Sweet sweet everywhere but does every bit of it scares? Well, certainly not! The famous sweet potato is replete with a plethora of nutrients. Reap the incredible sweet potato benefits by including it in your diet. Still not sure? Read on to find out how great this small potato sibling can be with some delicious and tasty recipes.
What is Sweet Potato?
The orange colored sweet roots, the look-alikes of potatoes, often seen tossed in our meals and much relished, are nothing else but the sweet potatoes(1). The sweet potato plant belongs to the family of bindweed or morning glory and is full of starch in its tuberous roots. They are native to the Americas’ tropical regions. The colors might range from red, violet purple to yellow and orange, but the most popular and readily available species is the orange one.
Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts
Sweet Potatoes are highly nutritious vegetables, and it will amaze you that they contain a tremendous amount of Vitamin A in them(2). Besides, they are a good source of starch, holding lots of carbohydrates, instilling in us the energy to be active all day long.
Only one medium-sized sweet potato can nourish you with all of the below:
|dietary fiber||8 grams|
How does Sweet Potato Benefits Us?
The long list of nutrients that the sweet potato comprises of gives a clear indication of its tremendous benefits. Some of them are not so commonly known. This article will introduce you to many such aids that you weren’t even aware of.
The recommendations are to include this sweet vegetable in your favorite recipes the way you like to reap the sweet potato benefits, for example, baked sweet potato recipes, sweet potato salad, sweet potato soup, sweet potato fries and many more.
1. Treat for the Eyes
The high Vitamin A content in sweet potatoes can easily explain their magical powers for great eyesight. The USDA suggests that just one medium-sized sweet potato can fulfill 100% of a day’s requirement for Vitamin A. It also aids in fertility in women of childbearing age.
2. Sweet Potato Benefits for Digestion
Sweet potato benefits digestion as it is rich in Fiber content which is excellent for digestion and relieves from the problems of constipation and irregular bowel movements. Always remember that your entire body health closely connects to a happy, healthy tummy.
3. Sweet Potato Calories, Recommended for Controlled Blood Pressure
Sweet potato benefits us more than the regular white potatoes, as it has low amounts of sodium and lower calories than the white potatoes. Therefore, consuming sweet potato calories are absorbed only in the appropriate quantities.
4. Sweet Potato Benefits to Building up Body Immunity
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that aids in the overall body immunity. Sweet potato is a good source of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, with nothing that can affect your body in any way. It means a robust and healthy body.
5. Sweet Potato Proteins Against Cancer
What might not be a rather popularly known fact, is that almost 80% of the proteins found in sweet potatoes are protease inhibitors, meaning they can prevent cancer. Lab tests have shown that proteins of sweet potato benefits to suppressing in gleukemia cells.
6. Stronger Bones and Healthier skin
Another nutrient found in sweet potatoes of great importance is Manganese. This nutrient helps in producing collagen in our body. The benefits include stronger bones with healthier and glowing skin.
How to Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potato is commonly seen in a lot of favorite recipes or as a side dish like salads. Its flavor is no mystery to anyone, but now that you know how healthy it is, the methods will surely feel tastier! Apart from the homemade recipes, there are several ways in which you can consume sweet potatoes.
Ready-Made Sweet Potato Recipes Available in the Market
- Sweet potato bread
- Sweet potato biscuits
- Sweet potato cake
- Roasted sweet potato popularly gets spotted in Asian markets, sold by street vendors. It can also be prepared at home using your oven
DIY Sweet Potato Recipes
Baked Sweet Potato
Baked Sweet Potato is one of the easiest and healthiest recipes one can manage at home with minimal ingredients. It is full of pleasing natural flavors and has the potential to fill you up healthy.
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- Three large and fresh sweet potatoes
- Two pinches of dried oregano
- Saltas per taste
- Two pinches of ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then coat the baking dish or glass plate with olive oil
- Wash, peel and cut the sweet potatoes on a chopping plate
Tip: Cut the pieces smaller for smaller cooking time.
- Place the cut pieces on the oil coated cooking dish and then turn them over so that they get covered with oil on both sides
- Bake the sweet potatoes for 50 to 60 minutes or until soft
- Once baked place the sweet potatoes in a dish and sprinkle salt, pepper, and oregano over them. Mix well and serve hot
This recipe will serve you with below sweet potato benefits per serving:
321 calories, 7.3 g fat, 61 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g protein, contains 0 mg cholesterol and 92 mg sodium.
Sweet Potato Soup
Sweet Potato Soup is another great recipe regarding both health and taste. Take a look at this creamy, super easy recipe.
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- One small diced onion
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- One diced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Two chopped cloves of garlic
- 3-4 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
- 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
- One teaspoon paprika
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and then add the diced onions and shallots in the pan. Add salt and pepper and let it cook until transparent.
- Add chopped garlic cloves in the pan and cook for another two minutes.
- Then add chopped sweet potatoes, vegetable or chicken stock, cinnamon and paprika in the pan and stir the mixture well. Boil the mixture and then reduce the heat to simmer for 30 more minutes.
- Puree the cooked mixture with a blender or in a mixer and then season it with more salt and pepper as required.
Precautions/side Effects of Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a very healthy vegetable in itself. There are no harmful elements that you can find in a sweet potato. However, there is just one little precaution that you must take or know about to best enjoy its benefits.
Sweet potatoes are extensively rich in Vitamin A, which though is a positive point, can cause specific side effects if present in a considerable quantity in our body. Observations noted state that they could cause orange coloration of skin and nails when consumed in large numbers. A simple way to avoid this is to eat it in a moderate amount.
Yams VS. Sweet Potatoes
A common confusion about the relationship between yams and sweet potatoes arose because of their different names and colors yet similar properties. Yams are indeed sweet potatoes of the white color variety.
The name gained popularity when US producers chose the English version of the African word ‘nyami,’ to differentiate the orange and white types. So if you have brought home yams, thinking that they are sweet potatoes, you are correct.
There can be endless ways in which you can savor the sweet potato benefits and different flavors of it, so why not? Sweet potatoes can act as perfect replacements of white potatoes, keeping you healthier and somewhat stronger.
You can easily include them in some of our favorite recipes like fries. Sweet potato fries are equally tasty and much more robust than just chips loaded with fat. The encouraging facts about sweet potatoes will undoubtedly help you convince your kids and family to eat them more.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I eat sweet potatoes every day?
In order not to overload yourself with carbs and Vitamin A, it is best to eat sweet potatoes occasionally or in smaller quantities every day.
2. Are sweet potatoes fattening?
Sweet Potatoes have much lower calories than white potatoes and therefore help you in losing weight.
3. Is sweet potato better than a baked potato?
Both baked white potatoes and sweet potatoes benefit us with their nutritional values. Though sweet potatoes are more abundant in vitamins and fibers, baked white potatoes are more abundant in minerals like potassium. The preparation dressings or the way it gets served will best decide the nutritional value of the dish.