A healthy diet requires a lot of care and attention. One of the most important aspects is the inclusion of fresh and wholesome vegetables. Moreover, you need to ensure that you consume a variety of veggies so that you get all the nutrients required for your well-being. Apart from leafy vegetables, root vegetables are also commonly consumed in the country. Today, let us discuss why and how you should be adding one such root vegetable to your diet: the amazing sweet potato. Although it has "sweet" in its name, the uses of this veggie are like any other and they are typically a savoury ingredient. But before we get to that, here's a glimpse at how it can work wonders for your body:
Are Sweet Potatoes Healthy? Top Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes (Shakarkandi)
1. Improves Digestion
Sweet potato is rich in fibre and can help you deal with problems such as indigestion, bloating and constipation. It also promotes overall gut health, since they are also high in antioxidants that can support good gut bacteria.
2. Boosts Immunity
Sweet potatoes contain carotenoids and anthocyanins that can protect from free radical damage. They are also rich in vitamins A and C, which can enhance the working of your immune system.
3. Good For Your Eyesight
Being an excellent source of vitamin A, sweet potatoes can help improve your vision.
4. May Help Diabetics:
Sweet potatoes contain complex carbohydrates. They have a low to medium glycemic index, depending on how they're cooked. Low GI foods can help keep blood sugar levels under control. Boiled sweet potatoes seem to have a lower GI score.
5. Aids With Weight Loss:
Sweet potatoes have a high fibre and water content. They can help keep you satiated for longer and curb your appetite effectively. This makes them a good addition to your weight-loss diet. Boiled or roasted sweet potatoes are said to be especially healthy.
Also Read: Weight Loss Myths Busted! 6 Foods You Didn't Know Are Good For You
Besides these benefits, sweet potatoes also contain nutrients and minerals including potassium, copper, manganese and niacin.
Sweet Potatoes Versus Regular Potatoes
Sweet potatoes and regular (white/ yellow) potatoes belong to two different plant families, although they come under the same subcategory of root vegetables. Both these veggies provide a range of nutrients and health benefits. Regular potatoes are said to have a slightly higher potassium content than sweet potatoes. But the latter wins out when it comes to vitamin A content. More often than not, sweet potatoes have a lower GI (glycemic index) than regular ones - but this depends on the method of preparation.
Also Read: Healthy Diet: 10 Everyday Foods With A Low Glycemic Index
Here Are 5 Healthy And Interesting Ways To Add Sweet Potatoes To Your Diet:
1. As a quick snack
You can use sweet potatoes to make different types of yummy snacks. One of our all-time favourites is wholesome sweet potato wedges, which you can pair with any homemade chutney or dip. Click here for the recipe. You can also make healthy patties with this potato as the base. Here is a recipe that also contains the goodness of roasted oats and spices. If you want something more conventional, opt for this cutlet recipe with besan and basic spices. Another recommendation is this Shakarkandi tikki made with buckwheat (kuttu) flour. Find the recipe here.
2. As a chaat
Regular potatoes are one of the most common chaat ingredients. Sweet potatoes are not a perfect substitute, but you can still use them to make a unique type of chaat. For instance, you can mix it with chillies, coriander, cucumber and masalas to make a flavourful treat. Click here for the complete recipe.
3. With rice:
Sweet potato rice is a simple dish you can quickly whip up for lunch or dinner. No fancy ingredients are required either. Garlic, ginger, red chilli powder and spring onions are combined with cooked rice and sweet potatoes in this satisfying dish. Find the full recipe here.
4. In the form of soup:
A hot and aromatic bowl of soup can soothe, heal and uplift our mood. We recommend trying a sweet potato soup with Thai flavours. This soup has a sweet potato and coconut milk base and uses Thai paste to lend it a distinctive flavour. Here's the step-by-step recipe.
5. As a dessert
Yes, you read that right! Sweet potatoes can be used in dishes that are sweet. For instance, make your rabdi more interesting by incorporating this veggie in it. This dish requires very little sugar, but you can also substitute it with a healthier alternative. Here's the full recipe.
Now you know why and how you should be consuming sweet potatoes as part of a balanced diet.
Also Read: 5 Healthy And Interesting Ways To Add Basil To Your Daily Diet
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.