Sweet potatoes are high in potassium and fiber that helps prevent constipation, Moreover, it is also a powerhouse of vitamin B6, C, and D as well as sufficient sources of iron, magnesium, and beta carotene, which is beneficial for processing vitamin A within the body. This fat-cholesterol free crop also has more grams of natural sugars than a regular potato and more overall nutrients with fewer calories. To sum it all, sweet potatoes are packed with healthy vitamins that are needed for maintaining good health.
Aside from the sweet potato itself, experts also believed that the crop’s leaves also carries essential nutrients.
Sweet potato leaves, also known as “talbos ng kamote,” grows all year round and doesn’t need that much maintenance because it grows wild most of the time.
In a study published in HortScience, results show that that mature and young leaves of sweet potato can provide significant amounts of vitamin B6 which is well comparable with fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, bananas, cauliflower, avocados, and carrots. The author of the study namely Wilmer Barrera and David Picha from Louisiana State University Agricultural Center concluded that sweet potato leaves or “talbos ng kamote” provide ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and Vitamin B to the body. It also offers other vital nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin K, B-Carotene, B6, zinc, riboflavin, iron, thiamine, niacin, protein, folic acid, calcium, and protein.
Here Are Some Of The Benefits You Can Obtain From This All-Season Vegetable:
Sweet potato leaves are desired for diet therapy and for its anti-diabetes properties. Studies have found that the leaves have anti-diabetic compounds that can lower blood glucose content.
Due to the vitamin K content of sweet potato, it can facilitate the blood clotting abilities of our blood. It can assist the body in recovering fast from bruises, cuts, and blood clotting problems.
Helps In Bone Health
The calcium in your bones can be maintained through the help of the vitamin K present in sweet potato leaves. Due to this effect, you can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis (bone loss) as well as the incidence of bone fractures in post-menopausal women.
Helps In Heart Health
Plaque deposits are a major cause of heart attacks. The vitamin K content of sweet potato leaves can assist in de-calcifying arteries of hard and harmful plaque deposits. Moreover, vitamin K also helps reduce inflammation of the cells lining the blood vessels along your veins and arteries. You can maintain healthy blood pressure and reduce the risk of having heart attacks if you include sweet potato leaves in your daily diet.
Anti-Mutagenic And Antioxidant
The anti-mutagenic compounds present in sweet potato leaves help lessen the rate of cancer mutation in cells.
Studies have found that the leaves of sweet potatoes are the one with the highest cancer checking rate among the of 82 kinds of vegetables and plant compounds that were tested on their effect in the mutation and replication of cancer cells.
Meanwhile, due to its high amounts of antioxidants, the leaves it suitable in combating inflammatory problems like gout, arthritis, asthma, etc. Its vitamin C content helps fight-off free radicals, thereby preventing premature aging and disease.
Enhances Eye Health
It is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin (xanthophylls), which help prevents cataracts and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Moreover, lutein is also an antioxidant which means it prevents oxidative damage to eye lens muscles that contribute to cataracts due to old age.
How To Eat Sweet Potato Leaves
You can boil or fry sweet potato leaves and eat them as a side dish.
According to Christine Nabbuto, a nutritionist in Kampala, for you to be able to attain the required nutrients and reap all the benefits that it offers, you should steam the leaves and mix them with other ingredients like garlic or other spices and then eat. Some people even eat them raw if mixed in salads.