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Benefits of Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi) And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2023

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Sweet potatoes have numerous health benefits. From being one of the best sources of vitamin A to being an excellent facilitator of digestion. Also, it helps in maintaining water balance in the body and helps in treating cancer. Sweet potatoes also help in boosting the immune system.

Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi)

Sweet potato is a root vegetable. It is a dicotyledonous plant which is characterized by its seed having two embryonic leaves better known as cotyledons and belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Sweet potato’s scientific name is Ipomoea Batatas. It is not really related to regular potato (Solanum Tuberosum) though they appear so. But both belong to the same taxonomic order Solanales. Sweet potato is native to American Tropic regions and tastes mild to moderate sweet. Variants with white flesh are less sweet and moist as compared to the pink or red flesh which is very sweet.

Nutritional Value of Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi)

Sweet potato is one of the top 10 natural foods with a high nutrient value other than Maize, White and Brown Rice, Wheat, Cassava, Soybean, etc.
Sweet potato has also been found to have higher nutrient density than cereals. As for the nutritional facts, sweet potato contains 86 calories per 100 grams. The total fat content per 100 grams is 0.1 g with no saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat. It also does not contain any cholesterol. Sweet potato is an excellent source of Vitamin A and a good source of potassium, sodium, carbohydrate, and fibre.

Nutritional facts Per 100 grams

0.1 g
Total Fat
55 mg
337 mg
20 g
Total Carbohydrate
1.6 g

Vitamins and Minerals

283 %
Vitamin A
4 %
Vitamin C
3 %
10 %
Vitamin B-6
6 %

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi)

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi)

Rich in Vitamin B6

Sweet potato is rich in Vitamin B6, which is also known as Pyridoxamine. Vitamin B6 takes care of our body’s metabolism, enhancing our immune system, influencing co-enzymatic activities, hormonal balance and maintaining liver function. People deficient in Vitamin B6 has been found to be very irritated and feels confused. Worst case scenario is suffering from anemia, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B6 also takes care of the nervous system, and deficient persons are known to have Neuro-Psychiatric disorders like seizures and migraines.

Rich source of ascorbic acid

Sweet potato is a rich source of Ascorbic acid, better known as Vitamin C and is extremely beneficial to maintain our body’s peristalsis. This is the default movement of anything that gets inside our digestive system through the oral cavity. Deficiency in Vit C is found to be associated with people having vomiting tendency and constipation. Vitamin C is also used for the treatment of Scurvy. It also minimizes the aggravation of common cold symptoms but does not provide any therapeutic advantage.

Rich source of Vitamin D

Sweet Potatoes are a rich source of Vitamin D which is vital for calcium deposition and storage in our body. Deficiency in Vit D is bound to cause the lowering of density of the bone which can be investigated through Bone Mineral test. It also acts as a catalyst in preventing cancer, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. An adequate amount of Vit D is necessary for phosphorus absorption too. Sweet potatoes are extremely beneficial for individuals living with minimum exposure to sunlight which is the primary sources of Vit D synthesis in our body.

Good source of iron

Sweet Potatoes have enough iron for hemoglobin and red blood corpuscles formation. RBCs maintain healthy immune system, by protecting against the pathogens invading our body. Hemoglobin is the principal carrier of oxygen in the body. Iron also moves with Oxygen and is the primary cause for the red color of the blood. Iron deficiency can result in anemia.

Generous amount of Magnesium

Sweet potatoes contain generous amounts of Magnesium which maintains the normal heart beats in the human body. It also helps in regulating blood sugar levels and is also associated with energy metabolism and protein synthesis. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and plays a vital role as an anti-stress element and acts as a relaxant. It also plays a major role in over 300 enzymatic reactions.

