The Benefits of Sweet PotatoesSweet potatoes are more than just a yummy ingredient in casseroles and sweet potatoes pies. With its phytochemical-richness it needs a little more respect outside of the kitchen, as it is loaded with unique nutritional benefits and can help your physical health as well as your hair.
Underappreciated and overlooked, this super-food is packed full of anti-inflammatory and blood sugar-reducing nutrients, fat-free, and is quite low in calories. It is high in vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E while containing iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, niacin and magnesium. Actually, the combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene make this potato one heck of a “beauty food” due to all of those nutrients that contribute to a healthy, glowing complexion and vibrant tresses.
What is a Sweet Potato?
The sweet potato or lpomoea batatas is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the Convolvulaceae family. It is a large starch, lightly sweet tuberous root vegetable. According to Wikipedia, this orange-fleshed vegetable is one of nature’s unsurpassed sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene which our bodies turn into the much needed vitamin A. YouBeauty says beta-carotene is a group of natural chemicals known as carotenoids and numerous observational studies have found that people who consume more fruits and veggies rich in carotenoids have reduced risks of many chronic disease like cancer and cardiovascular disease.
How to Use It
For Dry Hair
Struggling with moisture? Sweet potato is your go-to! With all of those nutrients sweet potato provides massive nourishment to thirsty strands that is unmatched. The vitamin A will boost your scalp’s natural oils, so it seals the moisture and promotes hair growth while the Omega-3 fatty acids add luster by nourishing your hair follicles.
For Hair Loss
The beta-carotene that is converted into vitamin A (fat-soluble vitamin) in our bodies is necessary for all cell growth, including hair growth. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to dull, dry, lifeless hair. Remember to not overdo it with the vitamin A, as too much can actually lead to hair loss.
Here are a few recipes that will keep those tresses moisturized, elastic, and strong well into the New Year!
Sweet Potato and Honey Hair Conditioner
Ingredients and tools
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 cup of full fat yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. of honey
- 3 Tbsp. of coconut cream
- 2 drops of clove essential oil (more or less if desired)
- 4 drops of vanilla essential oil (more or less if desired)
- Double boiler
- Peel and cut the sweet potato.
- Boil the sweet potato and add coconut cream to melt in a double boiler (or can melt in the microwave at 30 sec bursts).
- Drain sweet potatoes and whip in a food processor or hand-held beater.
- Pour in melted coconut cream, yogurt, honey, and blend until smooth.
- Add essential oils.
- Apply to your hair while the conditioner is still warm and then cover with a plastic cap and towel.
- Allow it to sit for 15 min. and rinse completely
Looking for a simpler recipe? Here’s one that will have you in and out of the shower in no time!
Sweet Potato Hair Conditioner
- ½ plain large sweet potato cooked and mashed
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- ¼ cup plain yogurt (any percent fat works)
Combine everything and apply to damp hair. Put on a plastic shower cap and wait 20 min. before rinsing off with tepid water.
Have you used sweet potato on your hair?