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Sweet Potato Benefits for Healthy Living

Updated on June 8, 2017
Cardisa profile image

Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

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About the Potato

The sweet potato is the sister to the ever-popular white potato, commonly known as Irish or Idaho potatoes. This sweet vegetable, with red skin and yellow, orange, or purple flesh, might not be as popular as the white potato but is delicious and nutritious nonetheless. In recent years there have been many studies conducted that show its numerous health benefits. Its nutrients are essential to optimal health performance and should be included in our diets.

As one of the oldest foods in the world. Evidence exists that the potato dates back 10,000 years. The first discovery was in the Peruvian caves. Sweet potatoes were first grown in Central America. It was Christopher Columbus who introduced them to the New World in 1492.

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Sweet Potato Nutrition

The sweet potato nutrition starts with beta-carotene. To some, this delicious food item is medicine, yet who would complain about such tasty medication? The question is, how important is beta-carotene? Also known as vitamin A or retinol, this very important vitamin is essential for night vision and healthy skin. Beta-carotene also helps prevent cancer formation and other diseases by boosting the immune system. This is due to its very powerful antioxidant properties. We can safely say that the sweet potato is a super food.

The benefits of this root vegetable do not stop there. It also has Vitamin C, which is another very powerful anti-oxidant used to strengthen the immune system and fight free radicals.

Manganese, copper, potassium, and iron are minerals contained in sweet potatoes.

Anthocyanin is a pigment found in this food and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

The phytonutrients in sweet potatoes are known to reduce inflammation in the brain and nervous tissues throughout the body.

Another important function is the regulation of blood sugar levels by increasing adiponectin in people with type two diabetes. Adiponectin is produced by our fats cells as a protein hormone and plays a very important role in the modification of the metabolism of insulin.

Including this tasty vegetable in the diet can only enhance your health. There are many ways to prepare it including entrée, desserts, soups and salads. Pick some up in the green isle while grocery shopping.


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Some Popular Sweet Potato Dishes

The sweet potato is very tasty. The truth is I am not sure if I prefer them to the white ones, but I know that they might be a a little more diverse in their uses because of their flavor and color.

Here are ways that the sweet potato can be used:-

  • fries
  • potato wedges
  • potato pie
  • sweet potato pudding (a Jamaican specialty)
  • candied potatoes
  • sweet potato salad
  • mashed (mash with cheese for added zip)
  • smoothie
  • drink/punch
  • sweet potato loaf
  • crisp or chips
  • cake
  • souffle
  • mousse
  • simple baked sweet potato

The truth is you can use this vegetable however you like in whatever dishes you like. Experiment and create your own dishes, The greatest thing to remember is its benefit to your health.

© 2011 Carolee Samuda

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    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Nagatang, thank you so much fro reminding us about the fiber! I had no idea about the leaves. Thank you for that too. Have a blessed day.

    • Nagatang profile image

      Nagatang 

      7 years ago from Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia

      Don't forget the fiber this sweet potato provide.

      For those who got this planted at your garden do consume the green young leaf/shoot like you do with spinach. Fry with salted anchovies will be great.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi Debbie, most persons are timid at first to try the sweet potato but once they have there is no turning back. I used to be a white potato girl until I started making my own meals and using the sweet potato in different ways. It is better to snack on the sweet potato than to reach for something with empty calories.

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 

      7 years ago from Greece

      I love sweet potato too now, although to start with I wasn't sure of the taste and texture. As your hub says they are very good for us and they help keep our sugar levels stable preventing us from from getting that sugar low where we reach for some snack lacking in nutrition.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      I too love sweet potatoes. I can't decide which sweet potato dish is my favorite.

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 

      7 years ago

      What a great hub. I love sweet potatoes too. Actually I like them over white potatoes. I was introduced to sweet potatoe pie by my ex motherin-law. It is a great dish

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      The actual sweet potato is yummy so anything it makes is double YUMMY! LOL

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 

      7 years ago from USA

      Not to mention Sweet Potato pie or bread. Way Yummy.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 

      7 years ago from USA

      Sweet potatoe chips, wedges, fries, etc are YUMMY

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      I know, as I said the fires are great whether it's the usual shape or wedges, doesn't matter they are all tasty.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 

      7 years ago

      It's just not how I'm used to eating potato, that's all.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Stephanie I have never had it they way you do. I guarantee that fries wont disappoint.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      7 years ago from USA

      We like them baked with butter and a little brown sugar sprinkled on top. Strange as it may sound, I also like the addition of some salt and pepper. I have to try those sweet potato fries - they sound good!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Flora, how can you not like potato desserts! Anyway fried or boiled they are the greatest tasting thing. Fries with a little salt gives an amazing salty sweet flavor.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 

