All rights reserved. Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets. A large sweet potato weighs about 12 ounces, and once cooked, it’s about a cup and a half, equaling 250 calories with 60 grams of carbs. They are high in many nutrients, and taste delicious. Vitamin A is critical to a healthy immune system, and low blood levels have been linked to reduced immunity (37, 38). One cup (200 grams) of baked... 2. Who wins the nutritional content contest of sweet potatoes versus. Natural anti-inflammatory compounds in sweet potatoes have been shown to quell inflammation at the cellular level: Research done on animals has shown reduced inflammation in brain tissue and nerve tissue after purple sweet potato extract consumption. 2. The same portion also supplies 400%(!) The colorful gems offer some pretty impressive health perks. RELATED: How to Make Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges. If you are trying to lose weight, including purple sweet potato in your diet can help you shed extra pounds of fat. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, less than 2% of Americans meet the daily recommended potassium target of 4,700 mg. About 12% of the starch in sweet potatoes is resistant starch, a filling, fiber-like substance your body doesn’t digest and absorb. The gut is where your body is exposed to many potential disease-causing pathogens. Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Is Eating Raw Sweet Potato Good for You? Sweet potatoes are loaded in fiber. A lot of people ask me if sweet potatoes are actually that good for you, which isn't surprising considering their very name suggests they’re sugar-and-starch bombs! The average American consumes only 4.2 pounds of sweet potatoes per year, and if my observations are correct, most of that comes from the occasional side of sweet potato fries served with sandwiches at restaurants. Sweet potatoes during the holidays are a must in our household. Sweet potatoes contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble (8). Small to medium-sized sweet potatoes are sweeter and tastier than the larger varieties. When you eat resistant starch, it can’t be digested properly in the stomach and small intestine, so it actually can make you feel fuller for longer than when you eat hot potatoes. A good source of magnesium, sweet potatoes can help you to relax and de-stress. Yes, sweet potatoes are good for you. If you like the taste of yams more than sweet potatoes, don't kick them out of your diet; they are still a highly nutritious food. Cooking sweet potatoes with the skin on also helps prevent the loss of nutrients, including vitamin C and beta-carotene. Sweet Potatoes vs Yams: What’s the Difference? Just one medium-sized baked potato (156 g) contains 610 mg of potassium, whereas one average-sized baked sweet potato … They come in a variety of sizes and colors — including orange, white, and purple — and are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. On the other hand, non-viscous, insoluble fibers don’t absorb water and add bulk (9). As the title implies, this is an eating program that involves only eating sweet potatoes every day for three days. Sweet potatoes are so much more than the marshmallow-topped holiday side dish you had growing up. Supplementing with anthocyanin-rich sweet potato extract has been shown to improve learning and memory in mice, possibly due to its antioxidant properties (32, 33). They are full of antioxidants Packed with nutrients such as beta-carotene, potassium and fiber, sweet potatoes are also low in calories, making them a good addition to a healthy diet -- whether you’re trying to lose weight or just make better food choices. Sweet potatoes are abundant with beta-carotenes, 31 along with copper/zinc superoxide dismutase 32 and catalase, 33 adiponectin for balancing your insulin 34 and impressive doses of vitamin A, plus good levels of vitamin C and potassium. A large sweet potato weighs about 12 ounces, and once cooked, it’s about a cup and a half, equaling 250 calories with 60 grams of carbs. Resistant starch also prompts the body to pump out more satiety-inducing hormones. The idea is to eat only sweet potato wedges and avoid any other kind of vegetable. This time I decided to do something different other than a casserole or a pie. French fries, tater tots, potato chips…these fatty, high-sodium, often processed forms are the most most common choices, which is a big reason why the tubers end up with a bad rap. Sweet potatoes a diabetic superfood from an Australian health and wellness website And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Supplies of sweet potatoes are plentiful right now. No studies have been conducted to determine whether sweet potatoes, in particular, have an effect on immunity, but eating them regularly can help prevent vitamin A deficiency (40). However, it remains unknown whether they have the same effects in humans. Purple Sweet Potato May Assist In Weight Loss. Since sweet potatoes (well, potatoes in general) are greater in carbs than most other vegetables, it may be helpful to look at them as a grain when you're planning your meals. Therefore, fiber stays within your digestive tract and provides a variety of gut-related health benefits. 