The sweet potato known as “Shakarkandi” in hindi is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. It is large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The origin and domestication of sweet potato is thought to be in either Central America or South America. In Central America, sweet potatoes were domesticated at least 5,000 years ago. The plant does not tolerate frost. It grows best at an average temperature of 24 °C (75 °F), abundant sunshine and warm nights. Annual rainfalls of 750–1,000 mm (30–39 in) are considered most suitable, with a minimum of 500 mm (20 in) in the growing season. The crop is sensitive to drought at the tuber initiation stage 50–60 days after planting, and it is not tolerant to water-logging, as it may cause tuber rots and reduce growth of storage roots if aeration is poor.  Here are Sweet Potato nutrition and health benefits and sweet potato recipes.sweet potato Sweet Potato nutrition

Sweet Potato nutrition and health benefits of Sweet Potato

Improves Skin Texture

After boiling sweet potato, do not throw away the water. It is packed with sweet potato nutrition that can help in improving your skin texture and clear your complexion. After boiling sweet potatoes, strain the water. Store this water in a bottle and keep it in the refrigerator to cool down. Use this sweet potato nutrition water as a toner for skin. This natural sweet potato nutrition toner will help to absorb impurities, deep cleansing your pores and soothing irritated skin.

Moisturises the Skin

To make a mild scrub that doesn’t dry out your skin, take half a cup of boiled sweet potato cubes, 1 tablespoon oats and 1 tablespoon yogurt and blend them together to form a thick, coarse paste. Use this to scrub your skin in slow circular motions and wash it off with lukewarm water followed by moisturising your skin with your favourite moisturiser.

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Anti-oxidant

Sweet potato consists of beta-carotene or vitamin A which is an important anti-oxidant and is known to prevent different types of cancer. It repairs cell damage caused by excessive UV exposure and provides an internal layer of protection to the skin from harmful UV rays of the sun.

Anti-stress Agent

Sweet potato contains a good amount of minerals such as magnesium and iron. Magnesium is believed to help in relaxation and acts as a stress buster for the skin.

Cures Dry & Cracked Heels

For dry feet and cracked heels, instead of cooling the water in which the sweet potatoes were boiled completely, let it remain a little warm and soak your feet in it to get rid of painful cracked heels.

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Treats Oily Skin

Boil sweet potatoes. Let them cool and then mash them. Add a tablespoon of honey and spread this over your face. Let it stay for 20-30 minutes and wash off. You can also add 2-3 teaspoon lemon juice to it in case you have oily skin.

Gives Natural Shine to Hair

Sweet potato mask along with other ingredients like honey, yoghurt and olive oil works wonders for dull and rough hair, making them hydrated and imparting a natural shine.

High fibre content

Sweet potatoes contain twice as much fibre as other types of potatoes. Because of its high fibre content sweet potato nutrition and, sweet potatoes help to prevent constipation.

Beauty Food

Sweet potato, apart from vitamin A & C, also contains vitamin E which is known to be beneficial for the health of the skin. It improves the complexion, thus providing flawless skin.

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Promotes Metabolism & Treats Premenstrual Symptoms

Manganese found in sweet potato helps in promoting metabolism and maintaining healthy blood sugar balance. It also helps suppress your appetite to prevent you from overeating, thus helping in losing weight. It also helps in treating anaemia and severe premenstrual symptoms.

Reduce Dark Eye Circles & Eye Puffiness

Just take two slices and place them on your eyes. sweet potato nutrition as Anthocyanin helps in reducing pigmentation and has anti-inflammatory properties that will help in getting rid of dark circles, wrinkles and puffiness of eyes.

Prevents Pre-Mature Ageing

To rejuvenate your dry skin, take one big sweet potato and boil it until it is soft enough that the skin can be pulled of easily. Take 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon of milk and 1 tablespoon of ginger juice extracted by grating the ginger root and then siev the juice out using a muslin cloth. Blend all the ingredients together until you have a smooth paste. Apply the mask to your cleansed face and neck. Let it sit for 20-25 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. This mask will leave your skin fresh, hydrated and prevent pre-mature ageing.

Ways to have Sweet Potato in your diet (sweet potato recipe)

Sweet Potato Wedges recipe

sweet potato wedges

Ingredients:

2 sweet potato, cut into wedges

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp thyme leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

chervil, to garnish

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  • Toss the wedges with the oil and thyme then season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Serve in a warm bowl and garnish with chervil.

Sweet Potato Chips recipe

sweet potato chips

Ingredients:

2 organic sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp olive oil.

1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and position oven rack in the center of the oven.
  • Rinse and dry your sweet potatoes thoroughly and slice them as uniformly thin as possible. If you have a mandolin, use it. Otherwise, use a very sharp knife to get these uniformly thin. Know that chips that are too thick in parts won’t crisp up all the way. Still delicious, just not “chip” crispiness.
  • Toss slices in a touch of olive oil to lightly coat, then sprinkle with salt. Lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 2 hours, flipping chips once at halfway point to ensure even cooking. I also rotated mine for more even cooking (optional but recommended).
  • Remove once crisp and golden brown. Some may feel a little tender in the middle but take them out and let them rest for 10 minutes or so to crisp up before sampling. Serve immediately. And know sweet potato nutrition.

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