Sweet potato is a nutrient-rich plant-based food that is used by many people as an alternative to potatoes. It is rich in beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the body. Usually, it is found in orange color because of the beta carotene, but it is also found in other colors like red, white, pink, yellow, violet, and purple. In this article, we will discuss the nutritional facts and health benefits of sweet potatoes.
The Nutritional Facts Of Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes can be used for different types of plant-based food preparation, i.e. it can be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, or fried. Due to this versatility, it is included in a wide variety of vegetarian or vegan recipes.
Listed below is the nutritional content in 100 grams of sweet potatoes:
- Calories: 86
- Carbohydrates:1 grams
- Fat:1 grams
- Sugar:2 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein:6 grams
- Water: 77%
Of the total carbohydrates in a boiled medium-sized sweet potato, 53% are starches, and 32% are simple sugars like glucose, fructose, maltose, and sucrose. Also, its glycaemic index (GI) ranges from 44 to 96. This also depends on the cooking method, i.e. boiling is associated with a lower GI value.
There are 3 types of starches based on how they are digested, and they are listed below:
- Rapidly Digested Starch (80%): This starch is easily broken down and absorbed, and it increases the GI value of sweet potato.
- Resistant Starch (11%): This starch is not digested, and it is used by the gut bacteria.
- Slowly Digested Starch (9%): This type of starch is broken down slowly, and hence causes a smaller rise in blood sugar levels.
Minerals And Vitamins
Sweet potato is a plant-based food that is rich in beta carotene, potassium, and vitamin C. Listed below are the minerals and vitamins abundant in this tuber:
- Pro-Vitamin A: 100 grams of sweet potato provides the recommended daily allowance of this vitamin.
- Potassium: This mineral is required for the proper regulation of blood pressure.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is a good antioxidant, and it improves immunity.
- Vitamin E: This is a fat-soluble vitamin that is capable of protecting the body from oxidative damage due to free radicals.
- Vitamin B6: This vitamin plays a key role in the metabolism of food.
- Manganese: This mineral is essential for metabolism, growth, and development.
On a final note, consuming sweet potatoes in your plant-based diet helps with better management of blood sugar levels. Because of this, it is a better choice than regular potatoes, especially for those with type 2 diabetes.