6. Next time you go out to dinner there’s a pretty good chance that sweet potato fries will be on the menu. There’s more to sweet potatoes than the sugary pies and casseroles served at Thanksgiving. While the sweet potato provides a good amount of vitamin C, one cup packs a whopping 400 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Because sweet potatoes contain a healthy dose of fiber—which helps slow down the release of glucose into your system—they won’t spike your blood sugar. Next time you boil some potatoes and they cool down, take note. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. Summary Sweet potatoes contain fiber and antioxidants that promote the growth of good gut bacteria and contribute to a healthy gut. Available in a variety of colors—from traditional orange to fiery yellow and reddish to an eye-catching purple—all sweet potatoes are good for you, but they have different nutrients. To get nutrition tips in your inbox, sign up for the HEALTH newsletter! No studies have been done to test these effects in humans, but in general, diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants are associated with a 13% lower risk of mental decline and dementia (34, 35). For even more … If you've ever encountered this problem when baking sweet potatoes, it's probably because you're cooking with the wrong size. Technically, they’re not really potatoes—they aren’t part of the same plant family—and they may be a little healthier. You can find out what other natural remedies are good for gout to help relieve painful inflammation in your joints. Sweet potatoes are a good source of quality carbohydrates, and come in a range of sizes. Diabetics are advised to maintain caution when eating any potato preparation. Therefore, eating antioxidant-rich foods is good for your health (6, 7). Most diets don't get close to the 20 to 35 grams of fiber recommended for health, the Harvard School of Public Health reports. Although you may be tempted to pick the more meatier potato, thinner sweet potatoes will cook evenly all the way through to the center. Sweet potatoes are a staple food in many parts of the world. Potatoes are one of the most commonly consumed vegetables with over a billion people eating them, and for good reason. Here's What to Do, 9 Signs It's More Serious Than the Common Cold, How Your Period Changes During Your 20s, 30s, and 40s, 12 Anxiety Symptoms That Might Point to a Disorder, Shannen Doherty Reveals Stage 4 Breast Cancer Diagnosis—Here's What It Means, The Best (and Worst) Diets of 2020, According to Experts, 10 Moves for a Cardio Workout at Home—No Equipment Required, These 13 Women Prove Every Body Is a Bikini Body, 20 Things You Should Throw Away for Better Health, How to Make Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges. Anthocyanins — a group of antioxidants found in purple sweet potatoes — have been found to slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells in test-tube studies, including those of the bladder, colon, stomach, and breast (3, 20, 21). In fact, one cup (200 grams) of baked orange sweet potato with skin provides more than seven times the amount of beta-carotene that the average adult needs per day (2). There are so many ways to cook (and eat) sweet potatoes—including for breakfast! Chan School of … 35 Studies have also shown that sweet potatoes may help reduce your risk of cancer, particularly in the colon 36 and breast. There are a surprising number of nutrient categories responsible for the health benefits of this underappreciated tuber. Each category brings with it valuable health benefits. The pigment that gives them their gorgeous hue has particularly potent antioxidant properties. Here's why a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis can be so frightening. The fiber and antioxidants in sweet potatoes are advantageous to gut health. Meal Prep: Everyday Breakfast with Sweet Potato Hash, Sweet Potatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Health.com is part of the Meredith Health Group. One cup (200 grams) of baked sweet potato with skin provides (2): In addition, sweet potatoes — especially the orange and purple varieties — are rich in antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals (3, 4, 5). Vitamins A and C also function as antioxidants that protect cells against aging and disease. 37 Keri Says: Sweet potatoes are a great source of powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene and other important phytonutrients. By the end you’ll know everything you need to know about sweet potatoes. One difficulty in describing the health benefits of sweet potatoes is knowing where to begin. But as a nutritionist, I give the root veggie two thumbs way up. Studies have shown that vitamin A deficiency increases gut inflammation and reduces the ability of your immune system to respond properly to potential threats (39). Preparing them would make them feel easy on your stomach. Share 0. Promote Gut Health. In fact, sweet potatoes are finding their way into a lot of mainstream dishes these days as people are becoming aware of their nutritional value. Supplies of sweet potatoes are plentiful right now. Only 3% of Americans get enough of the essential mineral potassium. You’ve probably heard that eating white potatoes may cause you to gain weight or negatively affect your blood sugar levels, but according to medical experts, it’s how you eat them that matters the most. Well, technically, no. Similarly, mice fed diets rich in purple sweet potatoes showed lower rates of early-stage colon cancer — suggesting that the anthocyanins in the potatoes may have a protective effect (3, 22). Normally, a medium-sized, cooked sweet potato has 3.8 grams of fiber and 4.2 grams of sugar within its carbohydrate content. A serving of sweet potato delivers a third of your need for manganese, a mineral that helps produce collagen and promote skin and bone health. Pick the varieties of sweet potato that have deep orange-colored flesh as these will have the most antioxidants. The best way to check if a sweet potato is good for eating is to give it a gentle squeeze. However, many people still have their doubts when it comes to the sweet potato nutrition profile. 