Sweet potato: the nutritional qualities of this tasty tuber

The sweet potato has become a very common part of the modern diet because it is dynamic, versatile and delicious. From sweet potato fries to casseroles, pies and more, there are myriad ways to enjoy this tasty tuber. There are many reasons to consider the benefits of sweet potato nutrition.

Sweet potatoes have been domesticated for thousands of years, and their remains have been found in Peru, dating back to 8 years BC. Today, they are enjoyed around the world for their delicious taste and health benefits.

These tubers are commonly associated with regular potatoes, which are often served fried, salted and in massive portions, loaded with extra fat, sodium and calories. Are they bad for you, and if you’re on a diet, are sweet potatoes fattening or good for weight loss? Keep reading to find out what you need to know about sweet potato nutrition and why you should include a serving or two in your diet.

Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts

Sweet potatoes are rich in many important nutrients. They contain a good amount of fiber as well as vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese and several other vitamins and minerals.

One medium sweet potato (about 180 grams) cooked with its skin contains approximately:

100 calories

25,6 grams of carbohydrates

2.3 grams of protein

0.2 grams of fat

3.8 grams of dietary fiber

20 438 International Units of Vitamin A (114 % Daily Value)

22,3 milligrams of vitamin C (61 % Daily Value)

0.6 milligram manganese (26 % Daily Value)

0.3 milligrams of vitamin B6 (20 % of daily intake)

541 milligrams of potassium ( percent DV)

1 milligram pantothenic acid (10 % of daily intake)

0.2 milligrams of copper ( 9% of the daily value)

1.7 milligrams of niacin (8% of the daily value)

0.1 milligram thiamin (8 percent DV)

37,8 milligrams of magnesium (8 percent DV)

In addition to the above nutrients, sweet potato also contains riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium and iron.

It is common to confuse sweet potatoes with yams and even with white potatoes, so what’s the difference?

Sweet potatoes and yams

Sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family, while is that yams are actually related to lilies and grasses. Also, sweet potatoes are believed to originate from Central and South America, while yams originate from Africa and Asia. There are also significant differences in the appearance of yam and sweet potato. Sweet potatoes have tapered ends, smoother skin, and range in color from white to bright orange. Yams, on the other hand, have a rough skin and are usually white-fleshed and cylindrical. Yams are also higher in starch and drier, without the hint of sweetness found in sweet potatoes. Gram for gram, yams are higher in calories, carbs, and fiber, but slightly lower in protein than sweet potatoes. Yams also contain a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese, but are not as nutrient dense as sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes and Potatoes white earth

These potatoes belong to different plant families and are distinguished in particular by their appearance. Each also has a unique taste that sets it apart. While white potatoes are often incorporated into savory dishes, sweet potatoes have a flavor that works just as well in desserts as main courses. The white potato is particularly rich in certain micronutrients such as vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese, while the sweet potato is significantly higher in vitamin A.

For 100 grams, the sweet potato contains 20,7 grams of carbs, versus 21,5 grams for the ordinary potato. The amount of calories in a sweet potato is also slightly lower, with 94 calories in a potato versus only 94 calories in nutritional sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are also slightly higher in fiber and have a lower glycemic index, which means they don’t cause the same spike in blood sugar as regular potatoes.

Both can be healthy additions to the diet when eaten in moderation and with proper portion control. The method of preparation is also key: potatoes are often fried and coated in oil and salt, which diminishes their nutritional value. Try them baked instead of fried, and enjoy a few servings of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes as part of a nutritious diet.

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

1. Stabilizes blood sugar

Sweet potatoes are an excellent dietary supplement for people with diabetes. They have been shown to help lower and regulate blood sugar.

In fact, several studies have been conducted to learn more about the link between sweet potato diet and type 2 diabetes. Caiapo, in particular, is a type of white sweet potato that has been widely studied for its anti-diabetic properties. In a study conducted by the University of Vienna, Austria, 61 diabetic participants were given four grams of Caiapo or a placebo daily for three months. The results of the study showed that at the end, the sweet potato group had significantly lower glucose levels than the control group. Improving insulin sensitivity allows insulin to work more effectively in the body to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

In addition, sweet potatoes are high in fiber, each medium sweet potato covering up to 20% of your needs fiber for the day. Fiber slows the absorption of sugar to help prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar.

