Sweet potato leaves- nutrition, benefits, recipes

Sweet potato roots are good source of carbohydrates, while sweet potato leaves along with stems contain additional nutritional components in much higher quantities than many other vegetables.
 
Sweet potato leaves are a physiologically functional food that offer protection from diseases linked to oxidation, such as cancer, allergies, aging, HIV and cardiovascular problems.
 

Sweet potato leaves are edible and cooked as a vegetable or curry in many parts of the world.
 
They are rich in vitamin B, βcarotene, iron, calcium, zinc, protein and contain high moisture than any other leafy vegetables.
 
Sweet potato leaves with their high nutritive value and antioxidants may become an excellent leaf vegetable.  
 
Studies have shown that sweet potato leaves contain as many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as spinach.
 
Levels of iron, calcium and carotene rank among the top, as compared with other major vegetables. 
The average mineral and vitamin content per 100 gm of fresh leaves are:
 
117 mg Calcium
1.8 mg Iron
3.5 mg Carotene
7.2 mg Vitamin C
1.6 Vitamin E and
0.56 mg Vitamin K
 
Hence, just by eating 300 grams of sweet potato leaves per day can meet one day needs of Vitamin A,C,E and iron.
 

Health benefits and medicinal uses of sweet potato leaves

 

Antioxidant

 
Sweet potato leaves contain polyphenols, vitamins and anthocyanin which are great to fight against free radicals in the body.
 

Reduction of liver injury

 
Sweet potato leaves are rich in anthocyanin, βcarotene which helps to protect liver and reduce chances of liver injury.
 

Antimutagen

 
Sweet potato contains polyphenols, vitamins and anthocyanin
which act as antimutagen and helps to maintain proper metabolism homeostasis.
 
It also act as tumor suppressor and protect the cells against tumor-like behavior, such as high proliferation rate.
 

Anti-cancer

 
Sweet potato leaves contain ganglioside which is anti-carcinogen and helps to protect body from cancer.
 

Anti-hypertension

 
Eating sweet potato leaves exhibits anti-hypertension activity due to the presence of components like polyphenolics, vitamins and anthocyanin.
 

Anti-microbial

 
Dietary fiber of sweet potato leaves makes it effective antimicrobial.
 

Anti-inflammation

 
Sweet potato leaves protect the body from inflammation or related diseases.
 

Promotion of bowel movement

 
Sweet potato leaves contain dietary fiber and jalapin which promote bowel movement and helps to relives constipation.
 

Anti-diabetes

 
Presence of acidic glycoprotein makes sweet potato leaves anti-diabetes and can control blood sugar naturally.
 

Anti-caries

 
Chewing sweet potato leaves is good for tooth health and helps to prevent tooth or bone decay.
 

Ultraviolet protection effect

 
Polyphenolics and vitamins present in sweet potato leaves also exhibits UV protection effect.
 
 

Healthy Sweet potato leaves recipes

 
Rinse and chop sweet potato leaves along with stems in larger chunks.
 
Either steam them or boil them by using a small amount of water to prevent nutrient loss.
 
Including soft stems with leaves will enhance fiber content.
 
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.
 
Add the greens and stir coat with oil to prevent sticking.
 
Add a small amount of water to the pot and stir briefly.
 
Simmer just until leaves wilt, depending on amount of leaves taken, it can take approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
 
Broth from sweet potato greens will be slightly bitter but also savory.
 
Serve them over rice or whole grain pasta.
 

Some other ways to eat sweet potato leaves

 
Add other vegetables you like while making broth.
 
Add sweet potato leaves to your salad and eat sweet potato leaves raw.
 
Enjoy sweet potato leaves in to your nutrients.
 
Make baked chips out of sweet potato leaves.
 
References:
https://www.uaex.edu/publications/PDF/FSA-6135.pdf

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