Rich in potassium

Sweet potatoes are rich in Potassium which regulates heartbeats, electrolyte functions, and nervous system. It is the third most abundant mineral found in the human body and is a highly vital element. Potassium deficient persons experience sudden bouts of palpitations, anemia, and headaches. It has been found to stimulate neural activity. Potassium acts as a vasodilator and allows blood vessels to relax when found in reasonable quantity. It stabilizes blood sugar and reduces muscle disorders like cramps. Sweet potato has the right combination of low sodium and high potassium content which is beneficial for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Contains choline

Sweet potatoes contain a nutrient called choline which is a versatile component essential for numerous aspects such as sleep, learning, memory, and muscle movement. And it is highly helpful in reducing inflammation. It is also beneficial for absorbing fat. Moreover, the nutrient is involved in the structure of cellular membranes and aids in transmitting the nerve impulses. A choline deficiency can lead to the non-alcoholic fatty liver condition.

Minimises sugar absorption

Though sweet potato is known for its sweetness, it has never been found responsible for a hyperglycemic attack, which is found amongst persons taking high calories diet after a long gap in eating. It has a glycemic load of 17 whereas regular potatoes which are found responsible for the hyperglycemic attack has a glycemic load of 29. Hyperglycemic persons are known to have trouble with vision and less focus on a task. Sweet potato has a high-fat content which minimizes the sugar absorption in our body. It does not increase the thirst level of people who ate a sweet potato after a long gap.

Improves digestion

Sweet potatoes improve digestion because of its high fiber content. Acting synergistically with magnesium, they enhance our digestion process naturally. All the contents of sweet potato are very soothing for the stomach and intestines. It consists of starch which individuals can easily digest. It removes the risk of constipation which is beneficial for a geriatric person with cardiovascular diseases.

Promotes weight gain

Sweet potatoes enhance weight gain as they contain complex starch, minerals, vitamins and some proteins. They facilitate muscle build up and are beneficial for individuals preferring to gain weight. People suffering from an extended illness like tuberculosis and other diseases are advised to eat sweet potato on a regular basis.

High in antioxidants

Studies at Harvard University showed that Sweet potato is high in antioxidants and acts as an anti-aging element by keeping skin wrinkles away. The purple variant of sweet potato is more beneficial in this case rather than white one. Of late, many celebrities have been found on Sweet Potato diet and states baked sweet potato as their age-defying secret.

Excellent source of Vitamin A

Sweet potato contains Vitamin A in the form of carotenes which takes care of cancer and enhances the breakdown of histamines and prevents Asthmatic attacks. It reduces the congestion in our airways leading to lungs. It also reduces inflammatory diseases like Arthritis and Gout. Vitamin A deficient individuals suffer from dry cornea which leads to eye problems. And is also beneficial during pregnancy and lactation to synthesize the required hormones.

Uses of Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi)

Sweet potatoes are extensively utilized in the culinary world, be it home or restaurants, for its flavor and the nutritional benefits. Sweet potato is used for making natural and long-lasting dyes by extracting the juice and mixing with lime juice. Its plant is also used as an ornamental vine. Apart from these usages, it is also used as fodder in most of the animal husbandry units all over the world. This is extensively produced for manufacturing industrial alcohol. Many Taiwanese organizations make alcoholic fuel from Sweet potato. They are also found to be the main ingredient in Moche Ceramics.


Side-Effects & Allergies of Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi)

Sweet Potatoes generally don’t have any side effects except while consumed in excessive quantities. Sweet potatoes are high in oxalates, and too much of its consumption has been found to generate calcium oxalate kidney stones. They are also associated with some skin issues as an excess of Vitamin A in our body can cause our skin and nail developing orangish color. They are also known to cause stomach bloating, ache and diarrhea in people who are sensitive to the food.

Origin And Cultivation of Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi)

Sweet Potatoes generally don’t have any side effects except while consumed in excessive quantities. Sweet potatoes are high in oxalates, and too much of its consumption has been found to generate calcium oxalate kidney stones. They are also associated with some skin issues as an excess of Vitamin A in our body can cause our skin and nail developing orangish color. They are also known to cause stomach bloating, ache and diarrhea in people who are sensitive to the food.


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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
    Reviewed By
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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