When is waste not waste? When it can be of some use, of course. Now scientists may have found an interesting use for a sweet potato wastewater. It can actually help you lose weight. How? Read on.
Sweet-tasting, low in calories and loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a favorite food for health conscious individuals. They are also low in the glycemic index, so their carbs are healthy carbs. But who would have thought that drinking the water used to boil them in could potentially help one lose weight?
Interestingly, boiling sweet potatoes is one of the most common ways of cooking them. So we may have been pouring some good stuff down the drain all this time.
A recent study by Japanese researchers, published in the Heliyon journal, suggests that drinking the water used to boil sweet potatoes could help you lose weight. Though the study was conducted on mice, the researchers believe that the results could be obtained in humans.
After feeding mice with the starchy wastewater, the researchers were surprised to find that the rodents lost weight as well as experiencing lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and liver mass. The apparent cause is sweet potato peptide (SSP), created by enzyme digestion of proteins in the wastewater.
The mice were split into three groups, all given high fat diets, but only two groups were fed SSP, one at a low concentration and the other at a higher one.
After 28 days, the mice were weighed and liver mass and fatty tissue measured. Levels of cholesterol and triglycerides were also measured, as well as leptin. Also called “the satiety hormone”, leptin is a hormone that regulates energy by inhibiting hunger. It is one or the most important weight management hormones.
Mice that were feed SSP had significantly lower body weight, cholesterol, triglycerides, and liver mass. They also had higher levels of hunger controlling hormones. This suggests that SSP may set off hormones that reduce hunger as well as improving metabolism.
We hope similar human studies will be conducted soon. And perhaps an SSP pill or other form of supplement made as I don’t see myself drinking wastewater, even from a healthy food such as a sweet potato. How about you?