A Dicotyledonous plant in the Convolvulaceae family, the sweet potato is a starchy vegetable with a sweet flavor. While its sweet starch comes from the tubers, the leaves are also edible, and are often eaten as greens. This article will explore the health benefits of sweet potatoes, as well as the controversy surrounding Genetically Modified (GM) sweet potatoes. So, what are the health benefits of sweet potatoes and why are they considered to be such a healthy food?
Health benefits of sweet potatoes
Among the health benefits of sweet potatoes are its antioxidants and phytonutrients, which help fight off cell damage and scavenge harmful free radicals. Beta-carotene, an antioxidant found in orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, helps protect the eye from damage. It also contributes to the maintenance of healthy mucous membranes in the lining of the gut, which protect the body from disease-causing pathogens. Sweet potatoes also contain fiber, which is important for blood sugar regulation. They can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels.
Vitamin C helps maintain good blood pressure levels, and it boosts collagen and protein production in hair and skin. The potassium present in sweet potatoes is nearly twice as much as that found in bananas. These nutrients help control blood pressure, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. A diet rich in potassium and fibre will help improve gut health. If you’re a vegetarian, sweet potatoes may be a good choice.
Phytochemicals in sweet potatoes
Scientists at N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute recently evaluated the phytochemical content of sweet potatoes during harvest and storage. This research shows that sweet potatoes contain numerous bioactive compounds with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cancer-fighting properties. The plant’s phytochemicals include two different classes of chemical compounds known as phenolic acids and flavonoids. Each of these compounds plays a specific role in the human body.
Carotenoids, which occur naturally in sweet potatoes, are potent antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. Anthocyanins, found in purple sweet potatoes, can help prevent cancer by inhibiting cancer-causing chemicals within the body. Additionally, anthocyanins have been shown to improve antioxidant enzyme levels in the body. These compounds also lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Phytochemicals in sweet potatoes protect against free radicals
According to recent research, eating sweet potatoes can lower your risk of colon cancer. The fruit’s high concentration of antioxidants protects the body from damage caused by ‘free radicals.’ Antioxidants also protect cells from oxidative damage and are a key component of a healthy diet. The peel on a sweet potato may be one of its greatest benefits, as it contains many of the same antioxidants as the fruit itself. However, it’s important to scrub a sweet potato before cooking it.
One type of antioxidant in sweetpotato is known as PFSP. It has anticancer properties and has also been linked to reduced risk of bladder and pancreatic cancer. Other beneficial effects of PFSP are beneficial for the cardiovascular system, bowel health, and immune system. However, more studies are needed to determine if these antioxidants are present in peels or unpeeled sweet potatoes.
Genetically modified sweet potatoes
The development of genetically modified sweet potatoes could help combat the problem of desertification. The new variety could help farmers in countries like China, Kenya, Kazakhstan, the Middle East, and Africa. Most desertification in the world is caused by poverty, and this makes the development of these crops all the more important. The poor are unable to grow crops due to environmental problems, such as overgrazing, and inappropriate soil management. So, the most effective way to prevent desertification is by cultivating crops.
The World Sweet Potato Gene Bank holds more than 6,500 varieties, and many of these are native to a particular country. An anthropologist in Irian Jaya, a small island off the coast of Indonesia, found over forty varieties growing in a community garden. By contrast, Stephen Facciola’s Cornucopia II lists only 25 varieties for the U.S. market. Sweet potatoes are available in many colors. The flesh is white, red, or orange. The color of the skin and flesh varies from pale yellow to red to orange. White flesh has less sweetness and moisture than red flesh.
Storage of sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for several months, but it is best to store them in the basement or in a kitchen cabinet. The ideal place for storage is away from windows and at a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Because sweet potatoes have a high water content, they can deteriorate if stored in the refrigerator. However, if you buy fresh sweet potatoes, they take up less space. Read on for storage tips for sweet potatoes.
For storage of sweet potatoes, they need a dark place with high humidity. They need humidity to keep their moisture and remain fresh. You can purchase potato crates and stack them in the storage room. Just make sure to leave air spaces between every fourth or fifth layer. Make sure to clean the false floor and replace it if necessary. If the storage area is located in an area that is prone to sweet potato weevils, fumigation of the house is required.