Benefits of Sweet potato

Ipomea Batata’ is commonly known as –batata, boniato, camote, kumar, kumara, cilera abana, kara-imo, ubhatata, Satsuma-imo in various places around the world.  It is one of the oldest vegetables known to man, consumed even in the prehistoric times. A native to Central America, it has recorded evidence in the Peruvian caves relating to 10,000 years ago.

As is with all that is native to Central America it has been exposed to Europe Christopher Columbus in 1492. The Spanish explorers brought it to the Philippines while the Portuguese are credited to have brought it to Africa, India, Indonesia and southern Asia. Today, the main commercial producers of sweet potatoes include China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, India and Uganda. There are around 400 varieties of sweet potato around the world.

Nutritionists have listed the sweet potato as the number one in nutrition for people including children .It contains complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre, fat, proteins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E iron ,calcium ,sodium, potassium, folic acid, pantothenic acid, cholesterol, manganese, carotenoids and magnesium. It is very rich in potassium while low in sodium.

Sweet potatoes have a lot of healing properties and so it’s consumption:

  • builds up immunity
  • enables  body to eliminate free radicals
  • It acts as an antioxidant food.
  • body to eliminate free radicals
  • Alleviates internal and external inflammations and is helpful in cases of arthritis.
  • prevents development of conditions like atherosclerosis,
  • prevents diabetes
  • makes cells more responsive to insulin
  • keeps  heart disease at bay
  • very useful to prevents cancer especially of the colon, intestines, prostrate, kidneys and other internal organs,
  • Being rich in vitamin A can help counter the effects of smoking and passive smoking thus greatly reducing emphysema. It helps in de-addiction from smoking and alcoholism
  • makes cells more responsive to insulin
  • ties up with carrots for beta carotene content
  • Aids in curing bronchial problems as it is anti inflammatory. It is helpful in cases of asthma, bronchitis.
  • assists in ocular and cardiac health
  • maintains water balance in the body

It’s no wonder the eastern Africa call the sweet potato “protector of the children”.

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