(Natural News) Sweet potatoes are pretty healthy foods. In certain ways, they are much healthier than regular potatoes. For one, these vegetable tubers are potent sources of natural compounds that fight cancer.
While potatoes and sweet potatoes both originated in the Americas, they are barely related to each other. Solanum tuberosum is a member of the nightshade family, while the sweeter Ipomoea batatas is part of the morning glory family. Both are also different from yams, which are Asian and African tubers from yet another different family.
Sweet potatoes display a wider variety of coloration than potatoes. Their colors can range from light orange to red to purple. An easy rule of thumb is that darker color correlates to higher nutritional value.
Sweet potatoes contain plenty of fiber and many different vitamins. Calcium, potassium, and vitamin C are just some of the nutrients found in its colorful flesh.
Furthermore, they have plenty of phytochemicals, which are plant-based chemical compounds that fight disease and protect the normal functions of the body. Of note is the very high concentration of carotenoids. (Related: Sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense foods with high amounts of beta-carotene.)
Cancer-fighting carotenoids in sweet potatoes
Carotenoids are very powerful natural antioxidants. They neutralize reactive oxygen species before they can cause oxidative stress that hurts healthy cells.
Their antioxidant activity also works against cancer. Oxidation is one of the factors that trigger the development and growth of cancer cells. Stopping oxidation would prevent the cellular DNA damage that causes healthy cells to become cancerous.
Carotenoids also support the health and normal function of the immune system. A healthy immune system is better able to suppress cancer-causing factors.
Sweet potatoes have plenty of these compounds. Many of these carotenoids possess the potential to fight different kinds of cancer.
Beta carotene is one example. It is commonly known as a major source of vitamin A. Like its fellow carotenoids, beta carotene also exerts strong antioxidant activity.
Sporamin blocks the growth and movement of cancer cells
Aside from carotenoids, sweet potatoes also have an abundance of plant proteins. Sporamin is considered to be the beta carotene of this bunch, the healthiest and most effective.
Sporamin makes up a vast majority of the proteins in the tuber. It resists digestion in the gastrointestinal system, but for a good reason. It is also known for its anti-cancer activity.
The protein can positively induce the immune system to attack cancer cells. Whereas beta carotene inhibits the growth of cancer cells, sporamin slows the growth of the cells.
Sporamin also makes it more difficult for cancer cells to move to other parts of the body. Large amounts of the protein can greatly reduce the speed at which cancer metastasizes and proliferates in healthy tissues.
Carotenoids and sporamin target the same types of cancer. Breast cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, and tongue cancer have all been shown to be affected by these nutrients.
Not just for fighting cancer, sweet potatoes also help regulate diabetes
As if fighting cancer was not enough, the sweet potato has many other health benefits. Diabetics, for instance, can consume the tuber to control their blood sugar levels. It will also satisfy their craving for sweet foods.
Since they are rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes are great for supporting healthy eyesight. Their antioxidant properties can prevent inflammation, which is connected to diabetes and other diseases.
Baking is one of the best means of cooking sweet potatoes. Mash it up before sprinkling some cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter (made from milk from grass-fed cows).
If you want to learn more about the cancer-fighting compounds in the sweet potato, check out CancerSolutions.news.