While sweet potatoes are a delicious alternative to regular potatoes, they also happen to be among the most nutritious healing foods you can eat. Sweet potatoes contain an abundance of bioavailable beta-carotene, which makes them a strong antioxidant source. Sweet potatoes are also good for your digestive tract, since they help to fend off the damage caused by heavy metals and free radicals. This makes them an excellent choice for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or colitis.
And there’s another substance in sweet potatoes called anthocyanin that could be valuable for its anti-inflammatory properties.
All of these benefits should be more than enough to recommend that you start adding sweet potatoes to your weekly diet. But there are even more. Sweet potatoes have long been used in traditional medicine for Type 2 diabetes. Research in animal and human studies suggests a possible role for sweet potato in glycemic control.
RECOMMENDED: The Best Food to Fight Inflammation
Recently, a team of researchers searched several medical databases to investigate the role of sweet potato in the treatment of diabetes. Three randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria. The studies investigated a total of 140 participants and ranged from six weeks to five months. All of them compared the effect of sweet potato preparations with placebo on the glycemic control in Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The results showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in glycosylated hemoglobin at three to five months with four grams per day of sweet potato preparations compared to the placebo. Glycosylated hemoglobin is hemoglobin to which glucose is bound. Glycosylated hemoglobin is usually tested to help control diabetes over the long term, because it can be a marker for high blood glucose.
While the researchers wouldn’t go so far as to recommend sweet potato as a primary treatment for Type 2 diabetes, it could help with glycemic control. This benefit could be accomplished through an increase in levels of the proteinadiponectin. Produced by fat cells, adiponectin plays a role in modifying insulin metabolism.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
This Kind of Potato Could Help with Blood Sugar Control
Ooi, C.P., et al, “Sweet potato for type 2 diabetes mellitus.” Cochrane Database of Systematic ReviewsFebruary 15, 2012;2:CD009128.