When you think of sweet potatoes, you might imagine one of many types of sweet potatoes. This tuber includes hundreds of varieties that differ in color and flavor. Don’t confuse them with yams, which have fuzzy brown skin, pale flesh, and a less sweet flavor.
With a long history, more than 5,000 years, sweet potatoes have made a culinary impression all over the world. It is a staple of African, Caribbean, and Pacific Island cuisine. You can find sweet potatoes at the center of all sorts of delicious dishes today, including curries, salads, and fries.
However you prepare them, you will get a tasty and colorful result and a good dose of nutrition. Beneath its earthy shell lurks many nutrients, including high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. Not surprisingly, this translates to many potential health benefits. Here are seven to consider.
1. Sweet Potatoes Help Stabilize Blood Sugar
Sweet potatoes tend to get good press compared to their white counterparts, and for some health concerns, that hype may be justified. An example: its effects on blood sugar.
Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber than white potatoes, which may provide better blood sugar stability. For reference, a one-cup serving contains 6.6 grams of fiber, compared to 2 grams per cup for red potatoes. Although sweet potatoes are a starchy food, the fiber they contain can help slow the digestion of the sugars in the potato, causing blood sugar levels to rise and fall more evenly.
2. Sweet potatoes promote eye health
You’ve probably heard that carrots can promote healthy vision, but they’re not the only orange vegetable with this potential power. Sweet potatoes also have a link to eye health, and it’s all down to their abundance of vitamin A. Vitamin A may be good for overall eye health, while also possibly helping macular degeneration. According to a 2019 study published in Antioxidants, beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A) is one of many nutrients that help reduce the risk of macular degeneration. In addition to potentially helping prevent macular degeneration, vitamin A has been linked in some studies to a lower risk of age-related cataracts. Vitamin A is so important for the eyes because of the role it plays in epithelial cells.
These are the types of cells that line all surfaces of the body. This includes the surface of the eyes. Another reason these potatoes are easy on the eyes is their high beta-carotene content, as confirmed by research. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, that is, a phytochemical that can be converted into vitamin A. Along with other carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, it contributes to macular health, which is the central part of the eye that provides the clearest vision.
3. Sweet Potatoes May Reduce Systemic Inflammation
Beta-carotene, which can improve vision, has other tricks up its sleeve, including reducing inflammation. In fact, beta-carotene is an antioxidant, a dietary compound that “cleanses” the body’s cells of pro-inflammatory free radicals. Consuming a lot of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes could have a ripple effect on your overall health.
In addition, other anti-inflammatory agents are added to the beta-carotene contained in sweet potatoes, in particular vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties. A cup of sweet potatoes is an excellent source of vitamin C. And a 2019 study published in Molecules found that the antioxidant anthocyanins responsible for the purple color of sweet potatoes may protect against cancer, liver disease, hypoglycemia, and other health problems.
4. Sweet potatoes can improve digestion
If you suffer from digestive problems such as constipation or diarrhea, you may want to eat sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain soluble fiber, which makes it easier to pass stool effortlessly. This form of soluble fiber absorbs water in the colon, which creates bulk and provides fodder for good gut bacteria, research suggests. Purple sweet potatoes can be especially helpful in controlling diarrhea. A 2021 animal study published in Food and Function found that when mice with antibiotic-resistant diarrhea were fed purple sweet potatoes, it changed the diversity of their gut flora, alleviating their symptoms.
5. Sweet potatoes help protect cardiovascular health
Sweet potatoes’ unique combination of nutrients (and their culinary flexibility) make them a delicious option in a heart-healthy diet. A medium-sized sweet potato contains 4 grams of fiber, including soluble fiber, which can help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. You’ll also get 9% of your daily value for potassium from a serving of sweet potatoes. Eating foods rich in potassium helps lower blood pressure by helping your body get rid of excess sodium and dilate the walls of your blood vessels, which reduces the pressure inside them.
6. Sweet potatoes can extend longevity
The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes could be the key to packing more candles on your birthday cake. A 2016 meta-analysis published in Scientific Reports found that higher beta-carotene intake was significantly correlated with a lower risk of death from any health cause. It has to do (again!) with the antioxidant effects of beta-carotene. Beta carotene can prevent damage caused by free radicals. This damage can potentially lead to other processes that could lead to the development of chronic diseases. Want to keep even more beta carotene in your potatoes? Try boiling them.
