Updated: Jun 28, 2021
Have you ever wondered whats the difference between sweet potato and normal potato? Well, though they may look similar from the outside, their nutritional benefits are quite different from the inside!
First, sweet potatoes that are found in most grocery stores are called Jewel Sweet Potato, however, there are many other kinds out there such as Japanese sweet potato, purple ones, and white coloured ones.
As all of these tubular vegetables are in the same family, their nutritional values are similar. For example, 1 cup (200g) of cooked sweet potato offers 769% of the daily value (DV) of Vitamin A, 65% of the DV of vitamin C, 50% of the DV of Manganese and 29% DV of Vitamin B6. Compared to normal potatoes, these sweet potatoes offer a lot more micronutrients such as vitamin C and contain antioxidants (the orange and purple varieties more) which fight free radicals to reduce inflammation and possible diseases.
Sweet potato also contains around 6.6 grams of fibre in 200g, helping to improve gut digestion and promote a healthy gut microbiome. Soluble fibre will help to soften the stool, while insoluble fibre adds bulk to help with bowel movements. Some types of fibre can also ferment with bacterias in the stomach to create "short-chain fatty acids that fuel the cells of your intestinal lining and keep them healthy and strong."
Also, the skin of these sweet potatoes contains a lot of antioxidants. Especially in purple sweet potatoes, similar to how blueberries are one of the most concentrated fruits with antioxidants, a group of antioxidant called anthocyanins have been found to slow the growth of certain types of cancer cells in test-tube studies, including those of the bladder, colon, stomach, and breast.
In orange-coloured sweet potatoes, they contain up to seven times the DV beta-carotene, the antioxidant responsible for the vegetable’s bright orange colour. This antioxidant helps improve eyesight as Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body, produces light-detecting proteins in your retina cells, and plays a critical role in cell growth and maintaining healthy organs like the heart, lungs kidneys. Therefore, they can also be beneficial to consume to maintain a healthy immune system.
Lastly, sweet potatoes can be enjoyed in many different ways, but make sure to watch out in the forms that they are presented to ensure that you are getting the most nutrients from each bite! Here are some delicious recipes to incorporate sweet potato into your diet!