9 Benefits of Sweet Potato That Makes It Even More Worth Eating

9 Benefits of Sweet Potato That Makes It Even More Worth Eating
Main Name: Sweet Potato
Biological Name: Ipomoea batatas
Names in other languages: Pomme de terre douce (French), Shakarkand (Hindi), Sarkaraivalli kizhangu (Tamil), Madhurakkilannu (Malayalam), Chilakada dumpa (Telugu), Ratalu (Gujarati), Ranga aloo (Bengali), Ratala (Marathi), Kanda mula (Oriya), Shakarkandi (Punjabi), Shakkarkandi (Urdu)
The sweet potato, although believed to be associated with the white potato, does not even fall into the same family! While potatoes are tubers, sweet potatoes are roots. The darkly coloured sweet potatoes maybe sometimes confused with yam, depending on the variety. Botanically, this root is known as Ipomoea batatas and belongs to the Convolvulaceae family. Native to Central America, sweet potatoes have been consumed for more than 10,000 years but are famous on the Thanksgiving Day feast. Characterized by a large and starchy tuberous root, a sweet potato can have a skin colours ranging from white, cream, yellow, orange, pink and deep purple, although white/cream and yellow/orange are the most common. Even the shape and size of this food varies from short and blocky to long and thin. Sweet potatoes have a number of health benefits that clearly justify adding them to your balanced diet.
Believed to be one of the oldest vegetables known to mankind, the sweet potato was domesticated 1000 decades ago in Central America. Its history dates back to 750 BC in Peruvian records, from where it spread to the Caribbean and South America. It was discovered by Christopher Columbus and his shipmates on their second voyage to the New World in 1492. Sweet potatoes were found on the island of Saint Thomas. Later, this vegetable got introduced to the European shores. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers took sweet potatoes to the Philippines while the Portuguese introduced them to Africa, India, Indonesia and southern Asia. The south of the United States was introduced to this delicious root around the same time and it is now considered a staple food there. Today, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, India and Uganda are the major cultivators of sweet potatoes.


Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

  1. Sweet potatoes are regarded as one of the healthiest foods to eat due to the presence of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, B vitamins, potassium and iron. One of the major benefits of this root vegetable is that it protects cigarette smokers from emphysema. This reason behind this is that smoking leads to a deficiency of vitamin A, which is provided when consuming sweet potatoes.
  2. Antioxidants are found in abundance in sweet potatoes. Vitamins A and C combine together to get rid of cancer-friendly free radicals that damage reactions with DNA.
  3. Due to anti-inflammatory properties, sweet potatoes make an excellent food for people suffering with arthritis.
  4. By clearing congestions in the nose, bronchus and lungs, sweet potatoes are effective in providing relief to asthma patients.
  5. These vegetables with their skin intact has fibre equivalent to half a cup of oatmeal. If you are not a fan of the taste, you can either roast the whole sweet potato or cut into oven fries and consume. Fiber, when combined with magnesium, works as a great facilitator for digestion. Since they contain starch, sweet potatoes are light on the stomach and intestines.
  6. Beta carotene is responsible for the colour of the sweet potato peel, which is useful for curing various types of cancers particularly those of the colon, intestines, prostate, kidneys and other internal organs. Also, this vegetable is necessary for normal vision, proper bone growth, healthy skin and protection of the mucus membranes of the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts.
  7. People suffering from type 2 diabetes are recommended to consume the white-skinned sweet potato due to its ability of improving insulin sensitivity.
  8. Enriched with potassium, sweet potatoes help in preventing heart attacks and strokes. By maintaining fluid and electrolytic balance of body cells, this nutritious root promotes regular functioning of the heart. Deficiency of potassium leads to muscular cramps and an increased susceptibility to injuries. Therefore, including these root vegetables in your daily diet reduces the risk of injury.
  9. Apart from being tasty, sweet potatoes contain plenty of complex starch, healthy vitamins, minerals and proteins which are required for individuals who are extremely lean and bony, as these vegetables form excellent sources of energy.
Sweet Potato Nutrition FactsAmount: 1 cup
Total Weight: 133 g


Nutrients Amount
Basic Components  
Protein 2.1 g
Water 103 g
Ash 1.3 g
Phytosterols 16 mg
Total Calories 114
Calories From Carbohydrate 108
Calories From Fat 0.56
Calories From Protein 5.8
Total Carbohydrates 27 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Starch 17 g
Sugar 5.6 g
Fats & Fatty Acids  
Total Fat 67 mg
Saturated Fat 24 mg
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 mg
Polyunsaturated Fat 19 mg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1.3 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 17 mg
Vitamin A 18869 IU
Vitamin C 3.2 mg
Vitamin E 346 mcg
Vitamin K 2.4 mcg
Thiamin 104 mcg
Riboflavin 81 mcg
Niacin 741 mcg
Vitamin B6 278 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 1.1 mg
Folate 15 mcg
Choline 16.4 mg
Calcium 40 mg
Iron 811 mcg
Magnesium 33 mg
Phosphorus 63 mg
Potassium 448 mg
Sodium 73 mg
Zinc 399 mcg
Copper 201 mcg
Manganese 343 mcg
Selenium 0.8 mcg


How many calories in sweet potatoes (per 100 gm)
Sweet potatoes have about 86 calories per 100 gm of weight.
How to Buy Sweet Potatoes
  • Whenever you wish to purchase sweet potatoes, select darker varieties, if available, as these have a higher content of carotene content.
  • Select firm sweet potatoes with taut, papery skins, tapered ends and uniform in size, shape and colour.
  • Avoid buying ones that have wrinkles, cracks, bruises or soft spots.
  • Do not buy roots with a slight green discolouration as this is an indication of the presence of a toxic substance called solanine.
Sweet Potato Storage Tips
  • After you have brought the sweet potatoes home, brush off any excess sand from the surface. Do not wash until you want to cook them as moisture leads to spoilage.
  • Remember to store these vegetables in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place. But, never store sweet potatoes at a temperature below 35F.
  • Place sweet potatoes in an open area and do not wrap them in a plastic bag or store them in the refrigerator as doing so will create a hardened core and produce an ‘off’ taste.
  • While in the open at normal room temperature, sweet potatoes should be consumed within a week of purchase. However, when stored under proper conditions, they can be kept for a month or longer.
  • To store cooked sweet potatoes in the refrigerator, temperatures between 55 and 65 F are advisable.