Health Benefits From Eating Sweet Potatoes
Reviewed by Jaimee Gooley, R.D.
Written by Hannah Marchese
5 Health Benefits From Eating Sweet Potatoes
Let’s be honest; who doesn’t love a good sweet potato? They’re arguably tastier than a regular potato, and they are definitely healthier. Tasty and healthy? Me, me, me!
Sweet potatoes are root vegetables that come in a few different varieties, such as the purple sweet potato. Some have cream-colored or white flesh, while others are red, yellow, or purple. This root veggie also makes a great side dish for various meals, and they are packed with tons of nutrients and minerals.
They are definitely a food you can feel good about eating. They are packed with high fiber content, high in vitamin A, antioxidants, and vitamins B and C. It’s definitely a powerhouse food that will keep you full and give your body what it needs to stay fueled and energized. There are a ton of benefits to eating sweet potatoes and tons of ways you can eat them.
Let’s dive in and take a look at the five biggest health benefits of eating sweet potatoes!
1. They Are Extremely Nutritious
Sweet potatoes are incredibly nutritious, which is why their nutrition value is the first thing on our list of benefits. They are low in calories but high in carbohydrates, fiber, folate, vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.
Here’s a look at the specifics when it comes to sweet potato nutrition (per 200 grams):
- 41.4 grams of carbs
- 180 calories
- 6.6 grams of fiber
- 65% DV for vitamin C
- 29% DV for vitamin B6
- 50% DV for manganese
- A whopping 768% DV for vitamin A
Seriously, can you even believe how amazingly nutritious sweet potatoes are? It kind of blows our mind! Eating sweet potatoes a few times each week can definitely help to add some major nutrients to your diet.
In fact, studies in Asia and Africa found that diets rich in vitamin-A superfoods, including potato leaves, may provide additional support against underlying health conditions. However, when compared to yams, sweet potatoes have a moist texture and less starchy content.
2. Their Fiber Helps Your Gut
Dietary fiber is essential for the health of your gut. Whole sweet potatoes can include a large amount of fiber when you leave the skin on. In fact, it contains enough fiber to enjoy the health benefits of sweet potatoes, such as reducing spikes in blood pressure, aid in digestion, promotes a well-functioning digestive tract, helps stabilize blood sugar, reduce the effects of constipation, and blood glucose regulation.
Dietary fiber is a nondigestible fiber that helps remove toxins from the gut and keep your bowel movements regular. Eating high-fiber foods daily can help keep your gut balanced!
3. Helps Support Strong and Healthy Vision
Something we talk about a lot here at Kalumi is Beta Carotene (it’s one of our beauty secrets!) Beta carotene comes from provitamin A, the type of vitamin A found in natural food sources. One such source is sweet potatoes, which contain an insane amount of vitamin A (which we discussed above).
Vitamin A is needed to help reduce the risk of vision loss and strengthen our overall eye and vision health and strength. It has a protective role that helps to prevent eye issues from forming in the first place.
4. Supports Your Immune System
We know that vitamin C is necessary for our immune system, but what about vitamin A? Both vitamins are actually essential for our immune system, and vitamin A plays a larger role than you might think.
Vitamin A actually plays a critical role in immune function. It helps develop the immune system and regulates the immune response in our cells.
Vitamin C is also important for our immune system.
Together, vitamins A and C are the two most important vitamins for our immune system. The next time you’re feeling run down, don’t just reach for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Make sure you also reach for a sweet potato loaded with both vitamin A and C!
5. Protects the Body From Free Radicals
Sweet potatoes are a huge source of vitamin A, and vitamin A is an antioxidant that plays a key role in fighting free radical damage.
Free radicals, along with oxidants, are both harmful and helpful for our bodies. If our bodies acquire too many external free radicals (like pollution and toxins), it creates oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress causes damage to the body, including premature aging. Makes you wonder, maybe all this time spent looking at topicals as the solution was totally wrong.
One of the best ways to combat oxidative stress is by balancing it out by eating enough antioxidant-rich foods. Orange sweet potatoes contain high amounts of antioxidants, which are powerful nutrients that fight free radical damage in our bodies.
Sweet potatoes also contain something called anthocyanins, which act as antioxidants in high concentrations. They work to protect the body from degenerative diseases and ward off oxidative stress. Sweet potatoes can be eaten in extremely high quantities, allowing them to offer truly superior health benefits.
Ways To Incorporate Sweet Potatoes Into Your Diet
So now that you know just how amazing sweet potatoes really are for you, we bet you’re ready to start eating some ASAP! We can’t blame you; they are so good and taste delicious.
