Sweet potato food properties

Edible properties of sweet potato

What is sweet potato?

Sweet potato is a tuber that is consumed in the diet.

There are many varieties of sweet potatoes, which can be orange, red or purple skinned,, and the pulp can also be white, yellow, orange, red or purple.

Its flavor is mild and sweet when cooked, and the slower and longer the cooking, the greater its sweetness.

Although often confused with a potato, the truth is that sweet potato is not a Solanum, but belongs to the botanical family of Convolvulaceae, a group of flowering plants with infundibular or funnel-shaped flowers.

Nor is relative of yam (Dioscorea villosa) since this belongs to Dioscoreaceae and has a higher starch content that sweet potato and tastes less sweet.

How are sweet potatoes cooked?

Sweet potatoes should be eaten cooked as long as it is not possible to eat them raw if you want to have a proper digestion.

– As food, they can be prepared in creams, soups, roasted, fried, jams, compotes or mashed.

– If we are looking for natural sweetness and creaminess, we can take roasted in the oven or grilled.

– This food has not escaped modern kitchen: sweet potato chips (fried sweet potato such as chips) are one of the innovations in gourmet restaurants.

– Sweet potato combines well with sweets like cinnamon, honey, coconut and dried fruit, for example, in a healthy snack.

– In some countries, the tender leaves of the plant are cooked as spinach.

Nutritional value of sweet potatoes

Sweet potato is a plant food rich in carbohydrates, which is an excellent source of energy, very nutritious and easily digested.

Like potato, sweet potato is a source of natural sugars (24g. per 100g.), making it a suitable food for children, athletes, pregnant women and in general, can be combined in any balanced diet. However, one should moderate its intake in diets for diabetes.

Sugar balances this contribution with their fiber content. The fiber in this tuber is pectin, which gives a smooth texture and slows the digestion of sugars, avoiding hyperglycemia.

We must also stress its richness in provitamin A, in the form of beta carotene. Carotenes, together with tocopherol, contribute to skin care inside and outside. maintaining the blood vessels walls healthy and helping the cardiovascular system welfare.

Its richness in carotenoids is practically equivalent to that of carrots, so it deserves to share its popularity as food for the eyes.

Remember that vitamin A is also important to enhance the immune system, being an ideal plant in cold weather and seasonal changes.

Sweet potato gives us other important vitamins, such as folic acid, so important in the early stages of pregnancy.

In contrast, people with kidney stones or osteoporosis should avoid taking this vegetable because they contain oxalates and prevent the absorption of dietary calcium.

Sweet potato edible properties

For a better sight: the sweet potato has almost the same amount of beta carotene than carrots, vegetable substances beneficial for the eyes. It is recommended for people with cataracts or night blindness problems.

Stomach pain: is an easily digestible food with antioxidants and beneficial to the digestive mucosa in order to prevent stomach pain.

During pregnancy: Being rich in provitamin A and vitamin E, is an energetic and nutritious food during pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks

For a better heart: Because of its benefits on the cardiovascular system, this plant is recommended in diets for cholesterol, hypertension and for a thinning diet.

For students and people with memory loss: as shown in a scientific study, sweet potato helps improve memory, because flavonoids improve the blood supply (the study was conducted with purple flesh sweet potatoes). Considering this, it is also recommended in the diet of Alzheimer’s disease, diet for stress, people with memory loss and during exam periods.

In the image: sweet potato tubers,

with orange pulp.

Composition of sweet potatoper 100g.



Calories (kcal.)105
Carbohydrates (g.)24,28
Proteins (g.)1,65
Fat (g.)0,30
Fiber (g.)3
Calcium (mg.)22
Magnesium (mg.)10
Sodium (mg.)13
Potassium (mg.)204
Iron (mg.)0,59
Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) (mg.)80
Sweet potato is rich in beta carotene and tocopherol, two components that help maintain skin health and improve vision health.
moniato castañas batataIn the picture: Photo of sweet potatoes, as sold

in the street stands

In Spain, it is traditional to sell sweet potatoes (orange-fleshed varieties)

and roasted chestnuts, when it’s fall and Christmas season.

For its benefits on the immune system, this vegetable is a healthy snack, perfect for the fall season.

Where to buy sweet potatoes?

– Sweet potatoes can be purchased at local markets, supermarkets and specialty food stores. Whereas in Europe, it is considered a vegetable for cold climates, the fact is that the sweet potato comes from hot countries. It can be found throughout most of the year.

– We must acquire those tubers that are firm, with turgid flesh.

– In some stores you can find products such as potato chips, usually combined with other vegetables (carrots, beets, etc..).

– Consumers should remember that there are many varieties of sweet potatoes: white skinned, orange, red or purple, and with white meat, yellow, orange, red or purple.

punto rojoMore information about sweet potato

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

15 June, 2023

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