Sweet Potato Nutrition

We all love the sugary, caramelized flavor of sweet potatoes, but don’t let their sweet nature fool you. Behind their orange interior, sweet potatoes are chock full of nutrients from which you can easily benefit when prepared properly.

So what exactly makes sweet potatoes so nutritious?

 

BETA CAROTENE & VITAMIN A When eaten with the skin on*, a medium sweet potato has four times the recommended daily intake for beta carotene! Beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, meaning the body coverts it to vitamin A and it plays a vital role in vision, bone development and immune function. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, so be sure to eat your sweet potato with a little bit of fat, like a pat of butter, for maximum vitamin absorption.

VITAMIN C Like citrus, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, which helps fight infections, heal wounds and absorb iron. A medium sweet potato provides 35 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

MANGANESE Sweet potatoes are a good source of manganese, which helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and optimal thyroid function.  

FIBER Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, a nutrient that bulks up food, keeping you full longer. Fiber also keeps your bowels healthy and lowers cholesterol. A medium sweet potato baked in its skin has 4 grams of fiber, more than a packet of instant oatmeal.

COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES Sweet potatoes are made of complex carbohydrates (energy) that is released at a steady pace for a constant source of vitality, so no sugar highs or lows to worry about.

ANTIOXIDANTS Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidant activity compared to other vegetables. Antioxidants help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardio vascular disease.

LOW IN CALORIES A medium sweet potato (2 inches in diameter and 5 inches in length) is only about 100 calories when baked in the skin, making sweet potatoes an ideal food for weight management. It’s the all-natural 100-calorie pack – managing your weight just got easier!

*Eating the sweet potato skin will lower the glycemic index and provide additional nutrients.

© 2014 North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission | Site created by: CRT/tanaka