makes stool bulkier and soft.

Enhance fertility

Disorders of the immune system affect pregnant women; sweet potatoes are well known for nutritional benefits; it enhances childbearing in women. This is evident due to high levels of vitamins and iron in the potatoes and these are crucial for enhancing fertility in women. 

Conclusion

Better awareness of the nutritional benefits of different foods can have a major impact on the health and wellbeing of people and help prevent highly prevalent diseases. Sweet potatoes are a perfect example of a nutrient-rich foods with valuable benefits for eye, brain and gut health.

Gladys Nkuah

VIEW ALL POSTS

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *