Five benefits of sweet potato

Sweet potato is high in antioxidants, fibre, potassium, manganese, pantothenic acid and vitamins A, C and B6. This humble root vegetable has health benefits for the whole body.

A cancer-fighting feed
Sweet potato contains 6.6g of fibre per cup. A study published by the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology found that people who consume between 20–33g of fibre daily have a lower risk of developing colon cancer.

Anthocyanins are a group of antioxidants found in purple sweet potatoes. A number of studies have shown that they may lower your risk of colorectal, bladder, gastric and breast cancers. Another study suggests that orange sweet potato peel may have cancer-fighting properties.

Improve memory
In studies performed on mice, sweet potato was shown to improve memory and learning. Purple sweet potato has also been found to help alleviate D-galactose-induced brain ageing in mice and may enhance brain function.

Sweet, sweet sight
Just 200g of baked orange sweet potato with skin provides you with the healthy daily dose of beta-carotene. Your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is essential in building the light receptors in your eyes.

Immune booster
Beta-carotene is also essential for a healthy immune system. It also helps to maintain a healthy lining in your gut, where your body is exposed to many potentially dangerous pathogens.

Good for the gut
There are two types of fibre in sweet potato, soluble and insoluble. Your body isn’t able to break down these types of fibres, meaning that they stay in your digestive tract. These fibres can help to add bulk and soften your stool.

A study has also found that antioxidants found in sweet potato can help the growth of healthy gut bacteria, lowering your risk of infectious diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome.

Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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