Thank the food heaven to bestow us with a vegetable as good as sweet potato that does not only taste amazing, but has numerous health benefits to offer. The good news is that it makes for one of the best foods that help in losing weight. With its melt-in-the-mouth and sugary flavour, sweet potato is a healthy way to satisfy a carbohydrate craving. It has essential nutrients, which may include vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene and high level of slow-release carbohydrates. For people looking to lose weight, here's why it may be an important food to help you achieve your goals.
According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Coach Shilpa Arora, "Loaded with beta-carotene and skin-boosting nutrients, sweet potatoes are best for weight loss. They have no fat and lots of fibre and a few calories. They are great to have in dinner; you can bake, grill or make chips and air-fry them for a filling meal. Lots of fibre and water content in any food prevents over-eating. Try including them in your snacks and avoid eating fried ones."(Also Read: Load up on These Starchy Delights: 6 Ways to Use Sweet Potatoes)
Benefits of Sweet Potato for Weight Loss
1. Sweet potatoes are high in fibre
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fibre. They not only help in losing weight, but are also an excellent food for diabetics. The dietary fibre present in the vegetable is bulky, which means that it takes up a lot of room in your tummy, further keeping it fuller for long, thereby preventing over-eating. It further reduces the chances of high-calorie intake and potential weight gain.
2. Super low-calorie food
One of the key rules to losing weight is to eat low-calorie foods. Sweet potatoes have a relatively low-calorie content that can make for a good snack whenever you are hungry. This doesn't mean that you fry and enjoy it; instead choose to roast or grill it to ensure a healthy weight loss.
3. Has high water content
It is super hydrating; like fibre, water takes up a lot of room in your stomach, which make you feel fuller for a long period of time. So, the more water-rich foods you load up on, lesser are the chances of over-eating or bingeing on fried snacks.
4. Has low glycaemic index
A food that has high glycaemic index can cause a spike in your blood sugar level, which has been associated with causing obesity, diabetes and other health problems. Thankfully, sweet potatoes have low glycaemic value that makes them safe for people looking to losing weight and people suffering from diabetics.
Other Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes
1. Help Control Diabetes
According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing, sweet potatoes are a traditional treatment for diabetes. They contain slow-release carbohydrates and the hormone adiponectin, a combination that helps keep blood sugar levels steady. Consult a doctor before adding these delights in your daily diet.
2. Supports Healthy Vision
A single sweet potato contains more than a day's worth of beta-carotene. This is a compound that the body converts into Vitamin A once they enter the body. Vitamin A is known to be beneficial for eyesight and maintaining eye health.
3. Combats The Effects Of Stress & Strengthens Brain
The high potassium levels in sweet potatoes are vital for maintaiing the heart rate and combating the effects of stress. Brain function is also aided by the presence of antioxidants in sweet potatoes, which may help learning and memory.
4. Boosts Immunity
Regular consumption of sweet potatoes develops resistance to diseases and infection, and may help strengthen the immune system from within. A healthy gut is also important for maintaining a healthy immune system.
5. Nourishes Skin
The high levels of beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes may help in benefitting the skin. The reason behind this is that the presence of beta-carotene helps fight free radicals that cause skin ageing among a number of other diseases.
6. May Help In Beating Heart Disease
Sweet potato can be an effective ingredient in keeping cholesterol at bay. This is a direct result of weight loss too, which is aided by sweet potato. Further, sweet potato is known to lower the cholesterol content in the body as well as tackle the number of fat cells present.
7. May Help In Combating Cancer
The risk of cancer is lowered by the presence of carotenoids in sweet potato. Various antioxidants offered by sweet potato are also known to facilitate the battle against cancer. Purple sweet potatoes are specially known for slowing the growth of cancer cells in various studies.
How to use sweet potatoes in your daily diet to lose weight?
According to the book Healing Foods, steaming or boiling, rather than roasting, preserves their slow-releasing carbohydrates and essential nutrients. Add steamed or leftover sweet potatoes and sliced red peppers to arugula or spinach. Dress with healthy seasonings; cut out cheese and high-calorie foods from the salads.
Here are some recipes that you'd like to make for a healthy weight loss.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Eating Sweet Potatoes?
There are no known side effects of eating sweet potatoes, but yet again, eating it in moderation is recommended. Overdoing anything in terms of a diet can be harmful and this holds true for sweet potatoes as well. The high Vitamin A content of sweet potatoes is known to cause skin and nails to look a little orange-hued. Furthermore, people with a history of kidney stones are recommended against eating too much of the vegetable, as it contains oxalate which is known to contribute to the formation of calcium-oxate kidney stones. It is always better to consult a dietician or nutritionist before adding too much of sweet potato in your diet to be on the safer side.
So, what are you waiting for? Take any recipe of sweet potato you like and dig right in! The benefits offered by this humble vegetable are aplenty and make it worthy of the 'superfood' tag that it so rightly deserves. Sweet potato is truly the perfect companion on your weight loss journey!