Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritive vegetables ever. They’re packed with vitamin A, high in carotenoids, antioxidants and anti-aging properties. Another great thing about this vegetable is that it can prevent many types of cancer. Sweet potatoes are extremely rich in B vitamins, B1 or thiamin, B2 and B3 or riboflavin and niacin, B5 and B6. B vitamins are the vitamins that form red blood cells and help the body to process food into energy. One new research shows that the water left from boiling sweet potatoes can help digestion and weight loss.
Dr. Koji Ishiguro from the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization led a team of researchers who were looking for ways to reuse the sweet potato wastewater on an industrial scale. They also tested the dietary effect and the nutritional value of the wastewater.
The International Potato Center explains that sweet potatoes are one of the most important food crops in the world. Around 105 million metric tons of sweet potatoes are being produced every single year and 95% are grown in developing countries. They’re very suitable for processing and they’re used to produce noodles, bread, flour, candy, liquors, pectin and other starch products.
Sweet potato wastewater contains lots of proteins and that’s why the team of Dr. Ishiguro decided to investigate wastewater’s effects on digestion in mice.
“We throw out huge volumes of wastewater that contains sweet potato proteins – we hypothesized that these could affect body weight, fat tissue, and other factors. Finding alternative uses for the sweet potato proteins in wastewater could be good for the environment and industry, and also potentially for health,” says Dr. Koji Ishiguro
The researchers fed 3 groups of mice with high fat diets. One mice group was given sweet potato peptide protein (SPP) in high concentration while the other a low concentration. After 28 days of the testing, researchers weighted the mice and took measurements. They measured cholesterol levels, fatty tissue and triglyceride levels. The group of mice that was fed with sweet potato peptide had significantly lower body weight. Their triglycerides and cholesterol levels were also lowered.
“We were surprised that SPP reduced the levels of fat molecules in the mice and that it appears to be involved controlling appetite suppression molecules. These results are very promising, providing new options for using this wastewater instead of discarding it. We hope SPP is used for the functional food material in future,” says Dr. Koji Ishiguro