No matter what time of the year it is, you will always find an array of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables available in the markets. Depending upon the weather and the region you are in - there is going to be something healthy, local and nutritious that you can add to your diet. Sweet potato or shakarkandhi is one such root vegetable that is abundantly available throughout the country during the winter season. The reddish-purple tuber is commonly seen being served as chaat or being used as an ingredient in sabzis etc. But is sweet potato truly healthy? Does its sweet taste mean that it should be eaten in small quantities only? Here we bring to you all you need to know about sweet potato, its nutrition facts, the health benefits of the vegetable and more.
Nutrition Facts Of Sweet Potato | Shakarkandhi Nutrition:
As per the USDA data, a 100-gram serving of sweet potato contains just 86 calories and 0.1 grams of fat. It has good potassium content and is also enriched with protein and fibre. Sweet potato also contains significant quantities of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin B6 that could meet up to 10% of your dietary needs depending upon the calorie requirements.
Health Benefits Of Sweet Potato | Is Shakarkandhi Healthy?
Dietitians and experts are often asked if shakarkandhi or sweet potato is healthy, and whether it should be consumed as part of the daily diet. According to celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, "The fibrous vegetable is safe for everyone to eat, the ones battling obesity, PCOD, Diabetes especially. It also makes for a great snack and allows for quick recovery from training."
Here Are Some Of The Amazing Health Benefits Of Sweet Potato:
1. Good For Immunity:
Looking for an immunity-boosting winter superfood? Sweet potato is the answer. Carotenoids and anthocyanins in sweet potato protect the body from free radical damage and also help boost immunity. It also protects our skin and improves hair health. "The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant ability of sweet potato is not just limited to its carotenoids, it is a great source of anthocyanin, which is most abundant in the purple-coloured variety," said consultant nutritionist Rupali Dutta.
2. Manages Diabetes:
Although it may seem that sweet potatoes should be avoided by diabetics, experts argue that this is not the case. Sweet potato is low on the Glycemic Index (GI) and also contains plenty of fibre. Its starchy carbohydrates also delay the release of sugar into the bloodstream. The American Diabetes Association says, "It is a superfood for diabetics. It is a starchy vegetable full of vitamin A and fibre. It is also a good source of vitamin C and potassium."
3. Improves Eye Health:
Thanks to the orange-red hue of sweet potato, we are all well aware that it is abundantly enriched with Vitamin A. Shakarkandhi also contains beta-carotene that protects the eyes against UV damage and prevents macular degeneration.,
4. Facilitates Smooth Digestion:
Keep digestive woes at bay with sweet potato in your diet. According to Rujuta Diwekar, "The minerals and Vitamin B profile in sweet potato will keep the bloating, acidity and constipation away. In a nutshell, if you have drunk too much, slept too little and partied too hard, this is what you should be eating," she wrote on Instagram.
5. Good For Weight Management:
If you are watching your weight, sweet potato is what you should definitely try eating. The low-calorie tuber has a good amount of fibre that facilitates weight loss and keeps you full. Thus, it makes for an excellent snack provided that it is consumed in moderation.
Conclusion: Is Sweet Potato Healthy? Yes Or No:
Sweet potato is loaded with health benefits and makes for a good addition to your winter diet. But just the way it is with other foods, always consume it in moderation and do not pile up excess sweet potato in a bid to get healthy. Always consult a nutritionist before making any major changes to the diet. Stay fit, stay healthy!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.