Sweet potato leaves (Ipomoea Batatas) or commonly known as “Talbos ng kamote” in Tagalog is one of the healthiest vegetable that is available all year round.
It has no season and doesn’t require much care or fertilizer. Anyone can grow it on their backyard. According to a study by Wilmer Barrera and David Picha of Louisiana State Agricultural Center that was published for American Society for Horticulture Science, sweet potato tops is a good source of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and B vitamins that are considered essential to human health.
Sweet potato leaves are cooked as a vegetable in many parts of the world. They are rich in vitamin B6, ßcarotene, iron, calcium, zinc, protein, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin k, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. In comparison to other leafy greens, it possess more dietary fiber and nutrients.
One of the major diseases of adults, is caused by the decrease in the secretion of insulin by the pancreatic Langerhans cells. The current diabetes Mellitus population in the United States is increasing and is estimated at more than 18 million persons. Diabetes contributes to the death of more than 213,000 Americans each year and is also a leading cause of heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. Foods with anti-diabetic effect are desired for diet therapy. Several researchers report that sweet potato leaves have anti diabetic compounds that reduce blood glucose content.
ANTIOXIDANT & ANTIMUTAGENS
Sweet potato leaves are a good supplementary resource of antioxidants and antimutagenic compounds. An investigation was conducted to examine the effects of 82 kinds of vegetable juice and plant components on the division and multiplication of cancer cells, and it was found that sweet potato leaves has a especial high cancer checking rates.
SUPPORTS BONE HEALTH
Vitamin K in sweet potato helps maintain the calcium on bones and reduces the chances of osteoporosis. The study shows that high intake of Vitamin K can eradicate bone loss in osteoporosis patients. It is essential for using calcium to form bones and enhances the health of bones and lowers the chances of bone fractures in the postmenopausal women.
PROMOTES HEALTHY SKIN AND HAIR
Vitamin A deficiency results in poor complexion. It is essential for the regrowth of skin and to heal wounds. It assists the epithelial cells externally and internally and it helps in the formation of glycoproteins which is the combination of protein and sugar and binds the cells together for the formation of soft tissues. Vitamin A in sweet potato promote the health of skin and also counteracts acne. It keeps the wrinkles and lines at bay with the production of more collagen which helps to maintain the skin young. It also provides the healthy hair.
SUPPORTS EYE HEALTH
A study at University of Nairobi Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Technology, Sweet potato leaves are high in Lutein and zeaxanthin (xanthophylls) which are said to have a number of benefits to the eye especially in the prevention of AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and cataracts. Lutein has the ability to filter harmful short-wave blue light and it is as an antioxidant which prevents oxidative damage to eye lens muscles which initiates age related cataracts.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin and plays a key role in the clotting cascade. Sweet potato is known to be very rich on this. This vitamins promotes the clotting of blood which helps to recover the cuts and bruises quickly. It shorten the amount of time it takes to form a clot.
Lyophilized sweet potato leaf powder from the variety ‘Simon1’ strongly suppressed the growth of O-157, and it’s effect was detectable even after autoclave treatment. The antibacterial extract revealed that the main components were polysaccharides. Furthermore, the water extracted from the leaves suppressed effectively the growth of other food poisoning bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus and bacillus cereus as well as pathogenic E. coli.
SUPPORTS HEART HEALTH
Vitamin K in sweet potato helps to prevent the arteries calcification which is one of the main causes for heart attacks. It carries away from arteries and does not allow forming into harmful and hard deposits of plaque. Vitamin K is a vital nutrients in order to reduce inflammation and prevent the cells which lines the blood vessels such as arteries and veins. An adequate intake of Vitamin K helps to maintain the healthy blood pressure and reduces the risk of having cardiac arrest.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF RAW SWEET POTATO LEAVES
Image from: Health Benefits Times
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