3) Purple Potatoes: “These are considered to be part of the sweet potato family, but instead of being orange on the inside, they’re purple,” Friedman explains. The glycemic index rates carbohydrates according to how quickly they raise your blood sugar levels. It’s important to note though that there are many variations of the diet. Separate this tasty tuber from the brown sugar and marshmallows often added to them, and you’ve got yourself a healthy ingredient that’s also inexpensive and delicious. They’re high in fiber and antioxidants, which protect your body from free radical damage and promote a healthy gut and brain. Sweet potatoes provide a number of health benefits, some of which might surprise you. Sweet potatoes are rich in many essential nutrients all the while containing a modest amount of calories and sugar. In … You can cultivate lots of bad habits over a lifetime, but eating sweet potatoes every day isn’t among them. Your body cannot digest either type. “They’re good here—I have more than last year. That’s more than twice the amount in a medium banana. Sweet potatoes are sweet, starchy root vegetables that are grown worldwide (1). Vitamin A is also key for maintaining healthy skin, vision, and organ function. It's also necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function. You can also bake, mash, and fold sweet potatoes into overnight oats; whip them into a smoothie; or puree them with low-sodium organic veggie broth as the base for a soup. The symptoms of anxiety can be hard to detect. If you eat one without it, you’ll only get about 3 grams. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin C and vitamin B6, which is important for brain and nervous system health.They’re also a good source of potassium and … Sweet potatoes are very easy to add to your diet. Orange sweet potatoes are vitamin and mineral powerhouses. Test-tube studies have found that antioxidants in purple sweet potatoes promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, including certain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species (15, 16). If you eat a medium potato with skin, you’ll get about 4 grams. And while sweet potatoes contain more vitamin A and vitamin C, white potatoes contain more protein and fiber. Sweet potatoes are grown worldwide and come in a variety of colors and sizes, including white, purple and orange. Summary Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and anthocyanins, antioxidants that may help prevent vision loss and improve eye health. This is a detailed review of sweet potatoes, looking at the nutrition facts and health benefits. They make a good source of quality carbs, but if you are watching your carb intake, it's easy to overdo it on sweet potatoes. Orange sweet potatoes have a higher GI. Doctors explain how to tell if you have a head cold or something more serious that requires medical attention, such as the flu, strep throat, meningitis, or mono. Eating foods rich in beta-carotene, such as orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, may help prevent this condition (27). The deep orange-yellow color of sweet potatoes tells you that they're high in the antioxidant beta carotene. Health.com may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. This is especially true when you keep the skin on, says Ryan Maciel, R.D., C.S.C.S., a dietitian based in Cambridge, MA.A … In countries throughout Africa, in India and in the Caribbean, sweet p… Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, and copper. You can easily substitute sweet potatoes in for carrot, mango, or peach in your existing preferred dish. Is Your Doctor Gaslighting You? What are the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes are a good source of quality carbohydrates, and come in a range of sizes. Since sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates, they can spike blood sugar levels. However unlike routine potatoes, which include the unsafe enzyme solanine in their raw state, sweet potatoes can really be taken in raw. Severe vitamin A deficiency is a concern in developing countries and can lead to a special type of blindness known as xerophthalmia. Non-diabetics however can counteract the sugar spike by combining potato with low GI other high-fiber foods like lentils or beans or nuts or other high-fiber veggies. Taste of Home. Starchy vs Non-Starchy Vegetables: Food Lists and Nutrition Facts, 14 Healthy Foods That Are High in Potassium. yams? You'll also get between 15 and 30% of several energy-supporting B vitamins and minerals, including potassium (more on this below). Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fibre as well as containing an array of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, and they’re a good source of most of our B vitamins and vitamin C. One of the key nutritional benefits of sweet potato is that they’re high in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body and used to form light-detecting receptors inside your eyes (25, 26). Are Sweet Potatoes Good for You? Mix it with turmeric, ginger, and coconut water for a tropical take. They are both good for you, but a typical sweet potato will have loads more vitamin C and beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A and is great for vision, skin, and the immune system. This article reviews whether mayo is safe when…. Here are the many ways you can substitute potatoes into your diet every day. Here are 14 of the healthiest vegetables on the…. Potatoes are incredibly popular worldwide, but they've managed to stir up some controversy. I enjoy eating sweet potatoes all year long, and in the fall, they become particularly appealing—as a hearty side dish, and an ingredient in everything from soups and stews to pies and other desserts. Think high levels of vitamin C, manganese, tryptophan, potassium, copper, and plenty of fiber. If you take in excessive of raw sweet potatoes, you may experience flatulence. So are sweet potatoes good for you? What makes them so good for you? They are also a good source of vitamins E, B5 and B6. Potatoes are classified in under High Glycemic Foods, boiled white potatoes are rated 82, while sweet potatoes have a score of 70. Also, sweet potatoes are a rich source of antioxidants such as … As a result, not every sweet potato has the same number of carbohydrates. Vitamin C keep your immune system in tip top shape, helps with bone formation and increases collage production, which in turn promotes healthy skin. They can be enjoyed with or without the skin and can be baked, boiled, roasted, fried, steamed, or pan-cooked. All rights reserved. Potatoes are a fabulous source of fiber and nutrients (especially if you eat the skin). yams? According to Health, both nutrients are important for keeping your immune system in good shape. It’s also key for maintaining healthy mucous membranes, especially in the lining of your gut. Sweet Potatoes Have Fructose and Fiber. They’re also lower on the Glycemic Index than white potatoes, which means they’re less likely to cause a blood sugar spike. Sweet Potatoes can help with weight loss because of their high nutrient density and their fiber content helps you stay full. They get their orange color from beta-carotene, which is a pigment and antioxidant. While both are good for you, sweet potatoes contain higher doses of most nutrients. Like all sweet potatoes (such as purple and Japanese sweet potatoes), they are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. If you decide to eat sweet potatoes, eat them with some good fats (like ghee or coconut oil), don’t add any additional sugars to them, eat them as part of a meal that also includes proteins and vegetables, and don’t overeat them! 6. Are sweet potatoes good for you? Sweet potatoes are versatile and can be prepared in both sweet and savory dishes, making them an exceptional carb option for most people. Yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the population in North America may be deficient in this important mineral! When potatoes are cooked through, then left to cool down, they form a firm texture. They are an excellent whole food source of fiber, carbohydrates, vitamin A, B-6, magnesium, and iron. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin C, with one baked potato providing you with 37% of your daily requirement. Sweet potatoes are incredibly rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant responsible for the vegetable’s bright orange color. How you use sweet potatoes will determine whether or not they help you in your weight loss goals. This doesn't mean yams aren't nutritious –they are a good source of fibre and potassium. Extracts of orange sweet potatoes and sweet potato peels have also been found to have anti-cancer properties in test-tube studies (23, 24). Summary Sweet potatoes are a versatile root vegetable that can be prepared in many ways. One cup of sweet potato contains about 105 calories and 15 percent of our daily fiber requirements. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are one of the richest natural sources of beta-carotene, a plant-based compound that is converted to vitamin A in your body (36). Some soluble and insoluble fibers can also be fermented by the bacteria in your colon, creating compounds called short-chain fatty acids that fuel the cells of your intestinal lining and keep them healthy and strong (10, 11). They are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. Nutritionally speaking, Sweet Potatoes are very good for you, they are rich in fibre and other essential nutrients, so no, we aren’t trying to explore whether or not Sweet Potatoes are good for you – they are, but what we want to explore is some of the rumours that makes Sweet Potatoes out to be super healthy and a healthier (yet often more expensive) version of the potato. 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