The lowly “talbos ng kamote” or “sweet potato leaves” is a kind of plant (scientifically called Ipomoea Batatas) that we always see growing in vacant lots and on the roadside anywhere we go in the Philippines. It grows all year round and doesn’t need that much maintenance because it grows wild most of the time.
According to a study of the Louisiana State Agricultural Center, sweet potato leaves or “talbos ng kamote” provide ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and Vitamin B to the body. But it also offers other vital nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin K, B-Carotene, B6, Thiamine, Niacin, Zinc, Riboflavin, Iron, Folic Acid, Calcium, and Protein.
It is an all-season vegetable with so much more to offer. Here are some of the health benefits of sweet potato leaves:
They said foods like sweet potato leaves are desired for its anti-diabetes properties and for diet therapy. Several studies have already proven that this plant has anti-diabetic compounds that lower blood glucose content. This is advantageous to know considering that the Philippines was reported to be a diabetes hotspot now with 6 million Filipinos having diabetes in the country today.
* Helps in Heart Health
Sweet potato leaves have lots of Vitamin K which helps in de-calcifying arteries of hard and harmful plaque deposits, a major cause of heart attacks. Vitamin K in sweet potato leaves also helps reduce inflammation of the cells lining the blood vessels along your veins and arteries. Including sweet potato leaves in your daily diet helps you maintain a healthy blood pressure and reduces the risk of having heart attacks.
* Anti-mutagenic and Antioxidant
Now, this is the most interesting quality of sweet potato leaves: they have antioxidants and antimutagenic compounds or substances that reduce the rate of mutation of cancer cells. In fact, a study of the effects of 82 kinds of vegetables and plant compounds on the mutation and replication of cancer cells indicated that sweet potato leaves are the one with the highest cancer checking rate.
The vitamin K component of sweet potato leaves facilitates the blood clotting abilities of our blood. Sweet potato leaves are known to have this particular quality, assisting the body to help recover fast from cuts, bruises, and blood clotting problems.
* Enhances Eye Health
Sweet potato leaves are proven to be high in lutein and zeaxanthin (xanthophylls) which is supposed to contribute to the prevention of cataracts and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Lutein is also an antioxidant which means it prevents oxidative damage to eye lens muscles that contribute to cataracts due to old age.
An extract from the lyophilized sweet potato leaf powder from a variety of sweet potato provided antibacterial properties. Moreover, the water extracted from the sweet potato leaves inhibited the further growth of food poisoning bacteria such as the pathogenic E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus.
* Helps in Bone Health
The Vitamin K in sweet potato helps in maintaining the calcium in our bones, thus reducing the risks of developing osteoporosis (bone loss) and lowers the incidence of bone fractures in post-menopausal women.
Any other benefits from sweet potato leaves that you know about? Share in the comments section below!