Potatoes get a bad rep, but if cooked and picked correctly you will enjoy some great healthy benefits.
Sweet potatoes are sweet, starchy root vegetables that are grown worldwide (1Trusted Source).
They come in a variety of sizes and colors — including orange, white, and purple — and are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Not to mention, they provide a number of health benefits and are easy to add to your diet.
Here are 6 surprising health benefits of sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
One cup (200 grams) of baked sweet potato with skin provides (2Trusted Source):
Carbs: 41.4 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Fat: 0.3 grams
Fiber: 6.6 grams
Vitamin A: 769% of the Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin C: 65% of the DV
Manganese: 50% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 29% of the DV
Potassium: 27% of the DV
Pantothenic acid: 18% of the DV
Copper: 16% of the DV
Niacin: 15% of the DV
In addition, sweet potatoes — especially the orange and purple varieties — are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage DNA and trigger inflammation.
Free radical damage has been linked to chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and aging. Therefore, eating antioxidant-rich foods is good for your health.
Promote Gut Health
The fiber and antioxidants in sweet potatoes are advantageous to gut health.
Sweet potatoes contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble (8Trusted Source).
Your body cannot digest either type. Therefore, fiber stays within your digestive tract and provides
a variety of gut-related health benefits.
Certain types of soluble fiber — known as viscous fibers — absorb water and soften your stool. On the other hand, non-viscous, insoluble fibers don’t absorb water and add bulk (9Trusted Source).
Some soluble and insoluble fibers can also be fermented by the bacteria in your colon, creating compounds called short-chain fatty acids that fuel the cells of your intestinal lining and keep them healthy and strong (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
Fiber-rich diets containing 20–33 grams per day have been linked to a lower risk of colon cancer and more regular bowel movements.
The antioxidants in sweet potatoes may provide gut benefits.
Greater amounts of these types of bacteria within the intestines are associated with better gut health and a lower risk of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and infectious diarrhea.
May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties
Sweet potatoes offer various antioxidants, which may help protect against certain types of cancers.
Anthocyanins — a group of antioxidants found in purple sweet potatoes — have been found to slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells in test-tube studies, including those of the bladder, colon, stomach, and breast .
Similarly, mice fed diets rich in purple sweet potatoes showed lower rates of early-stage colon cancer — suggesting that the anthocyanins in the potatoes may have a protective effect.
Extracts of orange sweet potatoes and sweet potato peels have also been found to have anti-cancer properties in test-tube studies.
Sweet Potatoes Also helps with vision, memory and your immune system.
Get you some Sweet Potatoes today!