7. Sweet potatoes can help maintain a healthy weight
Because of their high carb content, you may not associate potatoes of any kind with weight loss, but don’t overlook sweet potatoes to lower the number on the scale. In addition to filling you up between meals, its high fiber content allows you to reach your daily goal (38 grams for men and 25 grams for women). According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, eating more dietary fiber promotes weight loss and may even help people stick to their diet.
If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, be careful how you prepare your vegetables. Instead of combining them with heavy or sugary ingredients like cream, butter, and sugar, try them in lighter recipes like salads, cereal bowls, or simply roasted with olive oil. Sweet potatoes are such a versatile vegetable that it’s easy to include them in any meal of the day.
Are potatoes good for health?
The potato is a staple in Western cuisine, often used as a side dish for protein and vegetables. This vegetable is inexpensive, available worldwide, and relatively easy to grow. So are potatoes good for your health, and if so, how much should you eat?
These are underground tubers that grow on the roots of potato plants and are one of the most popular tubers. Today, many types of potatoes can be found at any local grocery store, but the humble white potato remains a favorite and classic fall vegetable. It is typically baked, mashed, and fried, and added to countless recipes, from casseroles to savory pies.
Potatoes alone offer a host of health benefits thanks to their impressive nutritional content. Remember, though, that if you start adding toppings, such as cheese, sour cream, bacon, or excess salt, or snacking on things like French fries, you’ll negate some of these potential benefits. . If you pay attention to your portions and toppings, potatoes have the following health benefits:
1. High in fiber
Potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber, which is essential for digestive health. Eating high-fiber foods promotes regularity, aids in weight loss, and improves cardiovascular health. Fiber also promotes healthy cholesterol levels.
2. High in vitamin C
Potatoes are considered an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin C, a micronutrient that plays a role in maintaining the body’s connective tissue, protecting the heart, enhancing immunity, and stimulating the absorption of other nutrients consumed. Research shows that vitamin C also promotes healthy skin and the formation of collagen, an important protein that aids in wound healing and is used to form blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons. As adults age, their collagen production declines, so it is beneficial to consume foods that contain vitamin C.
3. Helps digestion with prebiotics
The resistant starch found in potatoes serves as a prebiotic, an indigestible fiber compound that helps feed probiotics in the gut. Research suggests that increasing your intake of prebiotics may improve gut health and the body’s response to stress, reduce inflammation, promote weight loss, and improve digestion.
4. A good source of potassium
Potatoes are a good source of potassium, an essential nutrient needed to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium is also necessary for various bodily functions, such as maintaining hydration and allowing organs like the heart, kidneys, and brain to function properly. Studies show that eating potassium-rich foods promotes heart health, helps lower blood pressure, lowers the risk of stroke, and may even prevent PMS cramps and muscle weakness.
5. Contains vitamin B6
Although not as rich in vitamin B6 as animal meat, beans, and seeds, potatoes are a good source of this micronutrient and therefore help support a healthy metabolism and other important bodily functions. Thanks to their vitamin B6 content, potatoes help maintain brain function, improve mood, protect eye health, and reduce inflammation.
Potato Nutrition Facts (and Types)
Potatoes contain bioactive plant compounds that have health-promoting properties, such as lutein, chlorogenic acid, and glycoalkaloids. They are also rich in fiber and micronutrients.
A medium-sized (about 173 grams) baked potato with skin contains approximately the following:
36.6 grams of carbohydrates
4.3 grams of protein
0.2 grams of fat
3.8 grams of fiber
16.6 milligrams of vitamin C (28% of the daily value)
0.5 milligrams of vitamin B6 (27% of daily intake)
926 milligrams of potassium (26% of daily intake)
0.4 milligrams of manganese (19% of the daily intake)
2.4 milligrams of niacin (12% of the daily value)
48.4 micrograms of folic acid (12% of the daily value)
48.4 milligrams of magnesium (12% DV)
121 milligrams of phosphorus (12% DV)
1.9 milligrams of iron (10% DV)
0.2 milligrams of copper (10% DV)
0.1 milligrams of thiamine (7% DV)
0.7 milligrams pantothenic acid (7% DV)
0.1 milligrams of riboflavin (5% DV)
3.5 micrograms of vitamin K (4% of the daily value)
0.6 milligrams of zinc (4% of the daily value).
