Camote or best known as sweet potato is widely known because of its sweet taste of the fruit flesh. Don’t mistaken camote with yams because they are totally coming from different variety, though they look similar in appearance and taste. In some countries, camote is consumed as staple food because camote is not only rich of carbohydrate which is great energy source but also packed with vitamin and minerals but contain relative low sugar and calorie, so camote is safe for diabetic patients and great for daily diet. However, do you know that camote leaves are also containing several nutrients that are beneficial for human health as well.
What is Camote?
Before find out more about the benefits of camote leaves is better to find out first about what camote is. Camote has scientific name Ipomoea batatas from family Convolvulaceae and not from Solanaceae family as potato but both of them belong to the same taxonomic, Solanales. There are more then 1,000 species of camote but most of them are poisonous. Though camote is so popular in Asia, perhaps because of the perfect climate which is tropical and warm enough to grow camote, camote is originated from Central or South America and not after 1594 when camote is introduced for the first time to Asia through China. Camote is well known as root vegetables because the roots are the ones that cultivated though sometimes the young leaves and shoots are consumed as green vegetables but still the main purpose of the cultivation is the root.
Nutritional Value of Camote Leaves
|Camote Leaves (Chopped)|
Serving Size: 35 g
|Calories||51.5 kj – 1%|
|Protein||1.4 g – 3%|
|Total Carbohydrate||2.2 g – 1%|
|Dietary Fiber||0.7 g – 3%|
|Vitamin A||350 IU – 7%|
|Vitamin C||3.9 mg – 6%|
|Thiamin||0.1 mg – 4%|
|Riboflavin||0.1 mg – 7%|
|Niacin||0.4 mg – 2%|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg – 3%|
|Folate||28 mcg – 7%|
|Panthothenic Acid||0.1 mg – 1%|
|Calcium||13 mg – 1%|
|Iron||0.4 mg – 2%|
|Magnesium||21.3 mg – 5%|
|Phosphorus||32.9 mg – 3%|
|Potassium||181 mg – 5%|
|Zinc||0.1 mg – 1%|
|Copper||0.0 mg – 1%|
|Manganese||0.1 mg – 4%|
|Selenium||0.3 mcg – 0%|
|Omega 3 Fatty Acid||7.4 mg|
|Omega 6 Fatty Acid||39.5 mg|
Well, surely you have known that camote has a lot of benefits to human health but do you know that not only the root but the leaves of camote also have some great benefits for human health? Below is the list of benefits of camote leaves you should know as well. Thus, here are the health benefits of camote leaves:
- Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Many studies have shown that there are some powerful antioxidant contents found in camote leaves along with high concentration of vitamin C and vitamin E. Those combinations are perfect to fight free radicals and make camote leaves are the great source of antioxidant required by body metabolism.
- Treats Inflammatory Problems
Some people just don’t know that inflammatory is actually the roots of some health problems, from the simple up to the severe ones. Many studies have been proven that camote leaves contain some anti-inflammatory properties that could treats inflammatory problems in much more effective way.
- Excellent Source of Vitamin C
Vitamin C deficiency could lead to certain health problems. Though there are a lot of supplement products you could find in the marketplace, still for the best vitamin C you should get it from the natural source. Camote leaves are packed with some vitamins and one of them is vitamin C to make sure you fulfill the daily intake.
Also read: Vitamin C 1000 mg Benefits
- Natural Immunity Booster
It is a common knowledge that foods rich of vitamin C is great for immunity system. Camote leaves which are rich of vitamin C are not the exception. Furthermore, camote leaves also contain some powerful antioxidants that will provide your body more layers of protection against free radicals and viral infection.
- Promotes Healthy Digestion
Healthy digestion will lead to healthy body metabolism because in your digestive track, all foods consumed will be broken down into certain compounds that will be absorbed by your body to support the metabolism process. So, the key for optimal absorption is healthy digestion and consuming camote leaves in daily basis is highly recommended in this matter.
- Relieves Constipation
If you have problem with constipation, perhaps it is the time for you to assess what you have eaten. If you have healthy digestion, you would not suffer constipation, only those with diet problems will face problem like constipation. Camote leaves are natural way to promote healthy digestion as mentioned in previous point to help you relieving constipation or treating it completely.
