How Sweet Potatoes are Good For Your Health

Nutrient Content

Vitamins

Excellent Source of (Daily Recommended): 

  • Vitamin A – 377%

Good Source of (Daily Recommended): 

  • Vitamin B6 – 14%
  • Pantothenic Acid – 11%

A Source of:

  • Thiamin – 7%
  • Riboflavin – 5%
  • Vitamin C – 5%
  • Folate – 4%
  • Niacin – 4%

Minerals

Good Source of (Daily Recommended): 

  • Manganese – 17%
  • Potassium – 13%
  • Copper – 10%

A Source of:

  • Magnesium – 8%
  • Phosphorus – 6%
  • Iron – 5%
  • Calcium – 4%
  • Sodium – 3%
  • Zinc – 3%

Other

Also a Source of:

  • Fiber – 16%
  • Antioxidants – Beta-carotene, Anthocyanin, Chlorogenic acid

*All nutritional information found at (1)

How Sweet Potatoes Prevent Chronic Disease

Sweet Potatoes, like many vegetables, prevent several chronic diseases that plague America today. Most notably, sweet potatoes help to prevent cancer and diabetes.

How Sweet Potatoes Prevent Cancer

In general, vegetables are recommended for daily consumption. Sweet potatoes are a great resource to incorporate into your diet to prevent various cancers.

  • Sweet potatoes can help reduce oxidative stress and, by extension, risk of various cancers. (2)

  • Typically, excess free radicals in the body can lead to oxidative stress and damage to essential tissues. Free radicals can mutate DNA and lead to cancer cell proliferation and eventual spread.

  • Sweet potatoes carry antioxidants that can help fight against free radicals and prevent cancer. (3)

    • Specifically, sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids. Carotenoids have been shown to reduce your risk of stomach and breast cancers. (4, 5)

  • It is important to note that purple colored potatoes have the most antioxidant activity.

    • Purple potatoes are the richest in anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that is also responsible for the purple color of the potatoes. (6)

    • Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce risk of colorectal cancer by up to 89% in some animal studies. Further studies must be done to validate these initial findings. (7)

  • Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to improve your overall immune health by aiding in the production of white blood cells. White blood cells not only eliminate free radicals, but target a number of cancers, such as breast, colorectal, and stomach cancer. (8)

  • Moreover, sweet potatoes are rich in another antioxidant called chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid has been shown to prevent lung cancer growth and completely prevent new tumor development in mouse studies. More human studies must be done to confirm these initial findings. (9)

  • Lastly, sweet potatoes, especially orange sweet potatoes, are rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an essential antioxidant. Similar to other antioxidants, beta-carotene neutralizes free radicals and inhibits cancer proliferation. (10)

    • Sweet potatoes are richer in beta carotene than regular potatoes.

How Sweet Potatoes Prevent Diabetes

  • Sweet potatoes can help prevent blood-sugar fluctuations after meals. Blood sugar levels often spike after a carb heavy meal, sometimes leading to insulin resistance. However, sweet potatoes have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.

  • The caiapo potato has been shown to improve symptoms of type 2 diabetes and decrease fasting blood glucose levels. (11, 12)

  • Caiapo helps increase levels of an important blood glucose regulating protein known as adiponectin. (13)

Sweet Potatoes Promote a Number of Health Benefits

Sweet Potatoes not only help prevent diseases, but support and promote the function of several important systems in our bodies.

How Sweet Potatoes Promote Digestion

  • Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber. Fiber comes in two categories, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, such as pectin, helps keep you full after a meal, helping you avoid overconsumption and minimize blood sugar spikes. (14)

  • Insoluble fibers help reduce your risk of gut related disorders, as they help food pass through the digestive tract with ease.

How Sweet Potatoes Promote Eye Health

  • Beta carotene is important for eye health, as it prevents age-related macular degeneration. This is a disorder that often occurs in older adults. (15)

    • Sweet potatoes that are more orange in color have been shown to have more beta carotene than other potatoes. (16)
  • Sweet potatoes are absolutely packed with vitamin A. Vitamin A is converted into rhodopsin–the pigment in the cone cells of our eyes responsible for night vision. This indicates that vitamin A consumption is essential for night vision. (17)
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