Potatoes come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. The most common types of potatoes are:
White and Red Potatoes: White, red, and yellow potatoes are among the most common. They are cheap and easy to incorporate into meals. While other types of potatoes have higher nutritional value, these are good sources of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes have an impressive nutritional profile, containing more fiber than white sweet potatoes, as well as more than 400% of the recommended daily value for vitamin A. They are also rich in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, and potassium.
Purple Potatoes: Purple potatoes have an earthy, nutty flavor and offer similar micronutrient levels to white potatoes. They are good sources of vitamin C and potassium and contain a decent amount of protein per serving.
How to choose, cook and use
Potatoes are available year-round in grocery stores. A raw potato has a shelf life of about a week and can be stored at room temperature. Look for a firm potato with smooth skin and no cracks, bruises, or cuts. Before cooking, clean the skin of any residual dirt, but keep the skin on if possible.
There are many ways to prepare potatoes and add them to meals. They can be:
in the microwave
If you eat potatoes for their nutritional value, your best options are to bake, roast, or microwave them. These methods reduce nutrient loss and do not require cooking oils.
11 incredible virtues of cauliflower to discover!
Looking for a nutrient-dense, low-carb vegetable? Look no further than cauliflower! This versatile vegetable is packed with health benefits, from promoting heart health to reducing inflammation. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of cauliflower.
The nutritional value of cauliflower:
One cup (128 grams) of raw cauliflower contains:
- Cauliflower Calories: 25
- Fiber: 3 grams
Cauliflower vitamins are:
- Vitamin C: 77% of the RDA
- Vitamin K: 20% of the RDA
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDA
- Folate: 14% of the RDA
- Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDA
The minerals that cauliflower contains are:
- Potassium: 9% of the RDA
- Manganese: 8% RDA
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDA
An ideal source of antioxidants:
Cauliflower contains antioxidants (glucosinolates and isothiocyanates) and protects your body against damaging free radicals and inflammation. The antioxidants in cauliflower have the ability to control the growth of cancer cells.
Promotes Weight Loss:
Cauliflower is an excellent substitute for high-calorie foods like rice and flour. Thanks to its high fiber content, cauliflower facilitates digestion and provides a feeling of satiety. By eating cauliflower, you can control your daily calorie intake, which is beneficial for your weight loss process.
Contains a higher rate of sulfate:
Cauliflower is a food rich in sulforaphane (an antioxidant) that overcomes the problems of cancer development by blocking enzymes related to cancer and tumor proliferation. Some medical studies have claimed that sulforaphane is beneficial in preventing cancer growth by killing cells that are already damaged.
Prevents stomach problems:
Cauliflower is richer in fiber, so it improves digestion. Cauliflower is also effective in eliminating toxins from the body thanks to its content of glucosinolates, glucoraphanin and sulforaphane. Also, cauliflower minimizes stomach problems like stomach ulcers and other gastric diseases.
Strengthens bone health:
The vitamin C present in cauliflower promotes the secretion of collagen. Cauliflower also has benefits for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Since it has a high amount of vitamin K that protects men and women against bone loss.
Detoxify your body:
Cauliflower has indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane. These two components control the function of detoxifying enzymes that remove harmful elements from the body.
Beneficial for your skin:
Sulforaphane found in cauliflower is beneficial in protecting the skin from UV damage. Sulforaphane helps protect your body from UV-induced inflammation, skin cancer, UV-induced erythema, and cell damage.
Improve your hair growth:
Due to the presence of sulfur-containing amino acids (precursor in the production of hair keratin proteins) and silicon, cauliflower improves hair growth.
Reduces high blood pressure:
Thanks to its glucoraphanin and sulforaphane content, cauliflower minimizes oxidative stress and also reduces LDL levels. It can also improve HDL levels and lower blood pressure. Additionally, the fiber and omega-3 fatty acids in cauliflower are also beneficial in preventing hardening of the arteries.
Helps in fetal growth:
Due to the presence of folic acid, cauliflower is effective in pregnancy. Folate is beneficial for fetal neuronal development and thus prevents neural tube defects.
Promotion of heart health.
Thanks to its high fiber content, consuming cauliflower helps reduce cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Since its antioxidant properties help protect the heart. Just as magnesium helps relax blood vessels and reduces the risk of hypertension. While all of these factors contribute to heart health, they are especially important for people at high risk for heart disease. Therefore, adding cauliflower to your diet is a simple yet effective way to promote heart health.
