Veetee Blog UK: Why is Sweet Potato Healthy?

27 May 2016 Veetee Blog UK: Why is Sweet Potato Healthy?

Sweet potatoes are becoming increasingly more popular in British cuisine and on our dinner tables at home, thanks to their taste, price and versatility. They have also garnished their reputation by being seen as something of a superfood. But are sweet potatoes really that good for us?

Even before scientific testing and analysis of the nutritious properties of the sweet potato, the colour alone gives demonstrates its health benefits. Its deep orange colour is an indication of beta-carotene, the most abundant and efficient carotenoid found in foods, which can be converted to vitamin A in the body.

Sweet potato is also an excellent source of many other essential vitamins and minerals, and contains almost no fat. The following table demonstrates just how much of your recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals you receive from eating a single baked sweet potato.

Vitamins & minerals

(Figures based on one medium-sized, baked sweet potato)

Vitamin

Good for

Amount

%RDA

Vitamin A

Eye health, cancer prevention

961 µg

107%

Vitamin C

Immune system, skin health

19.6 mg

22%

Vitamin E

Protecting against oxidative damage

0.71 mg

5%

Vitamin K

Blood clotting, building strong bones

2.3 µg

2%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Organ functions

0.11 mg

9%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Metabolism, cellular processes

0.11 mg

8%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar

1.49 mg

9%

Vitamin B5 (Panthothenic acid)

Maintenance of fat

0.88 mg

18%

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Metabolism, nervous system

0.29 mg

22%

Folate

Blood cells

6 µg

2%

Choline

Liver health

13.1 mg

2%

Mineral

 

 

 

Calcium

Bones and teeth

38 mg

4%

Iron

Blood cells

0.69 mg

9%

Magnesium

Organ functions

27 mg

7%

Phosphorus

Bones and teeth

54 mg

8%

Potassium

Blood pressure control

475 mg

10%

Sodium

Nervous system, fluid balance

36 mg

2%

Zinc

Immune system

0.32 mg

3%

Copper

Blood cells

0.16 mg

18%

Manganese

Metabolism, growth and development

0.5 mg

22%

Source: https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/sweet-potatoes/

 

Sweet potato vs white potato

Sweet potatoes are becoming a common substitute for regular potatoes due to their perception as a superfood. Below we outline some of the key differences in both foods to determine why so many are opting for the sweet potato.

While both contain similar amounts of water, carbohydrates, fat and protein, sweet potatoes contain more sugar, almost twice as much fibre and do not contain any toxins. Due to their soluble fibre content and complex starch, sweet potatoes contain efficient, slow release sugars and therefore have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes.

Sweet potatoes also contain insoluble fibres which reduce the risk of diabetes and improve gut health. They have even been found to help you keep your blood sugar levels in the health range even if you have diabetes. However, sweet potatoes do have a medium to high glycemic index, meaning that large amounts in a single meal may be unsuitable for diabetics.

White potatoes and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin C and potassium, with sweet potatoes additionally providing excellent amounts of vitamin A. Also, unlike potatoes, sweet potatoes count towards your 5 a day.

In conclusion, sweet potatoes really are the healthier option.

Summary of health benefits

  • Rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, E, B5 and B6
  • Lower blood pressure and keeps your heart healthy
  • Aid weight loss and digestion
  • Great for eye health
  • Good for hair and skin

Sweet potato recipes

After reading all this praise for sweet potatoes, you may want some ideas about how to include more sweet potato in your diet. Here are some of our favourite sweet potato recipes that have been posted on the Veetee website:

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