Süßkartoffeln – ein Superfood für dein Mikrobiom! - myBioma

Sweet potatoes – a superfood for your microbiome!

Table of contents

Sweet potatoes: Most of us know them, but hardly anyone knows that these tubers, which are also nutritious for our microbiome, are actually not potatoes at all. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the normal potato, which belongs to the nightshade family.

It belongs to the morning glory plant family. It also offers different nutrients compared to normal potatoes and has a different effect on blood sugar (glycemic index).

Sweet potatoes,
including red and purple varieties, are rich in vitamin A, as well as antioxidants that help counteract cell damage in the body caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage DNA and cause inflammation. Free radical damage has been linked to chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and aging. Therefore, eating antioxidant-rich foods is highly recommended.

But not only the antioxidants, but also the fiber contained in sweet potatoes are beneficial for our intestines.

The tubers contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Since our body cannot digest either type, they remain in the digestive tract.

Certain types of soluble fibers – called viscous fibers – absorb water and make our stool soft. In contrast, non-viscous, insoluble fibers do not absorb water but add mass.

Some soluble and insoluble fibers can also be fermented by the bacteria in our colon, producing compounds called short-chain fatty acids. These are of utmost importance for our intestinal mucosa in order to keep it healthy and avoid a “holey” intestine (leaky gut).

Additionally, high-fiber diets (20-33g per day) have been associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer and more regular bowel movements.

Studies have shown that the aforementioned antioxidants, which are found in increased quantities in purple sweet potatoes, promote the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria, such as certain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species. Increased abundance of these species in the intestines are associated with better intestinal health and lower risk for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and infectious diarrhea.

 

Sweet potatoes also come in different varieties!

Studies have shown that the aforementioned antioxidants, which are found in increased quantities in purple sweet potatoes, promote the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria, such as certain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species.

Increased abundance of these species in the gut are associated with better gut health and a lower risk of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and infectious diarrhoea. 

Do you also want to do something good for your intestinal compatriots?

Our sweet potato porridge provides you with enough energy and healthy carbohydrates for an active start to your day!
We have prepared a quick and delicious breakfast idea for you that can also be prepared vegan and gluten-free:

Ingredients
  • 150g sweet potato

  • 40g (gluten-free) oat flakes

  • 5g flax or chia seeds

  • Water or (vegetable) milk

  • 100g berries (fresh or frozen)

  • 50g (soy) yogurt

  • Cinnamon

  • Fresh vanilla

  • Extras: nuts, pistachios, almond butter,

    Peanut butter, a little lemon juice if you like or, in winter, gingerbread spice



    Preparation

    For the porridge
    1. Mix the oat flakes and flaxseeds in a pot

    2. Then pour the water or milk over it so that it covers the above mixture. Depending on the desired consistency, either creamy or a little more liquid, you can always add a little liquid afterwards for the latter.

    3. Now let the whole thing slowly boil up and down. But be careful not to let the stove get too hot to avoid burning.

    4. Finally, mix in a pinch of cinnamon (and gingerbread spice if desired).

    For the sweet potato
    1. Cut the 150g into quite small pieces.

    2. I steam the sweet potato pieces using an insert that you can put in normal pots and then fill with boiling water underneath. Put the lid on and everything works pretty quickly until the sweet potato pieces are cooked through. Alternatively, you can simply boil everything in hot water.

    Arrange
    1. Put the porridge in a bowl together with the sweet potato pieces. Garnish with yogurt, berries, nuts and anything else you like.

    2. Be creative: Of course, you can also use apple pieces or banana slices for this.

    As Hippocrates used to say: "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food!" 

    Then we wish you bon appetite and a healthy start to an active day! Your microbiome will thank you! Find out more about the composition and current state of the bacteria in your intestine, test your microbiome! 


    Author - Ina 

    Note 

    This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical information or instructions. The recipes are intended for inspiration and are not intended as therapeutic measures. If you have any health problems, we recommend that you contact a doctor or other expert immediately.

    References 

    1. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%BC%C3%9Fkartoffel

    2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sweet-potato-vs-potato#glycemic-index

    3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sweet-potato-benefits#section2

    4. Composition and Physicochemical Properties of Dietary Fiber Extracted from Residues of 10 Varieties of Sweet Potato by a Sieving Method;Xin Mei, Tai-Hua Mu, and Jun-Juan Han; Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2010; 58 (12), 7305-7310; DOI: 10.1021/jf101021s

    5. Understanding the Physics of Functional Fibers in the Gastrointestinal Tract: An Evidence-Based Approach to Resolving Enduring Misconceptions about Insoluble and Soluble Fiber; McRorie, Johnson W. et al.; Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Volume 117, Issue 2, 251 – 264

    6. Short-Chain Fatty Acids and Human Colonic Function: Roles of Resistant Starch and Nonstarch Polysaccharides; David L. Topping and Peter M. Clifton; Physiological Reviews; 2001; 81:3, 1031-1064

    7. Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota; Hannah D. Holscher; 2017; Gut Microbes, 8:2, 172-184, DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2017.1290756

    8. https://www.newswise.com/articles/high-fiber-diet-keeps-gut-microbes-from-eating-the-colon-s-lining-protects-against-infection-animal-study-shows