Goa’s Bounty: Sweet Potatoes (Ipomoea batatas)
Sweet potato is a starchy root vegetable that is considered as one of the most nutritious food. It is a rich source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Sweet potato is one of the richest sources of beta carotene and vitamin A amongst the root vegetables. Beta carotene and vitamin A are powerful antioxidants. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision and skin. Both vitamin A and vitamin C, another antioxidant abundant in sweet potatoes help fight free radical damage that causes different types of cancer.
As sweet potatoes are rich in soluble fibre, they aid in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes can be consumed by diabetics as they have a low glycemic index. Consumption of sweet potatoes helps promote a healthy digestive system. The fibre content also helps decrease the risk of developing diverticulitis, colon and rectal cancers. It is a healthy snack for those trying to lose weight as it prevents over eating by contributing towards satiety.
This tuber is also packed with vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, vitamin K and Folate. It also provides a good amount of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. The rich potassium content of sweet potato helps in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body as well as cell integrity. It also helps in lowering blood pressure. Sweet potato is also known to have anti inflammatory properties. It is rich in Beta-cryptoxanthin, which helps prevent rheumatoid arthritis. The anti inflammatory properties of sweet potato are also beneficial to those suffering from stomach ulcers.
So make sure to include sweet potatoes in your diet and reap the health and nutritional benefits they have to offer.