4 Proven Health Benefits of Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a healthier alternative to the ordinary potato. In this article, you will discover why this is so and what the health benefits are.
At the bottom of this article, you will find 3 recipes so you can conjure up delicious dishes with sweet potato on the table.
What you will learn in this article:
- What is sweet potato
- What the nutritional value of sweet potato is
- What the health benefits are
What is a sweet potato?
Sweet potato is a tuberous plant that belongs to the windefamily. These starchy tubers can be eaten cooked, fried, fried or raw. This tuber is also called sweet potato, sweet potato, sweet potato or yam.
The sweet potato can have a brown or purple skin. The inside can be orange, white or purple.
The variant with brown skin and orange inside is most common in Western supermarkets. You can find the purple at some shops or specialty stores.
This sweet potato is a vegetable (root vegetable) and no family of the ordinary potato. The similarities are the way you can prepare them and they are both good sources of carbohydrates.
In the United States, they often call sweet potato (sweet potato) often yam. The real yam, however, is another edible root tuber that only looks like a sweet potato in terms of preparation.
On the picture opposite, you can see a yam.
Traditionally, sweet potato is served in the United States with Thanksgiving.
Other foods that have similarities with potatoes in potatoes are taro and Jerusalem artichokes.
They are not, however, no family of the sweet potato or the regular potato.
Jerusalem artichoke grows just like potatoes under the ground.
They are sweet and have a slightly nutty taste.
Jerusalem artichoke is just like sweet and common potato a good source of carbohydrates and fiber.
Taro is heavy root tubers which can weigh up to 4 kilos.
They consist of 25% starch and can be prepared in the same way as ordinary and sweet potatoes.
In all likelihood, Columbus in 1492 took the sweet potato to Europe.
In Central and South America the sweet potato was cultivated for at least 10,000 years before it was brought to our continent.
From Spain and Portugal, the explorers took the sweet potato around the world.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the sweet potato had reached large parts of Africa, the Philippines, India, Indonesia and South Asia.
Large producers of sweet potatoes are China, Africa, Central and South America.
In European countries such as Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy they are grown on a smaller scale.
Most west-Europe countries, imports almost all of its sweet potatoes from the United States. In the Netherlands, experiments are being carried out on a small scale with the cultivation of sweet potatoes.
The sweet potato is gaining in popularity. More and more people see that the sweet potato can be a healthy alternative to the traditional potato. As a result, domestic sweet potato consumption is growing by 10% to 20% per year.
You do not expect it, but sweet potatoes are sweet. This makes them suitable for children who often prefer sweet.
They also have a little of a spicy taste. This made them suitable for both sweet and savory dishes.
So you can make sweet brownies but also a spicy curry. The recipes for this can be found at the bottom of this page.
Most people like sweet potatoes. They are even the dream of many vegetable herders; as sweet as candy and yet healthy.
Differences between a sweet potato and regular potato
A difference between the sweet potato and the normal potato is that the ordinary potato belongs to the nightshade family and the sweet does not.
Other known vegetables that belong to the nightshade family are tomatoes, eggplant and red and green peppers.
Ordinary potatoes contain the toxic alkaloid solanine that people who are susceptible to this can get complaints. These are complaints such as arthritis, painful knees and wrists and stiff joints.
When the potato plant came to Europe in the 17th century, it was initially thought that potatoes were not edible. This is because the berries, flowers and leaves of the plant proved to be very poisonous.
The potatoes also turned out to be poisonous, but not as bad as the rest of the plant.
A regular potato contains 40 mg of solanine per kilo. In places where the skin is green, or the potato is rotten, the potato contains more solanin. This can also be recognized by a very bitter taste.
An amount of 200 mg of solanine is harmful and a dose of 400 mg may even be fatal. This is equivalent to eating 10 kilos of potatoes.
Sometimes it is wrongly thought that only raw potatoes are poisonous. However, this is not the case. A potato is raw as poisonous as cooked.
Potatoes are not eaten raw because otherwise, they are not digestible. You can then suffer from abdominal cramps, flatulence and diarrhea.
Because a sweet potato does not belong to the nightshade family, it is well tolerated by people who are sensitive to it.
The sweet potato can also be eaten raw in contrast to the regular potato.
Nutritious sweet potato versus regular potatoes
Nice all those facts about sweet potatoes, but what you are really curious about is why you should swap your familiar potatoes for sweet potatoes.
To make the comparison with regular potatoes easier, I have put them together in the table below.
I started from peeled (sweet) potatoes that are cooked without salt. If they are raw, fried or fried, the nutritional value will be different.
|Sweet potato versus regular potato (cooked)|
|Nutritional value||Sweet potato. / 100 gr.||Ordinary potato. / 100 gr.|
|Fat||0 grams||0 grams|
|Of which saturated||0 grams||0 grams|
|Carbohydrates||18 grams||20 grams|
|Of which sugars||6 grams||1 gram|
|Of which fibers||3 grams||2 grams|
|Proteins||1 gram||2 grams|