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The Unique Type of Starch in White Sweet Potatoes Saves You From Digestive Disorders

The Unique Type of Starch in White Sweet Potatoes Saves You From Digestive Disorders

Sweet potatoes are extremely versatile vegetables that can be incorporated numerous ways to fit your diet.

Classically, you are accustomed to the orange looking varieties, but did you know that White sweet potatoes also exist? These sweet potatoes can offer you a unique spin on a tried classic, bringing new flavours to the table along with nutritional offerings!

Some Brief History about White Sweet Potato

Even though sweet potatoes are available throughout the world today, its origins can be traced back to Central America 5000 years ago, and South America as far back as 8000 years. It was actually first documented during Christopher Columbus’ voyages to the Americas in 1492, following which it was introduced to Europe.

Today, it is effectively grown in Tropical and temperate regions, as long as there is adequate water supply.

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The Nutrients of White Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are best known for their high Vitamin A content, along with slower digesting carbohydrates and starches, which make them favorable for regulating blood sugar [1].

Below is a more detailed nutritional profile of white sweet potatoes (per 100g serving):

  • 3.3 g dietary fiber
  • 2 g protein
  • 25% DV Manganese
  • 384% DV Vitamin A (as the provitamin so toxicity is low)
  • 33% DV Vitamin C

14% DV PotassiumWhite sweet potatoes also contain a battery of accessory nutrients, ranging from B vitamins to rarer trace minerals, such as copper. More interesting, however, is the presence of a unique type of starch, known as resistant starch (more in a bit).

The Remarkable Health Benefits of White Sweet Potato

Not only does the white sweet potato make an awesome tasting meal, but it also offers numerous benefits on health, including:

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  • Blood Glucose Regulation
    Though many people associate starchy foods with increasing blood sugar, the high fiber content of white sweet potatoes slow digestion and the conversion and absorption of carbohydrates in the digestive tract.
  • Heart Health
    The heart healthy effects of white sweet potato is due to the action of B vitamins, which help to break down homocysteine, a compound that accelerates oxidative damage to blood vessels. Potassium also promotes healthy fluid balance of blood, along with regulation of heart muscle contractility.
  • Skin And Hair Health
    Exposure to UV rays from the sun promotes premature ageing to skin, and deterioration of hair. White sweet potato’s high Vitamin A content, along with decent Vitamin C, helps offset major oxidative stress resulting from sun exposure, and promote enhanced synthesis of collagen, very important in skin and connective tissue health [2].
  • Digestive Health
    Much of the insoluble fiber found in white sweet potatoes is known as resistant starch, an effective prebiotic. Prebiotics are substances that act as sustenance for the bacteria living in the gut, in this case producing butyrate in the process. Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that some good bacteria living in the colon prefer, and has a beneficial effect on health [3]. Thus, a critical prerequisite of health is sufficient consumption of prebiotics, which in turn ensure your good probiotic bacteria function optimally to prevent digestive disorders [4].

Cautious: Side Effect of White Sweet Potato You Should Know About

White sweet potatoes, even though being sweet, have a much lower GI index than regular white potatoes and are paleo friendly. However, depending on method of preparation its GI index can spike, and possibly lead to increased blood sugar values. It is best to prepare by boiling, as this ensures it maintains a lower GI index.

In addition, skin and nail discoloration rarely occur, due to excessive storage of Vitamin A compounds in the body. This is uncommon, however, as the vitamin A in white sweet potatoes are pro-vitamins, and have a low risk of carrying negative effects.

The Proper Way to Cook White Sweet Potato

When selecting white sweet potatoes, be sure to look for small to medium sized ones. The skin should be even in color and overall shape, and be smooth to touch. This ensures ever cooking.

They can be prepared by boiling, baking or even frying, although boiling is superior for keeping its GI low.

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Delicious Recipes of White Sweet Potato

1.Sweet Potato Salad

    Perfect as a side dish or can be stored in the fridge for a quick healthy meal option

    Please click here for a detailed recipe of Sweet Potato Salad.

    2.Sweet Potato Fries (Roasted)

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      A healthier option that deep fried white potato fries, these make great sides to protein rich dishes.

      Please click here for a detailed recipe of Sweet Potato Fries.

      3.Sweet Potato Pie

        Delicious and healthy dessert option.

        Please click here for a detailed recipe of Sweet Potato Pie.

        Give Yourself a New Try!

        White sweet potato is the superior option to regular white potatoes, and is advisable for everyone. It contains good resistant fiber for your digestive wellbeing, along with ample nutrition to promote your health, so why not?

        Reference

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        Alex Eriksson

        Founder & CEO, Anabolic Health

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        Last Updated on August 12, 2019

        12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

        12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

        Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

        But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

        I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

        Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

        1. Nuts

        The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

        Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

        Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

        Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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        2. Blueberries

        Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

        When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

        3. Tomatoes

        Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

        4. Broccoli

        While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

        Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

        Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

        5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

        Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

        The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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        Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

        6. Soy

        Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

        Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

        Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

        7. Dark Chocolate

        When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

        Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

        8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

        Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

        B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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        Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

        Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

        To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

        9. Foods Rich in Zinc

        Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

        Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

        Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

        10. Gingko Biloba

        This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

        It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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        However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

        11. Green and Black Tea

        Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

        Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

        Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

        12. Sage and Rosemary

        Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

        Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

        When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

        More About Boosting Brain Power

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

        Reference

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