A plain baked sweet potato might do the trick, but it is a little boring. The good news is that there are tons of ways to eat sweet potatoes and incorporate them into your healthy diet!
Don’t forget, you can always get creative and experiment with your food! Sweet potatoes make an excellent side dish for almost any meal. Play around with different seasonings and sauces.
Let’s take a look at some of our favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes.
Kalumi BEAUTYfood Bars
Love sweet potatoes but wanting a more convenient way to consume? Try our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars! All four of our mouth-watering flavors contain sweet potato. We love sweet potatoes for their antioxidant boost and yummy taste. They are one of our favorite ingredients that we use in our bars!
Other ingredient highlights include eight grams of marine collagen and 11-13 grams of protein. There’s also MCT oil and cocoa butter (additional antioxidants, quality fats, and energy) added to round off these nutritious and better-for-you bars.
We even have a Sweet Potato + Cinnamon flavor if you really want to go all out with this ingredient! It’s a sweet potato lover’s dream. Cashew butter, coconut, and sweet potato combined to create this ultra-scrumptious flavor.
Homemade Sweet Potato Chips or Fries
This is definitely one of the easiest ways to get some of the benefits of sweet potatoes. If you want them in chip form, slice thin rounds of sweet potato. They shouldn’t be paper-thin... but thin enough to be a chip-like size. Slice as many as you want, but do at least one whole potato (trust us!).
Drizzle and coat them with coconut oil or olive oil. Sprinkle a generous amount of sea salt on top. Bake them at 350 degrees for around 40 minutes, or until they are crispy and crunchy.
If you want them in fry form, cut the potato lengthwise. You can make thicker wedges or thinner and classic fries. Coat them in your oil of choice. You can play around with the seasoning. Try things like garlic salt, cajun, or even cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 until soft on the inside and firm on the outside.
Sweet Potato Toast
Oh you didn’t know? Avocado toast is cool, but sweet potato toast is the new thing now. It’s healthy, delicious, and highly nutritious snacks and meals. The great thing about sweet potato toast is that it can make the perfect breakfast or midday snack!
Whenever hunger strikes, make this your new go-to food creation. It’s super easy to make, which is just an added bonus.
Start by peeling your sweet potato. Then, cut it into ½ inch thick slices. Be careful when you’re slicing, and watch your fingers! There are two ways you can cook your sweet potato.
If you want a fast and easy option, throw it in your toaster, just like you would with regular toast. The other option is to roast it in the oven until it becomes soft but firm enough to hold toppings.
Now, it’s time for the fun part. You can put a variety of toppings on your sweet potato toast when it’s done cooking. Here are a few different topping ideas:
- Almond butter with hemp seeds
- Greek yogurt with a honey drizzle and pinch of cinnamon
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Avocado and turkey slices
- Everything bagel seasoning and a pinch of salt
Get creative with it and see how many different combinations you can come up with! The possibilities are truly endless.
Eat Your Sweet Potatoes
By now, we know you’re adding Sweet Potatoes to your grocery list, or maybe it’s even already on it’s way to be delivered to your doorstep. Are you convinced that sweet potatoes should be a regular part of your diet? A 124g serving of sweet potato provides 259 milligrams (mg) of potassium. In fact, there are just too many health benefits to pass up. Plus, they’re so versatile and so dang delicious!
You can have them roasted in a Buddha bowl, steamed, mashed, sauteed, added on top of a salad, thrown in a soup or stew, and basically any other way you can think of. Oh, and did we mention you can even use sweet potatoes to make brownies, muffins and added to banana bread?!
Seriously, the options are never-ending.
If you want to skip all the cooking and prep work for sweet potatoes, we feel you. That’s why we have you covered with our Kalumi BEAUTYfood bars. They all contain sweet potatoes and other satiating and good-for-you ingredients.
Plus, they’re packed with marine collagen, MCT oil, and more. There are plenty of sweet potato recipes to try (like sweet potato fries) as this root vegetable is super versatile.
Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health | NCBI
Antioxidant capacity and antioxidant content in roots of 4 sweet potato varieties | NCBI
In situ and in vitro antioxidant activity of sweet potato anthocyanins | NCBI
Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System | NCBI
Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins A and D take center stage | NCBI
The importance of vitamin A in nutrition facts | NCBI
Vitamin A beneficial for eyes, just not for preventing myopia | AOA
Composition and physicochemical properties of dietary fiber extracted from residues of 10 varieties of sweet potato by a sieving method | NCBI
Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber | NCBI