Sweet potatoes are known to be the most nutritious vegetable in the land. It is also known to be rich in dietary fibers. Sweet potato fibers are much abundant and highly beneficial.
Fibers are the indigestible portion of the plant. And since fibers are indigestible, it sweeps away and pushes itself in your digestive system absorbing water, eases defecation and helps you have a regular bowel movement.
There are two types of dietary fibers:
·Soluble fiber – this type of fiber absorbs water making it more gelatinous when eliminated; it helps lower cholesterol and also helps regulate blood sugar level. Since this type of fiber absorbs water, it is best to keep hydrated while taking in soluble fibers otherwise it will absorb the water in your colon which could affect the movement of your bowel.
Insoluble fiber – this type of fiber does not absorb water in the digestive tract, meaning its form doesn’t change after elimination and it ends up as roughage that adds bulk of the bowel. It helps sweep out anything in your colon making sure nothing sits around in there including bacteria and toxins that can damage your body. Since insoluble fibers are rough, getting too much may irritate your large intestine.
What do dietary fibers do to our body?
Keeps you feeling full which is good for people who wants to lose weight
Lowers cholesterol which helps prevent heart diseases
Helps regulate blood sugar level which helps prevent diabetes
Helps eliminate harmful bacteria and toxins that could damage your body
Dietary fibers are great for our body and it does a lot of benefits. But it is still important to consume both types of fibers (soluble and insoluble) in a recommended amount because there is also a downside when getting too much of either fiber.
Thus, why are sweet potatoes ranked first among the vegetables? Many points are given to the presence of dietary fiber content it has. A medium sized sweet potato contains 3.9g of dietary fiber. A ½ cup serving of sweet potato flesh contains about 1.8g soluble fiber and 2.2g insoluble fiber, which gives a total of 4g sweet potato fibers in every ½ cup serving of it.
Getting too much does have a downside, so how much sweet potato fibers are enough? A total of 21-25g of fiber each day should be consumed by women and as for men, a total of 30-38g per day is recommended. Thus, if ½ cup is equivalent to about 4g of sweet potato fibers, you shouldn’t consume more than 10 cups or 10 medium sized sweet potatoes each day. That may be a lot, but remember, dietary fiber doesn’t only come from sweet potatoes. Thus, it’s safe to say that 4-5 medium-sized sweet potatoes each day can already give you that recommended amount of dietary fiber. It is still best to consult your doctor when in doubt.
Another benefit you will get from sweet potatoes is it helps lose weight. How?
Dietary fibers move a little sluggish in your digestive system which means it helps you keep feeling full for a longer time. You may not have food cravings in the next 2 to 3 hours after a cup of sweet potatoes. Thus, instead of eating a lot of fancy foods on your morning snacks, you’ll be able to limit and control it till the next meal which can then contain another set of sweet potato fibers.
It has low calorie content. It has about 100 calories per serving which prevents you from gaining weight. Rather than eat a 120-calorie cracker which definitely won’t give you a feeling of fullness after a pack or two, take a serving of sweet potato. That way, you’ll avoid a 240-calorie intake with crackers.