All You Need To Know About Amla Or Ceylon Gooseberries
Have you ever heard of Indian gooseberry or amla? This sour and spicy fruit is a common ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine and has only recently become popular in the Western world. But what exactly is amla, where does it come from and what are its characteristics? Let’s explore this unique fruit and find out!
Amla or Indian Gooseberry:
Amla (or Phyllanthus emblica) is a tree native to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and other Southeast Asian countries. The fruit itself is a small, round berry that varies in color from green to yellow. It has a sour taste with some sweet undertones.
Her CARACTERISTICS :
Amla contains 37% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) in vitamin C, 8% of the RDA in vitamin E and 19% of the RDA in B vitamins. Regarding minerals, amla contains 8% ( RDA) manganese, 9% (AJR) potassium, 6% (AJR) copper, 4% (AJR) phosphorus, 3% (AJR) calcium, 2% (AJR) magnesium and iron, and 1% (AJR) zinc.
How to consume Amla?
Amla can be eaten fresh or dried, but most people prefer to eat it dry due to its intense acidity. To prepare amla for consumption, you need to rinse off any dirt or debris, then cut off the top of the berry before cutting it into thin pieces so that it can be easily chewed. You can then sprinkle honey or sugar on top for more sweetness if you like. Since you can make amla juice, mix several pieces of the berry with water to form a paste, then strain the pulp for a refreshing drink.
The health benefits of amla juice.
Amla juice is a popular home remedy for indigestion in India. The sour and slightly astringent taste of amla is believed to stimulate the production of digestive juices, which help break down food and make it easier for it to pass through the digestive system. Amla is also a good source of fiber, which can help bulk up your stool and prevent constipation. Additionally, amla juice is rich in vitamin C, which is said to protect the stomach lining from damage caused by acid reflux. Therefore, regular consumption of amla juice can help improve digestion and prevent some of the discomfort associated with indigestion.
An increase in energy levels:
Amla juice is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which are important for maintaining energy levels. Antioxidants help fight free radicals, which can contribute to fatigue. Vitamin C is also essential for the production of energy-containing molecules such as ATP. Additionally, amla juice contains a variety of other nutrients important for health and energy levels, including iron, calcium, and magnesium. Research suggests that amla juice may also help improve blood sugar control, which can greatly contribute to fatigue.
Improved cardiovascular health:
Some research suggests that amla juice may help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It can also help prevent blood clots from forming. Additionally, the antioxidants in amla juice might help protect cells from damage and inflammation.
An increase in skin elasticity:
Of course, amla juice is packed with antioxidants, which help protect skin from environmental factors and keep it looking young and healthy. One of the main benefits of amla juice is that it can help increase skin elasticity. This means that it can help prevent wrinkles and sagging skin. Furthermore, amla juice also helps to even out skin tone and reduces the appearance of blemishes. To reap these benefits, simply apply amla juice to your face and neck using a cotton ball. Leave on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. For best results, use this treatment 2-3 times a week.
Hair Growth Enhancement:
Since amla is rich in vitamin C, this nutrient is essential for collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps keep skin and hair strong and healthy. Also, amla juice contains other nutrients like iron, calcium, and phosphorous that are necessary for hair growth. Amla juice can be applied directly to the scalp or taken orally. For best results, it should be used in combination with other natural hair growth remedies, such as fenugreek seeds and olive oil.
Strengthening of the bones:
Due to its richness in vitamin C, amla juice is capable of increasing collagen production, which is essential for better bone health. Combined with other nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, this trio helps protect bones from damage and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
A reduction in inflammation:
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, amla juice works by helping to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Some studies have shown that amla juice can help reduce markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). It can also help improve blood sugar control and lipid levels.
Does amla juice promote weight loss?
Drinking amla juice regularly can help promote weight loss by boosting metabolism, which helps burn fat faster while reducing cravings by providing the essential nutrients your body needs without overloading it with calories or unhealthy fats/sugars, etc. Plus, the high fiber content helps your digestive system work efficiently while promoting satiety, so you stay full longer, cutting down on snacking that often leads to weight gain.
Where is amala located?
One option is to order online from an Indian grocery store. Another option is to go to a specialty market that caters to the South Asian community. Finally, you can find amla powder or capsules at your health food store. While amla can be hard to find, its many health benefits are worth it.
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