We always hear about the things that we shouldn’t be eating so it’s nice when you find a food that tastes good, and is good for you. The sweet potato truly is a super food. They are almost always available, are easy to prepare, inexpensive, highly nutritious, and they taste fantastic.
Sweet potatoes are low in fat and sodium, and high in fiber, potassium, manganese, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and extremely high in vitamin A. They have about 4g of protein and the protein has a balanced amino profile, which makes it easily useful to your body.
Inflammation, which we discussed before in this article, is coming to be seen as a contributing factor, if not a cause for many ailments. The IF rating system is a numerical scale of inflammatory effects of various foods and nutrients developed by nutritional researcher Monica Reinagel. Sweet potatoes are highly anti-inflammatory with an IF rating of 378.
Despite their sweet taste and name, sweet potatoes are not very high in sugar, and have a low glycemic load. This means that they won’t have an adverse impact on your blood sugar levels and are a good source of sustained energy.
- Serving Size 200g (1 cup)
- Calories 180
- Fat 0
- Cholesterol 0
- Sodium 72mg
- Total Carbohydrate 41g
- Fiber 7g
- Sugars 13g
- Protein 4g
- Vitamin A 38433 IU (769% DV)
- Vitamin C 39.2 mg (65% DV)
- Vitamin B6 .6mg (29% DV)
- Estimated Glycemic Load – 17
- Inflammation Factor – 378 (strongly anti-inflammatory)
Purchasing & Storage
Sweet potatoes can range in color from light yellow to deep orange and even purple. The orange colored sweet potato is sometimes referred to as a yam. These varieties are usually sweeter and less mealy then the lighter yellow sweet potato. Make sure to select a firm evenly colored potato with no major blemishes. When storing your sweet potatoes make sure not to put them in the refrigerator as this can make them hard and dry. It is best to use your sweet potatoes within a week or two of purchasing but if stored in a cool dry location out of direct sun that can last longer.
The microwave works especially well for lunch and only takes about 10 minutes. Wash and dry the sweet potato and poke several holes with a fork or sharp knife. Place on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a paper towel. Cook on high for five minutes, then turn over and cook another five minutes. Add a little butter and cinnamon or black pepper for delicious and nutritious quick lunch. Total cost less than a dollar.
For preparing sweet potatoes for the whole family baking is the easiest way to go. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes and then poke several holes with a fork or sharp knife. Wrap tightly in tinfoil and place on a cookie sheet also lined with tin foil. (Sweet potatoes have a tendency to leak when cooking and will make a mess in the oven if you don’t put them on a pan.) Place in oven preheated to 425° and cook for 45 to 60 minutes. Slit the potatoes lengthwise and top with butter and cinnamon.
For special treat try topping baked sweet potatoes with a little maple syrup, brown sugar, caramelized onions, pecans, or whipped cream.