Sweet Potato Nutrition

image001Sweet potatoes are considered highly nutritious foods that also have a very long and rich history. It is classified as an ancient Native American source of nutrition that has nourished tons of soldiers and homesteaders during political and revolutionary era. The highly active enzymes present in sweet potatoes possess the ability to convert starches into sugars after the maturation phase of the vegetable. This sweetness increases when sweet potatoes are cooked after moderate storage. The immense health benefits make sweet potatoes an essential food constituent for the daily diet.

Sweet Potato Nutrition

Sweet potatoes supply essential nutrients for health and wellness and include calcium, vitamin A & C, potassium and other nutrients.

Cooked or Backed Sweat Potato


Amount per Serving

% Daily Value




Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Polyunsaturated Fat

Monounsaturated Fat


0.0 g



0 %

0 %


0 mg

0 %


41 mg

2 %


542 mg


Total Carbohydrate

Dietary Fiber


23.6 g

3.8 g

7.4 g

8 %

15 %


2.3 g


Vitamin A



Vitamin C

22.3 mg

37 %


43 mg



0.79 mg


* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Sweet Potato Nutritional Benefits

Sweet potatoes are easily available commercially at fairly cheaper rates. There are a number of additional nutritional benefits of consuming sweet potatoes at periodic intervals. Few of these are listed below:

1. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is one of the essential nutrients required by our body in significant amounts. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B6 which helps in decreasing homocysteine levels (associated with prevention of degenerative diseases such as heart attack).

2. Vitamin C

Sweet potatoes are the best carriers of vitamin C which is a vital nutrient for human body. Vitamin C guard against flu and cold viruses and plays an exceptional role in the in regeneration and remodeling of bones and teeth. It is also helpful for promoting digestive process and formation of blood cells. Vitamin C has the ability to boost the healing process and generate collagen which is an important factor for making skin youthful and elastic. It also helps to fight stress and guard our body against toxins which are further linked to malignant lesions.

3. Vitamin D

Sweet potatoes are a good source of nutritional vitamin D which is important for overall health and immune functioning of human body. Sunlight is a good source of promoting de- novo synthesis of vitamin D. Latest research has proved that certain psychological issues like SAD (seasonal affective disorder) are associated with a moderate deficiency of vitamin D (due to poor exposure to sunlight). Vitamin D has the ability to enhance our mood, increase the energy levels, build bones, teeth, skin and heart strong and also give support to thyroid glands.

4. Iron

Sweet potatoes are rich in iron which has the ability to boost our energy level. Iron plays an important role in producing white and red blood cell, resist stress and helps immune system to work properly. It also helps in metabolizing protein to other body parts.

5. Magnesium

Magnesium is another important nutrient found in sweet potatoes in significantly high concentration and acts as an anti-stress and relaxing mineral. It has an ability to keep the arteries, muscles, heart, and bones youthful and healthy. It also helps the nerves to function properly.

6. Potassium

Sweet potatoes are one of the best carriers of potassium which is a vital electrolyte that can control the nerve signals and heart beat in human body. Different functions of this electrolyte include relaxing the contraction of muscles, decreasing the swelling and controlling the working of kidney with protection.

7. Carotenoids

Sweet potatoes are considered a wholesome source of carotenoids which is a predecessor to vitamin A in human body. Carotenoids are known to enhance vision and boost immunity to fight a wide variety of infections and diseases. It is one of the powerful antioxidants that can fight and neutralize cancer forming free radicals and protect the body against the debilitating effects of physiological and pathological aging. Some studies also suggest that people who consume carotenoid rich food daily as part of the diet have lesser risk of developing lung cancer. Women with maximum concentration of carotenoid in their blood are less prone to breast cancer and its recurrence.

8. Fiber

The quantity of fiber in sweet potatoes is almost twice as compared to other varieties of potatoes. The primary function of fiber is to aid in normal digestive processes and prevents constipation or hemorrhoids. The overall contribution from single serving is 7 grams (suggesting one of the best starchy addition to your meal). Consuming fiber daily in your meal can prevent many diseases especially related to heart and some types of cancers.

9. Low Glycemic Index

Sweet potatoes consist of low glycemic index that is why diabetic patient can also get benefits from the nutritious benefits of this remarkable vegetable. Foods which are high in glycemic index are not desirable as it can affect the blood glucose level. The body starts absorbing glucose fast which directly increases the blood sugar concentration and lead to complications. However consuming low glycemic index food slowly absorbs the glucose and maintains the sugar level in blood at moderate concentration. Sweet potatoes are also believed to minimize cravings and appetite.

Selecting and Preparing Sweat Potatoes

Try to eat organically grown sweet potatoes with the skin (as skin also contains a lot of nutrients). Organically grown potatoes are least harmful and are free from inorganic sprays, pesticides and chemical fertilizers. If organic sweet potatoes are not available then you can eat traditionally grown ones but in this case you should peel the skin before eating. A person owning a garden should try to grow his own sweet potatoes. Do not use flabby, wilted and soft roots as it leads to bad flavor which is not appealing.

Always wash sweet potatoes with clean water to take off soil and sand from the skin. Sweet potatoes should be kept in well ventilated place with cool and dark atmosphere.

There are different methods of consuming sweet potatoes. Try them in roasted, steamed, grilled, and baked forms. You can also prepare purée and soap. It also gives best taste in stews and in salads. It can also be served with onions and red pepper for yummy breakfast or lunch.

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