- Prevents Colon Cancer
One of the ways you could do to prevent colon cancer is by having healthy digestion. Consuming foods rich of fiber is one of the solutions you have and camote leaves contains enough fiber to assure you have healthy gut. Healthy gut will leads to healthy body metabolism by making sure optimal absorption of nutrients.
Also read: Symptoms of Colon Cancer
- Natural Painkiller
Though the case reported is very rare, some people are allergic to painkiller. If you are one of those, surely you are looking for a natural solution. Well, many studies have shown that camote leaves posses some anti-inflammatory properties that could act as natural painkiller.
- Friendly Food for Diabetic Patients
Well, not only the root that is great for diabetic patients, the leaves of camote has been proven to be able in regulating blood sugar in the bloodstream by lowering the insulin resistance. That’s why camote leaves are perfect food to be added into daily diet for diabetic patients.
Also read: Best Vegetables for Type 2 Diabetes
- Solution to Stress and Anxiety
One more amazing thing you could get from camote leaves are that they are able to help you relieving your stress and anxiety. If somehow you feel so stressful, just add camote leaves to your diet to calm yourself, though it is not a solution recommended for those with depression history.
- Regulates Blood Flow
Healthy blood flow means nutrients are distributed optimally and all cells in your body are optimally oxygenated. As rich of iron, camote leaves are essential to promote the production of red blood cells while vitamin K will make sure there is no unnecessary blood clot that could disturb the blood flow in the veins and arteries.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
Don’t mistaken camote leaves with cassava leaves which could cause the spike of blood pressure instantly. Camote leaves actually promote the opposite and great in lowering blood pressure so they are safe to be consumed in daily basis.
Also read: Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
- Greats for Gum Health
The lack of vitamin C, D and A could lead to several gum problems. Surprisingly, camote leaves are packed with certain vitamins that are great for gum health. Furthermore, vitamin K contained in camote leaves will assist in fighting bacteria that could be harmful for tooth and its enamel.
- Promotes Healthy Bones
Most people are thinking that only calcium that is required to maintain their healthy bones. Well, though camote leaves is not really high in calcium but the amount is enough to promote healthy bones when combined with vitamin K which could prevent bone loss and osteoporosis by lowering the chance of bone fracture.
Also read: Symptoms of Osteoporosis
- Reduces the Symptoms during PMS
Cramps are common to happen during PMS and the feeling could be really uncomfortable. This condition is actually hormonal and vitamin K contained in camote leaves will regulate the function of the hormone so it will affect in lowering the pain of the cramps. Vitamin K also prevents over bleeding during PMS.
- Great for Brain
Surely you have familiar with certain brain diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson. One of the main reasons behind those diseases is oxidative stress in the brain’s cell membrane caused by free radicals. As the source of antioxidant, camote leaves are great for brain while vitamin K is responsible to act as anti-inflammatory.
- Promotes Vision Health
Vitamin A deficiency is the root of vision problem. However, the lack of vitamin C and certain minerals could accelerate the macular degeneration process that will make the condition worse. However, camote leaves are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, some amount of vitamin E and minerals that will promote vision health optimally.
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Cautions of Camote Leaves
The camote, not only the root but the leaves are also great for human health. However, some cautions below are not supposed to be taken for granted as well because for some people the side effect could be really serious.
- Though the case reported regarding allergic reaction after consuming camote leaves is rare but if you are allergic to camote, you should be careful with the leaves as well.
- Since camote leaves are growing like vine in the soil surface you should really aware with the chance of contamination from contaminated soil.
- Though camote leaves could fight bacteria but it is better to wash the leaves with running water to prevent contamination for bacteria or worm since the position of the leaves are really close to the soil.
One of the benefits you could get from consuming camote leaves are you don’t need to worry about being organic or not because most of camote leaves are organic. If you try to grow it yourself in your backyard you will understand why, because camote is easy to be cultivated. The least you could do to grow your own camote is just planting the vine and then that’s it. Yes, it is true that there is no such specific treatment required to grow camote, you don’t even need to fertilize it or water it because camote could grow wildly as long as the climate and the soil could support the cultivation. To sum up, there are many health benefits of camote leaves for you.
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