Sweet Potato: The Special Tuber

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Sweet potato, one of the most consumed staple food across the world. The high level of consumption could be instigated by its befitting palatability. It is more prevalent in Africa, Asia, South America and some other relevant countries. It has numerous varieties with unique attributes and some eats them. Though, they do share some vital qualities. The chemical composition of food determines a lot about the general qualities and potency of the food.

Sweet Potato

This could also be attributed to sweet potato. The chemical constituents of sweet potato showcase it has a very good tuber for consumption, digestion and assimilation of the essential nutrients to the blood stream. The phytonutrients are invaluable in the health benefits of sweet potato to mankind. The phytonutrients are phenolics, flavoniods , foliates , kukoamines, anthocyanins and caroteniods. The might be few but they are crucial to the general beneficial effects of sweet potato.

Phenolic compound are known for their high antioxidative property exhibited by them. Some types of phenols could be found in sweet potato each with it antioxidative attributes with specific property possessed. Sweet potato is ranked behind apple and orange as regards to the level of phenolics in it. Chlorogenic acid is a phenol in sweet potato that aids in the regulating the rate at which glucose is absorbed from the sweet potato when consumed and helping in making sweet potato a low glycemic index food that is suitable for diabetic patient’s consumption.

These phenols could be extracted from sweet potato peels and used as food additive in enhancing the nutritional quality of some other food stuffs. The content of flavaniods in sweet potato might not be high due to high consumption the concentration of flavaniods consumed is relatively good for the health. There several types of flavaniods that could be found in sweet potato most of it located in the peel.

Some are catechin, epicatechin, erodictyol, kaempeferol and naringenin which are antioxidants and aids in mopping up the proxidants that could have a degenerative effect on the body up. Anthocyanin which is also a subgroup of antioxidants has some pertinent benefits to health. Coupled with it antioxidative property, it is also an anti cancer, and also positively influence cardiovascular diseases. Preeminently, it is antidiabetic property validates it good for diabetic patients.

Caroteniods are mostly found in coloured foods, sweet potato with varieties with different colours makes it a good source for caroteniods. Carotenoids are antioxidants which makes them beneficial to one’s health. Some of the caroteniods found in coloured sweet potato are Lute in, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin and neoxanthin. Coloured sweet potato has high amount of caroteniods than white sweet potato.Some of the phytonutrients in sweet potato are lost during cooking and since most of they are located on the flesh and skin, peeling off the flesh could lead to lost of this beneficial nutrients. Cooking sweet potato with the skin is better than peeling off the skin before cooking.

When cooked with the skin these nutrients don’t easily degrade and get lost, they get absorbed into the skin and the periderm of the sweet potato. When next you want to cook sweet potato, cook it with the skin so that you won’t be deprived of the phytonutrients. Sweet potato is not an ordinary tuber; it is a tuber that has varieties of phytonutrients in it. Though when cooking some could be lost and to reduce the amount lost during cooking you should cook it with the skin.

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