2. High in antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that help fight harmful free radicals to reduce the risk of chronic disease and prevent cell damage. Research indicates that antioxidants can protect against diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. In addition to being high in fiber and important vitamins and minerals, sweet potatoes are also loaded with these beneficial antioxidants.

Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are particularly high in beta-carotene, which is the pigment responsible for their characteristic bright orange flesh. Extensive research shows that beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can help promote healthy vision, improve respiratory health, and even protect your skin.

3 . Boost brain function

Some research has shown that eating sweet potatoes may help boost brain function and improve memory thanks to their abundance of nutrients and antioxidants. An animal study conducted by the College of Pharmacy at National Chungnam University in Korea, for example, treated rats with an extract of purple sweet potato and found that it prevented oxidative damage in the brain, improved performance cognitive and memory.

Another animal study conducted in China in 2010 showed that the extract of purple sweet potato contributed to protect the brain against aging and improved the spatial learning and memory abilities of mice. Avocados, beets, broccoli, and leafy green vegetables are examples of other brain foods that can help boost concentration and memory.

4 . Promotes visual health

In addition to boosting immunity, vitamin A is also essential for maintaining healthy vision. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to symptoms such as dry eyes, night blindness, buildup of keratin on the conjunctiva, and even complete loss of vision in severe cases. A medium-sized sweet potato can meet and exceed your daily vitamin A needs. In fact, if you manage to fit even a quarter of a sweet potato into your diet, you’re good to go all day. Additionally, sweet potatoes contain important antioxidants that may also aid vision health. Beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E, for example, have been shown to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to vision loss.

Other eye vitamins that you should include in your diet include zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.

6. Weight Loss Aid

If you have a few stubborn pounds to shed, incorporating this nutritious root vegetable into your diet might help. These tubers can help with weight loss because they are very high in nutrients and fiber to help keep you full. Fiber moves slowly through the digestive tract, which promotes satiety and reduces food cravings to facilitate weight loss. Just one cup of sweet potatoes has 6.6 grams of fiber, or up to 26 % of what you need for the day. Of course, they must be combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise to achieve maximum weight loss. Fortunately, not only do they promote weight loss, but they can also help you achieve your fitness goals.

The benefits of sweet potatoes for bodybuilding are possible because they are slowly digested , which provides you with long-lasting energy to fuel you during your gym session.

How to add it to your diet

Sweet Potatoes are available at most stores and are usually found in the produce section, right next to the white potatoes. Special varieties, such as white or purple sweet potatoes, may be harder to find, however. Look for them at farmers’ markets or Asian specialty stores from September to April to enjoy the nutritional value of purple and white sweet potatoes.

Once you get your hands on over sweet potatoes, there are many ways to enjoy these delicious root vegetables. Whether enjoying a baked sweet potato, roasting, sautéing or boiling, the possibilities are endless. Sweet potato fries, soups and stews are some of the most popular ways to prepare sweet potatoes, but there are also Also many other options. Roasted sweet potatoes also make a great addition to meals.

Just clean them, cut them into cubes, arrange them on a baking sheet and toss them with oil olives, salt and pepper. Then let them cook in the oven at 114° for about 26 to 26 minutes, and you get delicious crispy roasted sweet potatoes.

Risks and Side Effects

Despite the multitude of health benefits offered by this root vegetable nutritious, some people may want to limit their intake or avoid eating sweet potatoes altogether. Although uncommon, sweet potatoes can cause an allergic reaction in some people. If you experience any food allergy symptoms after eating sweet potatoes, such as itching, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, or bloating, see your doctor immediately.

If you have a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones, it is advisable to limit your intake of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are high in oxalate, which can combine with calcium and lead to the development of kidney stones.

Finally, if you have diabetes, be sure to moderate your sweet potato intake. While sweet potatoes are packed with health benefits, they also contain carbohydrates that can raise blood sugar levels when eaten in excess.

They have a glycemic index of 54 and what is considered high in carbohydrates, so people with type 2 diabetes should monitor their consumption. You can pair sweet potatoes with non-starchy vegetables and a good source of protein for a balanced, blood sugar-stabilizing meal.

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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