Sweet Potatoes Nutrition, Calories, Proteins, and more
Before we delve into sweet potatoes nutrition facts, let us know some basic facts about it. The sweet potato, scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas is a staple food in many countries. It is an underground tuber, which is rich in potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamins, and many other nutrients. It is also a good source of an antioxidant known as beta carotene, which is very helpful in increasing blood levels of Vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes can be consumed baked, steamed, boiled, or fried. It tastes really well and is very filling.
In North America, Sweet potatoes are called yams. However, both of these are different. Yams contain starchier content and have a drier texture than a sweet potato.
In India, these are popularly known as shakarkand and best known to be served as roasted and peppered with masalas, mostly sold by roadside vendors.
Sweet potatoes nutrition includes higher vitamin, larger amounts of beta carotene and fiber contents, and comparatively lower GI than regular potatoes. Therefore, sweet potatoes are healthier than normal regular potatoes.
Here in this post, we will know more about the nutrition facts of this sweet root vegetable in detail along with its benefits and the downsides associated with it.
The fiber content in cooked sweet potatoes is relatively high, with a normal medium-sized sweet potato has around 3 grams of dietary fiber. It is present in both soluble (15–23%) and insoluble form (77–85%). Soluble fibers, such as pectin, promote fullness, thus helps in avoiding taking extra food intake. These are also helpful in lowering blood sugar levels by slowing your digestion speed of starches and sugars. Whereas insoluble fibers, such as hemicellulose, and lignin, facilitate in improving gut health and reducing the risk of diabetes.
Although the protein source in sweet potatoes is less, which is 2 grams per 100 grams of sweet potatoes, the presence of unique proteins known as sporamins make them nutritious. Sporamins contain around 60-80 percent of their entire protein content. These proteins have antioxidant properties that remove the free radicals and heal the plant from any physical damage.
According to the USDA data, sweet potatoes nutrition consists of 20 grams of total carbohydrates per 100 grams. The maximum part (53%) which make up carb content are starches. Simple sugars like fructose, sucrose, glucose, and maltose contain the rest of 32 percent of the carb content. As sweet potatoes have medium to high glycemic index- a scale to measure how quickly your blood sugar levels spike after consuming something- these are not advised for people with type 2 diabetes. However, research suggests that boiling reduces the glycemic index of a particular food than frying, roasting, or baking.
In sweet potatoes, starches are basically divided into three categories- rapidly digested starch, resistant starch, and slowly digested starch. Rapidly digested starch contains a maximum of 80 percent that ensures how speedily the starch is broken down and absorbed. It results in rising the GI value. Resistant starch contains 11 percent and it acts like fiber that is helpful in improving the digestive and immune system. The amount of resistant starch can be increased by cooling the sweet potatoes after cooking. 9 percent are available slowly digested starch that gradually breaks down and causes a smaller increase in blood sugar levels.
Vitamins and minerals
Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium. They also have a decent amount of Vitamin B6, E, and A, and manganese, and other micronutrients. All these micronutrients help in controlling blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease, and are vital for overall growth and development of the body.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in several plant compounds like Chlorogenic acid, Anthocyanins, and Beta Carotene. These are antioxidants that remove the free radicals from the body.
Health benefits of sweet potatoes
Improve Blood Sugar Levels
Type 2 diabetes is caused by the imbalance of blood sugar levels and insulin secretion. Sweet potatoes with white skin and flesh contain Caiapo, which helps to increase insulin sensitivity and reduces blood glucose levels and bad cholesterol (LDL).
Lower the Risk of Cancer
Our body produces free radicals during normal metabolic processes. However, when there is an excess of these free radicals in our body’s cells, they cause oxidative damage to cells. More oxidative stress can contribute to aging and increase the risk of cancer. Studies suggest that having a diet rich in antioxidants like carotenoids reduces the chances of kidney, stomach, and breast cancers. Research indicates that the antioxidants available in the purple-fleshed sweet potatoes are great to reduce the risk of cancer.
Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD)
In many developing countries, deficiency of vitamin A is very common. However, this is a very crucial vitamin deficiency of which can lead to temporary or permanent damage to your eyes. It may also cause blindness. It also slows down the work of the immune system and increases the chances of mortality, chiefly among expectant & lactating women and children. You can prevent Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) by having sweet potatoes as they contain high amounts of absorbable beta carotene, which your body can convert into vitamin A.
Kidneys Stones- sweet potatoes are generally safe addition to diet but may increase your risk of kidney stones due to the presence of oxalates in them.
Sweet Potatoes Nutrition Data
Scientific Name: Ipomoea batatas
Higher classification: Ipomoea
Amount Per 100 grams (Data Sourced from USDA– The United States Department of Agriculture) sweet potatoes nutrition chart for reference:
|Nutrients||Quantity||% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat||0.1 g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate||20 g||6%|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.