      7 years ago

      My favourite way to eat Sweet potatoes is as sweet potato fries. It's the only way I eat them year round. Otherwise, I only eat them at Christmas. There are some ways I don't enjoy sweet potatoes. I only like them boiled, fries, or as baked as/by themselves. Included as an ingredient in a recipe like dessert doesn't work for me.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Ruby, when my mom made candied potatoes she put marshmallows in it. I love marshmallows.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I love sweetpotatoes with marshmallow on top. YUMMY.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Josephine, working on the sex...er..sexy part...lol

    • profile image

      Josephine 

      7 years ago

      LOL! I know those guys deserved it! Don't feel old, n i ain't pulling yr leg, you don't look 40! And on grounds that you gonna be married soon, u ought to feel sexy at forty rather than old! Cheering for ya!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Never did the tossing thing, basic serving behind the counter. Ended up slapping one guy and punching the other. Walked out on a few of those gigs.

      I hate being forty, I feel so old! You just pulling my legs about my age...but thanks!

      I am going to write a few snippets of those experiences!

    • profile image

      Josephine 

      7 years ago

      True, you been really busy, n sorry about the masseuse experience.

      You must be quick and have a good catch to have done the bar-tendering job! Always admired there ability to toss and catch the bottles effortlessly.

      22 years, nah, you look 22 year old Vs having worked for 22 yrs after high school! Not convinced on that one!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Josephine, you found me out! I have done childcare, but the family I worked with who had the DS baby (What happened to my Baby), I was a personal chef there, but filled in for the Nanny when she wasn't there.

      I have also been a bartender, a delivery girl and sales girl. I have had a busy 22 years since graduating high school!

      Did I mentioned that I was a masseuse? That was a terrible experience that I never want to experience ever again!

    • profile image

      Josephine 

      7 years ago

      You are very diverse, I cannot keep up with the jobs u have done. A few I have picked from yr hubs; Nutrition Consultant, fitness trainer, writer-reason I'am here, Catering, Specialized child caretaker ( from the; What Happened To My Baby?).

      May God bless you n expand your boundaries!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Mine either. Now that you mentioned yams they are my favorite foods!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Rachelle, I use honey instead of sugar and a little olive or canola oil doesn't hurt. I love potato all the way, any recipe!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Genna, you are right. The sweet potato is better for diabetics then the white potato.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 

      7 years ago from USA

      Nobody is getting my sweet taters or yams LOL

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Miss Novascotiamiss,do you have any leftovers can send my way? Yummy!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Purple Turtle, you are genius. I knew I forgot something. Remind me not to post my hubs when I'm rushing! Thanks for reminding me. It is a low glycemic food so is much healthier for losing weight than the other potato.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Linda,we love sweet potato however it's done. I think I just realized that I do love it more than the white!

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Josephine, we grow it all year round here too. The white potato does not thrive as well here as the sweet. I was a Nutrition Consultant when I worked in the Fitness Industry.

    • Rachelle Williams profile image

      Rachelle Williams 

      7 years ago from Tempe, AZ

      OH how I love sweet potatoes, especially sweet potatoe pie and sweet potato cheesecake. And, I adore sweet potatoe Fries with aioli Sauce. Isn't it wonderful that they are so nutritious? Of course, the added sugar and oil probably isn't the best thing in the world, but I also enjoy a plain baked sweet potato once in a while.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I had sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving, prepared by my new daughter-in-law, beautifully, with nutmeg and cinnamon. This delight is also good for diabetics as well, and chock full of nutrients. Excellent hub.

    • novascotiamiss profile image

      Novascotiamiss 

      7 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Cardisa, great hub. I only discovered sweet patato recently and I've become a big fan. I actually just cooked some last night together with a pork roast. Cut the sweet patato into cubes, tossed it in a little bit of olive oil and some creole spice and slapped it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350° F / 180° C. Sheer heaven, and so good for you!

    • Purple Turtle profile image

      Purple Turtle 

      7 years ago from Home

      I love Sweet Potatoes! You may also want to mention that sweet potatoes are ideal foods for eating when you are trying to lose weight as well.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 

      7 years ago from USA

      I just put that baby in the oven and bake it. A little butter and yummie baked sweet potatoe or yam whichever one I can get.

    • profile image

      Josephine 

      7 years ago

      Love your dedication in informing us of the nutritious food to be in position to eat healthy.

      Potatoes(sweet) are very common in my country, we grow them all year long.

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