Sweet potato is really healthy?

Sweet potato is a versatile vegetable that appears more frequently in the Dutch kitchen. In addition, the sweet potato is known as a healthy alternative to the traditional Dutch potato.

But how healthy is the sweet potato really? And it is true that sweet potato is healthier than a regular?

Time to find out this out to the bottom.

What’s sweet potato?

First, let’s look at what exactly a sweet potato.

The sweet potato is also called yam. He is originally from South America. But because it can grow in many places, men have this crop spread over the last centuries all over the world.

Unlike the name suggests, is the sweet potato no potato family. The sweet potato is in fact a tuberous plant, derived from a plant from the family wind. Sweet potato is actually a vegetable.

The sweet potato or resembles a regular pager. The taste is sweet but also spicy. This sweet potato fits in both sweet and savory dishes. And you can process sweet potato in many ways a dish like boiled, baked or mashed.

So it is no surprise that the sweet potato growing countries has become a popular addition in the kitchen. In the Netherlands too.

Nutritional value of sweet potatoes

Sweet is also very nutritious. Moreover, there are many vitamins, minerals and fiber in sweet potatoes. Especially the important vitamins A, C, B5, B6 and E are plentiful. Further you can read more about the health benefits that brings.

The nutritional values ​​of 100 grams of sweet potato (uncooked)

Kilo Joules: 360 kj
Calories: 86 kcal
Protein 1.57 g
Carbohydrate: 20 g
Fat: 0.046 g
which saturated: 0.018 g
Fiber 3 g
Sodium 55 mg
Potassium 337 mg

Health benefits of sweet potato

Besides the high nutritional value, there are also many fabrics in sweet potato have a healthy effect on our body.

The sweet tuber is loaded with vitamin C for example, which is good for our skin and overall resistance. And sweet potato is a good source of vitamin B6, which keeps our blood vessels flexible. Moreover, vitamin B6 and potassium help to lower your blood pressure [1].

This of course sounds all right. But the health benefits I read you will now make the sweet potato really an above average healthy vegetable.

Beta-carotene
Sweet potato is packed with beta-carotene. And this substance can easily convert the body into vitamin A.

Vitamin A is very good for all body cells, but especially for your eyes. Vitamin A contributes to growth and recovery and increases your resistance. A deficiency of vitamin A can be dangerous, especially for children and pregnant women [2].

There’s so much beta-carotene in sweet potato that with just 100 grams of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A intake.

Antioxidants
There are various nutrients in sweet potatoes that function as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants are nutrients that protect against the damaging effects of free radicals [3].

Everybody has free radicals in the body. There you can do absolutely nothing. It is very important that you get enough antioxidants through diet to eliminate free radicals.

If you eat sweet potato, are you sure you’re getting enough antioxidants. And it helps in the long run to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer [4, 5].

Proteins in sweet potato

About 1.5 to 2% of the sweet potato consists of proteins. That’s not much, but still worth mentioning. That’s because these proteins are very special.

Proteins are important building blocks of our body. There are many different types of proteins, and so many different types of building blocks.

The proteins in sweet potato are special because our body can use as a kind of joker in a card game. These proteins are in fact turn into many different types of building blocks. And that makes them very valuable.

Moreover, these proteins are also very good antioxidants. [6]

Carbohydrates in sweet potato

The nutrition table shows that quite a lot of carbohydrates are sweet potatoes. Therefore, there is sometimes criticism of the assertion that sweet potato is a healthy alternative to regular potatoes.

This criticism is not correct because the carbohydrates in sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates. That means our digestive processes them slowly to make energy from carbohydrates (glucose) slowly in our blood. This makes our blood sugar remains constant.

This is very different from fast carbohydrates. Which managed to deliver very fast and thus energy peaks in blood sugar. And if you regularly peaking blood sugar increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes to [7.8].

If you’re here to read more about, I suggest you to read this article .

The carbohydrates in sweet potatoes are so slowly absorbed. That’s because in addition to carbohydrates, many other nutrients in sweet potatoes, like all those vitamins and minerals.

But the main reason that the carbohydrates in sweet potatoes are processed slowly, the amount of dietary fibers.

Dietary fiber in sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes containing a relatively large amount of dietary fiber relative to the number of carbohydrates.

Moreover, there is a favorable ratio of soluble and insoluble fiber in sweet potatoes. This means that the fibers are or are not water-soluble.

The soluble fiber will make you feel sated so you eat less. Moreover, they provide a slow absorption of carbohydrates so you do not peaking blood [9].

There are also still insoluble fiber in sweet potatoes. And also linked to a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes and improved gut health [10, 11].

Difference between sweet and regular potato

We now know that the sweet potato is a healthy vegetable with several beneficial properties. Now let’s see if sweet potato really is healthier than a regular potato.

If we only compare the nutritional values ​​of sweet and regular potato with each other, the differences are minimal. Especially the amount of carbohydrates is almost the same. In both is about 20 grams.

Why has sweet potato still preferable to a normal pager?

This is mainly because there are almost two times as much fiber is in sweet potato. This allows the carbohydrates in a sweet potato are processed more slowly.

Thus the energy in a normal potato is much faster in our blood and causes blood sugar spikes. As you have already been seen above these peaks are bad for our health. Moreover, they cause weight gain and impede fat metabolism [12,13].

But there are more differences in favor of the sweet potato.

  • Both are a good source of vitamin C, but the sweet potato also provides lots of beta-carotene, which converts the body into vitamin A. And that is an important vitamin.
  • Sweet potatoes contain more antioxidants than regular potatoes. Antioxidants protect us against heart disease and cancer.
  • The energy in sweet potatoes is absorbed slowly into the body. This makes our blood sugar remains constant.

Conclusion: healthy supplier of carbohydrates

If you can choose between carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed and carbohydrates that are slowly absorbed, then slowly definitely better.

Unfortunately is an average Dutch diet full of fast carbohydrates. Sitting among others in bread, rice, potato starch and sugar.

Fast carbohydrates show spikes in blood sugar, which is bad for our health. Because of these carbohydrates also increases your body weight, and increases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Our body benefits from carbohydrates that are slowly absorbed. The sweet potato supplies such carbohydrates. And while there are also another all important vitamins and minerals in sweet potato that contribute to our health.

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