12 Health Benefits Of Purple Sweet Potato | SAFIMEX

Purple sweet potato has sustained the Polynesian people for centuries, as it is rich in vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. Did you know it may be helpful in managing diabetes, gout, and inflammation? Read on to find out the benefits of purple sweet potato and how it can change your life. Health Benefits Of Purple Sweet Potato

Purple sweet potatoes are a direct relative of the well-known orange sweet potato and come from the same family. The difference in color is explained by the presence of anthocyanins and antioxidants that give the flesh its purple color.

The origin of purple sweet potato traces back to South America, but because it is such a robust farming crop, its production has spanned the world, including Africa and China. Over time, different types have been developed including the Okinawan, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Stokes varieties.

12 Health Benefits Of Purple Sweet Potato | SAFIMEX

Health Benefits Of Purple Sweet Potato

Health Benefits of Purple sweet potato
1) Purple sweet potato Helps Control Hypertension

Purple sweet potato can help you keep your blood pressure under control.
In an open-label, non-comparative trial, 20 human volunteers with elevated BMI and blood pressure were given 2 cartons of a commercially-sold purple sweet potato beverage (with 117 mg of anthocyanins per serving) each day for 4 weeks. Systolic blood pressure dropped by an average of 10 points, from 140 to just under 130 over a 29-day period.
However, the study was done only in Caucasians, who were predominantly male.

2) Purple sweet potato May Treat Gout
Purple sweet potato can reduce high uric acid levels that cause gout.
In a study of rats with high blood uric acid levels, anthocyanin extract from Purple sweet potatoes decreased blood uric acid levels by 30%. This was nearly the same level as the control group with normal uric acid levels.

3) Purple sweet potato Has Antioxidant Effects
The anthocyanins and polyphenols contained in the root and leaves reduce oxidative stress in the body.
Anthocyanins can potentiate other antioxidants, and function as a free radical scavenger. They increase the production of numerous antioxidant enzymes including:

  • Superoxide dismutase
  • heme oxygenase-1
  • NQO1 – NQO1 is a critical enzyme in breaking down toxic substances and cancer-causing substances.

In 15 healthy males, stir-frying 200 g of purple sweet potato leaves reduced exercise-induced oxidative stress compared to a control diet, including fat and protein breakdown into free radicals.
Increased polyphenols from the leaves were associated with a 63% decrease in oxidative substances.

4) Purple sweet potato May Be Liver Protective
Purple sweet potato has a widely protective effect on the liver, largely through the root’s anthocyanins.
In multiple rat studies, anthocyanin extracts reduced the formation of liver scar tissue and liver cell damage induced by a variety of toxic substances compared to rats who did not receive anthocyanins. This was demonstrated via the reduction of liver inflammatory markers in the blood (ALT and AST).
Another rat study found that extracts from the Korean Shinzami strain of purple sweet potato prevented damage following “shock liver,” a condition in which the liver suffers great damage from a period of poor blood flow.

5) Purple sweet potato May Improve Diabetes
Both root and leaf extracts reduce excess blood sugar.
In a study of mice with type 2 diabetes, adding 3% leaf extract to their food for five weeks led to reduced levels of blood sugar. In addition, it raised levels of GLP-1 which helps suppress the rise of blood glucose.

6) Purple sweet potato May Slow Aging
Anthocyanin extracts from the root of purple sweet potato may delay aging due to their antioxidant properties.
In a study of mice, anthocyanin extracts showed a dose-dependent reduction of malondialdehyde, a free-radical and marker of oxidative stress, in addition to raising levels of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase.
It was comparable to the anti-aging effects of vitamin C.

7) Purple sweet potato May Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Both the root and leaf of purple sweet potato have anti-cancer effects in multiple animal studies.
In one mouse study, purified protein from fresh Purple sweet potatoes reduced the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells introduced into mice.
Another study in mice found that leaf extracts not only inhibited the size and progression of prostate cancer cells but were non-toxic to normal body tissues.

8) Purple sweet potato May Be Anti-inflammatory
Purple sweet potato root has anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating properties.
In mice with leukemia, purple sweet potato root extract supplementation for 12 weeks restored immune cells (T cells, B cells, and T-helper cells), and decreased TNF-alpha production (a marker of inflammation). It also reduced liver and spleen swelling normally seen with the disease.
In the lab, freshly harvested sweet potato extracts inhibited the reactive oxygen species normally created from lipopolysaccharide, a key molecular component of some common infectious bacteria (endotoxins) that cause significant inflammation.

9) Purple sweet potato May Protect Against Galactosemia
Galactosemia is a disease often found in newborns, in which an enzyme deficiency causes the inability to break down galactose (a common sugar found in dairy foods). Eating galactose with this deficiency leads to liver failure, kidney failure, cataracts, seizures, and brain damage, among other issues.
A study in mice with galactosemia found that purple sweet potato extracts reduced liver cell death caused by the excess galactose. This was achieved by its antioxidant properties, direct inhibition of cell death signals, and enhancement of cell survival signals.

10) Purple sweet potato May Aid in Weight Loss
In addition to reducing blood sugar and insulin spikes, purple sweet potato (both root and leaf) are high-fiber foods.
High dietary fiber provides the sensation of fullness and satiety, curbing urges to overeat. Purple sweet potato anthocyanins may also help with weight loss and body composition.
In mice and rats, purple sweet potato extract supplementation for 4 to 16 weeks reduced both total body weight and body fat after being fed a high-fat diet.

11) Purple sweet potato May Be Anti-Microbial
Purple sweet potato root has antibacterial properties.
In a bacterial growth plate study, purple sweet potato extract was plated with common infectious bacteria, including E. coli, Salmonella, Proteus, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The extract inhibited the growth of all of these bacteria.
Another study showed that extracts from the Sinjami strain had antibacterial activity against Staph aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, and E. coli.

12) Purple sweet potato May Prevent Blood Clots
One of the caffeoylquinic acid derivatives (chlorogenic acid) may be helpful in preventing blood clots.
A study of blood samples in the lab explored chlorogenic acid effects and found.:

  • A reduction in activity of pro-clotting enzymes (activated factor X, activated factor XIII, thrombin)
  • Reduction of fibrin clot formation
  • Increase in time to clot formation (prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, thrombin time).
  • Anti-clotting effects in mice

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