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Sweet Potato

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Sweet Potato Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 77.3 g
Calories: 86 kcal
Protein: 1.6 g
Carbohydrate: 20.1 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 4.2 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 2.4 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.6 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B9: 11 μg
Vitamin A: 709 μg
Vitamin E: 0.3 mg
Vitamin K: 1.8 μg
Calcium: 30 mg
Iron: 0.6 mg
Magnesium: 25 mg
Phosphorus: 47 mg
Potassium: 337 mg
Sodium: 55 mg
Zinc: 0.3 mg

The sweet potato is a starchy, sweet tasting source of complex carbohydrates and a common root vegetable. While they are fantastic on their own roasted or mashed, sweet potatoes are easy to incorporate into a wide variety of dishes: in fact, they are a staple part of some African cuisines and are also common across Southeast Asia.

The benefits of sweet potato include possibly unparalleled levels of beta-carotene, blood sugar regulation, and a powerful antioxidant benefit.

Nutritionally, the sweet potato is only really exceptional when it comes to beta-carotene, the carotenoid that gives it its orange colour, although it also has decent amounts of vitamin B6. 100g of sweet potato has 86 calories, but a huge 283% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin A equivalent, most of which is in the form of beta-carotene.

Not only is vitamin A great for eye health, but beta-carotene itself has been linked to a lower risk of getting certain cancers, specifically prostate cancer and colon cancer. In addition, sweet potato contains 12% DV of dietary fibre, 10% of vitamin B6, and 9% DV of potassium; micronutrients essential for digestive, immune and cardiovascular health, respectively.

Sweet potatoes have a lot to offer in terms of other advantages to your long-term health. Firstly, they may have benefits for the regulation of blood sugar (and, by extension, diabetes management). It is significant that, not only are sweet potatoes lower on the glycemic index than most starchy foods (the glycemic index is an indicator of how much a certain food will affect someone’s blood glucose), but that they also have benefits for the maintenance of blood sugar, making this an especially good source of carbohydrates for those with type 2 diabetes or the associated risk factors of type 2 diabetes (obesity, poor diet and so on).

While all sweet potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, there is one variety of sweet potato now being studied for some astonishing health benefits.

The purple-fleshed sweet potato is being studied for its antioxidant properties, and its possible benefits for protecting the brain and the liver from environmental damage.

Firstly, the purple sweet potato has been proven to counteract some of the free radical damaged caused by a high cholesterol diet because of its strong antioxidant properties.

Secondly, it has been shown to protect the brain from environmental damage, and third, there is strong evidence that it may protect the liver from a number of (1, 2, 3) toxic compounds; meaning that purple sweet potato has strong protective effects on your body.