Benefits Of Sweet Potato
Photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash

The sweet potato is a perennial plant grown in tropical and subtropical regions such as Central America, Peru, and the Philippines. It is cultivated for its edible tubers.

Depending on the variety, the skin and flesh of the sweet potato can be white, yellow, orange, or purple.

Characteristics of sweet potato

  • Rich in fiber;
  • Low glycemic index;
  • Rich in vitamin A, B6, B9 and C;
  • Rich in copper and manganese;
  • Reduces the risk of cancer and cardiovascular pathologies;
  • Improves liver functions.

The benefits of sweet potato: why eat it?

Colorful to perfection, sweet potato has many benefits.

Moderately caloric

Moderately caloric thanks to its low protein and lipid content, it is suitable for people wishing to lose weight.

Low glycemic index

The glycemic index of the sweet potato is 70 and that of the regular potato varies between 80 and 111 depending on the variety. Consuming foods with a low glycemic index can help people with diabetes, or who are at risk, decrease insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control.

Source of fiber

Rich in fiber which will have the role of regulating gastrointestinal function, lowering cholesterol levels, and managing blood sugar.

Rich in vitamin A

Rich in vitamin A contributes to the growth of bones and teeth, maintains healthy skin, and protects against infections. In addition, it plays an antioxidant role and promotes good vision, especially in the dark.

Source of antioxidants

Rich in carotenoids, antioxidants that will fight against free radicals.

It contains reduced risk of cancer and improved liver function thanks to anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants.

Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Thanks to the phenolic compounds and anthocyanins it contains, the sweet potato could prevent and reduce the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol (LDL), a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Stimulation of the immune response thanks to antioxidants.

Slowing the deterioration of cognitive functions would be due to the high content of antioxidants.

Nutritionist’s word

To take full advantage of the benefits of sweet potato, you can eat it raw in carpaccio or remoulade. So you will take full advantage of its vitamins and minerals which will not be degraded by cooking.

Choosing the right sweet potato

The sweet potato is composed of fibrous flesh that can be of different colors (white, yellow, orange, or purple) and thick skin that is also colored (orange or purple). It has an elongated shape reminiscent of a potato.

sweet potato id card 

  • Season: October to March;
  • Family: Convolvulaceae;
  • Origin: South America;
  • Color: white, yellow, orange, or purple;
  • Flavor: Sweet

Purchase of sweet potato

Sweet potatoes can be found in most grocery stores.

Differences with related foods

The sweet potato is close to the potato yet they have different compositions. Indeed, the sweet potato contains 50% more fiber than the potato and its glycemic index is much lower. In addition, the coloring substances, which are antioxidants, of the sweet potato are not found in the potato.

The different varieties

The color of their flesh ranges from creamy white to purple through orange and red. From a nutritional point of view, varieties with orange or purple flesh are preferable. The flesh should be firm, with no soft spots or cracks.

Keep it well

The sweet potato can be stored in a cool, dark, and airy place, it will keep for 7 to 10 days.

How to cook it? How to match it?

Its flesh, much sweeter than that of the potato, makes it possible to make entremets, marmalades, puddings, biscuits, cakes, ice creams, pancakes, and other desserts.

  • As an accompaniment vegetable, cook them in water. Or, make thick slices and brown them in a pan. Cook until the inside is tender, then season with a fresh herb;
  • Integrate sweet potato cubes into the couscous;
  • For soups or veloutés, cook the sweet potato cubes in chicken broth and blend. Add fresh cream or yogurt, a squeeze of lime, and ginger;
  • To make roast patties, grate the tubers and finely chop an onion. Squeeze in a cloth to extract the juice. Mix with eggs and flour and fry in a pan. If desired, season the preparation with cumin, hot peppers, and curry;
  • Incorporate sweet potato flesh into fish purées, such as brandade, a mixture of flaked cod, oil, cream, and garlic;
  • Caribbean style. Cook the tubers cut into cubes with onion and pieces of squash in coconut milk seasoned with cloves, cinnamon, and salt;
  • In Africa, a crispy flatbread is made by mixing equal parts wheat flour and the cooked flesh of sweet potatoes. The dough is then divided into portions, flattened, and cooked in a frying pan, either dry or with a little oil;
  • The leaves and stems are eaten like spinach.

Image Credit: Photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash

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