Let’s talk about Sweet Potatoes – Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.
Sweet potatoes also contain dietary fiber, which makes them unique for digestion, especially for constipation issues.
This tuber can b consumed in many ways, such as you can bake, boil, fried ”delicious” and steam.
Sweet potatoes have various colors such as white, red, orange, pink, and yellow, but I prefer the orange color; I guess it is sweeter.
This article explains everything you need to know about sweet potatoes
According to NDB NAL, the nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw sweet potatoes are:
- Calories: 86
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Carbs: 20.1 grams
- Sugar: 4.2 grams
- Water: 77%
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
According to NCBI Pubmed, starches are split into three categories based on how well they’re digested.
The starch proportions in sweet potatoes are as follows:
- Rapidly digested starch (80%). This starch is broken down quickly and absorbed, increasing the GI value.
- Slowly digested starch (9%). This type breaks down slowly and causes a smaller rise in blood sugar levels.
- Resistant starch (11%). This starch acts like fiber and escapes digestion, feeding friendly on the gut bacteria. The amount of resistant starch may increase slightly by cooling the sweet potatoes after cooking.
According to Healthline, a medium-sized boiled sweet potato without the skin contains 27 grams of carbs. Which the main components are starches, making up 53% of the carb content.
However, simple sugars, such as fructose, sucrose, glucose, and maltose, comprise 32% of the carb content.
Sweet potatoes contain a medium-high glycemic index (GI), which varies from 44–96. The GI is a measure of how fast your blood sugar levels rise after a meal.
Additionally, large amounts in a single meal may be unsuitable for people with type 2 diabetes.
Note that sweet potato boiling seems to be linked with lower GI values than baking, frying, or roasting.
The high fiber content is associated with cooked sweet potatoes, with a medium-sized sweet potato containing 3.8 grams.
Fibers can be both soluble (15–23%) in the form of pectin and insoluble (77–85%) in cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin.
However, soluble fibers, such as pectin, may increase fullness, decrease food intake, and reduce blood sugar spikes by slowing your digestion of sugars and starches.
Also, much intake of insoluble fibers has been connected with many health benefits, such as a reduced risk of diabetes and improved gut health.
A medium-sized sweet potato contains 2 grams of protein, proving to be a poor protein source.
According to Sciencedirect. Com sweet potatoes contain sporamins, special proteins that account for more than 80% of their total protein content.
Despite being low in protein, sweet potatoes are an essential source of this macronutrient.
Vitamins and minerals
Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta carotene, vitamin C, and potassium.
The vitamins and minerals are:
- Pro-vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are extremely rich in beta carotene.
- Vitamin C. This antioxidant may decrease the duration of the common cold and boost skin health.
- Potassium. Good for blood pressure control, this mineral may decrease your risk of heart disease.
- Manganese. This trace mineral is important for growth, development, and metabolism.
- Vitamin B5. Also known as pantothenic acid, this vitamin is found to some extent in nearly all foods.
- Vitamin E. This powerful fat-soluble antioxidant may protect your body against oxidative damage.
- Vitamin B6. This vitamin plays a crucial role in the conversion of food into energy.
Sweet potatoes contain several plant compounds that may affect your health.
These compound include:
- Beta carotene. An antioxidant carotenoid that your body converts into vitamin A. Adding fat to the meal can increase your absorption of this compound.
- Anthocyanins. Purple sweet potatoes are rich in anthocyanins, which possess strong antioxidant properties.
- Chlorogenic acid.
Health benefits of sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes have lots of health benefits.
1. Prevention of vitamin A deficiency
Vitamin A plays an essential role in your body. Deficiency can cause both temporary and permanent damage to your eyes and which can cause blindness.
It can also suppress immune function and increase mortality, especially among children and pregnant and lactating women.
The intensity of the yellow or orange color of the sweet potato is directly linked to its beta carotene content.
Orange sweet potatoes have been shown to increase blood levels of vitamin A more than other beta carotene sources, as they contain a highly absorbable variety of this nutrient.
2. Reduced oxidative damage and cancer risk
Oxidative damage to cells is often connected with an increased risk of cancer, which occurs when cells divide uncontrollably.
Diets rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids, are linked with a lower risk of stomach, kidney, and breast cancers.
Research shows that sweet potatoes’ potent antioxidants may decrease the risk of cancer. However, purple potatoes contain the highest antioxidant activity.