Sweet Potato Nutrition
Sweet potatoes are a healthy and nutritious food, relatively low in calories with about 114 calories in a one-cup serving of raw, cubed potato. Sweet potato nutrition facts boast 0g total fat and over 15 percent of the recommended daily fiber contributing to a healthier colon.
Low in sodium and containing natural sugars, sweet potato packs 2g of protein per 1 cup raw serving. Sweet potatoes excel in healthful benefits at low calorie levels with over 40 percent of the suggested daily allowance for vitamin C and high beta carotene, a potent antioxidant.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of copper, calcium and manganese, all components for a balanced and healthy diet. High in vitamin A and B6, an essential vitamin for immune and nervous system function, this vegetable offers a very healthy choice.
The sweet potato is digested at a slower rate, which causes blood sugar levels to rise slowly, keeping hunger away longer. This root vegetable is now considered a good carb as opposed to the past when sweet potatoes were grouped with potatoes and other “bad” carbs.
This tuber also has significant properties for reducing inflammation, considered to be related to the component that makes the meat of the sweet potato a deep purple. Blood clotting is another factor thought to be related to color chemistry.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams are unrelated. It’s not uncommon to confuse sweet potatoes with yams. While yams are of African and Asian origins, the softer, sweet potatoes from tropical tubers resembles them and have been mislabeled on occasion. Sweet potatoes boast over 400 types, with the skin ranging from pale cream to dark purple. Yellows and oranges are common and the meat of the tuber grows within the same range. The deep purple meats make beautiful holiday dishes, raw or cooked.
The colors of sweet potatoes are vibrant and rich, promising flavor and nutrition. The beta-carotene levels in the orange and yellow-fleshed sweet potatoes is high, while the purple-fleshed sweet potatoes are higher in antioxidants. Because of the differences in nutritional values and starches, grocers now must label the products yams or sweet potatoes. Despite this regulation, the tubers labeled yams are often just another variety of sweet potato.
Choose tubers that have smooth skin and no breaks. The sweet potato should be firm and smell earthy and mild. This vegetable comes in many shapes and sizes. The larger tubers are often drier and starchier than the smaller varieties.
Use sweet potatoes as a potato substitute for favorite recipes, in place of french fries, raw for dipping or baked. The healthiest way to consume this food is to steam or bake it. The sweet potato tends to be difficult to digest for some when eaten raw. Caution should be used.
Sweet potato nutrition facts speak for themselves, boasting the advantages of incorporating this healthy and versatile vegetable into your diet.