Food and drink, NUTRITION

Sweet potato: rich in flavour and nutrients

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The sweet potato is a food rich in nutrients, but also in contradictions. It is said to be a healthy substitute for the potato, and this is true, but we must also consider that for every 100 grams it provides 100 kcal, which come from its high carbohydrate content, responsible for its pleasant sweet taste, and here we find another apparent contradiction: despite its sweet taste, its glycaemic index is lower than that of the potato.

Its richness comes from its high content of vitamin A and all its precursors such as carotenoids, vitamins E and C, and folates. It is also a rich source of potassium. For all these reasons, the sweet potato is a perfect food for stages of life that require large doses of energy, such as childhood, adolescence, pregnancy or breastfeeding. It is also a great food for sportsmen and women due to its high energy content.

It has a powerful antioxidant action thanks to carotenes which, combined with vitamins E and C, protect cells from free radicals, which contribute to the development of certain diseases such as cancer and degenerative diseases and accelerate the development of the disease. ageing process.

Some studies attribute to sweet potatoes a protective capacity against diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular ailments, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. These benefits are based on its very high antioxidant capacity and its ability to modulate the body's immune response.

During pregnancy it is a recommended food because of its high folic acid content, which is highly demanded during pregnancy because it is involved in the prevention of some birth defects in the baby's brain, such as anencephaly (the incomplete closure of the neural tube), or of the spinal column, such as spina bifida.

One of the great virtues of the sweet potato is that it is easy to digest. Thanks to its high fibre content and antioxidants, it improves discomfort and prevents inflammation and slow digestion. It is a great ally for people suffering from gastric ulcers or gastritis.

Finally, the carotenoids in sweet potato make it a great protector of the eyes and the sense of sight in general, as they help prevent light-induced oxidative damage. This is why it is believed to protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Let us also review their contradictions: Unless you suffer from an allergy to any of their nutritional components, sweet potatoes have no major contraindications. Just remember that their energy and calorie content is high, and although the presence of fibre can slow down the absorption of sugars in the blood, their high carbohydrate content must be taken into account, especially for diabetics.

The sweet potato is an autumn tuber, its season is from September to December. Due to its texture and sweet taste, it is used in both savoury dishes and desserts, and is a great protagonist in dishes that herald the arrival of the first cold weather.

Before eating a delicious sweet potato recipe, there are a few things you need to know. important thingsSweet potatoes are fragile, so always choose those with a firm look and feel, and at home they should be stored in a cool, dry, dark and ventilated place. Under these conditions, they can be kept for seven to ten days. At high temperatures, sweet potatoes may germinate. It is not recommended to store them raw in the fridge because it alters their flavour, but once cooked they can be refrigerated, and they usually keep for a week.

Source: SHA Wellness Clinic