7 Potential Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a staple food in many parts of the world for being one of the richest sources of fibre, potassium, vitamins A, B6, C and E, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, copper, folate, manganese and selenium. They can be eaten boiled, fried, baked or steamed and the colour of the skin may vary from orange, red, pink, purple, yellow, violet and white to brown. It is extremely effective at raising blood levels of vitamin A in children as it is rich in an antioxidant called beta-carotene.

Before understanding the health benefits of sweet potatoes in detail, let us learn the nutritional facts of this healthy food.

Nutritional Facts

Sweet potatoes have almost 98.7 grams of water and 108 calories. It is recommended for daily intake due to its nutritional value. The exact requirements may vary as per age, sex, and activity levels.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Composition Database, the nutritional facts for 100 grams of raw sweet potatoes are as follows −


Quantity (in grams)


1.6 g


20.1 g


4.2 g


3 g


0.1 g

The nutritional facts for 124 grams of sweet potato as per the USDA in milligrams (mg) and micrograms (mcg) are as follows −


Quantity (in mg or mcg)


50.8 mg


19.8 mg


50.8 mg


259 mg


306 mg

Vitamin C

12.8 mg


1.24 mg


0.9 mcg


7.44 mcg


9,470 mcg

Vitamin A

823 mcg

Vitamin K

5.1 mcg

When you buy a sweet potato, it is extremely important to check that the potato is firm with smooth and taut skin. You can store sweet potatoes in a cool and dry place but for no longer than three to five weeks.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes which are a staple of African, Pacific Island and Caribbean cuisine may also be found in many delicious dishes around the world including curries, salads, tacos and french fries. No doubt, the nutrients present in sweet potatoes translate to multiple potential health benefits. Here are the top seven health benefits of sweet potatoes.

Improves Digestion

Eating sweet potatoes regularly can improve digestion and thus may help in preventing digestive problems like constipation, bloating, gas, indigestion and diarrhea. Sweet potatoes have glycosides which are compounds that stimulate the production of bifidobacteria in the gut. These bacteria promote healthy digestion.

Purple sweet potatoes may help in controlling diarrhea as per an animal study published in 2021. Moreover, sweet potatoes also have a soluble fibre which helps in effortless bowel movements and this fibre absorbs water in the colon providing fodder for good gut bacteria.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar and Control Diabetes

Sweet potatoes are higher in fibre as compared to regular white potatoes and this provides more stability for blood glucose in our body. Even though sweet potato is a starchy food, the fibre in it is helpful to slow down the digestion of sugar which may result in a steadier rise and fall in blood sugar.

Additionally, sweet potatoes are a source of nutrients like potassium, vitamin C and betacarotene which promote anti-diabetic activity in our body. A recent study published by the University of California stated that people who consume sweet potatoes daily are at a low risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Sweet potatoes are also regarded as a low glycemic index food and hence, they don't cause a rapid spike in blood sugar after eating. This helps diabetic people to a great extent.

Supports Eye Health

Sweet potatoes contain nutrients like vitamin A, cartenoids and beta-carotene which promote eyesight by preventing macular degeneration, cataracts and age-related blindness. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in our body to support healthy vision and when we consume sweet potatoes, this antioxidant is easily absorbed by the body. Sweet potatoes are also believed to reduce eye inflammation and thereby support healthy vision.

Protects Cardiovascular Health

Eating potassium-rich foods lowers the blood pressure in our body and this promotes cardiovascular health. In addition to this soluble fibre can help lower blood cholesterol levels which thereby minimize the risk of heart disease. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of potassium as well as the fibre present in them can significantly decrease cholesterol levels.

Promotes Weight Loss

A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity highlighted that sweet potatoes can help people lose body weight. If you are on a weight loss journey, sweet potatoes may help you achieve better results. Researchers in a study published in the Journal Nutrients have found that sweet potatoes can help in reducing body fat around the waist and thus may aid in maintaining a healthy weight.

Lowers Systemic Inflammation

Anti-oxidants like beta-carotene protect our bodies from cellular damage caused by free radicals. Beta-carotene absorbed from sweet potatoes can reduce systemic inflammation in the body and thereby help prevent chronic diseases. Anthocyanins are pigments which have the ability to fight off harmful free radicals. These anthocyanins are present in sweet potatoes which may also be useful in cancer prevention.

Extends Lifespan

Antioxidants are extremely beneficial for our bodies as they neutralize harmful free radicals which can fasten ageing. Sweet potatoes contain twice as many antioxidants as compared to regular potatoes and these antioxidants also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. A healthy body lives longer and hence, sweet potatoes can easily extend your lifespan and help you to lead a longer and healthier life.

Sweet Potatoes in Daily Diet

There are many ways to cook sweet potatoes and include them in your daily diet. You can bake and drizzle them with ground cinnamon and maple syrup with a bit of warm water. Also, you can whip them into a healthy smoothie or add them to a garden salad. Mashed potatoes can be an addition to desserts, pudding, cookies or even brownies. You can also prepare french fries or potato wedges with sweet potato to satisfy that french fry craving.

They have a naturally sweet and creamy taste. You can roast them around a campfire, on a barbecue or wrap them in aluminum foil and place them in dying coals. Roasting a sweet potato can bring out its natural flavour. You can also add them to pancakes or hash browns.


Sweet potatoes are versatile and can be used in baking, boiling, grilling, roasting or sautéing. You can easily replace the white potato with sweet potato to add a different and healthy flavour to your favourite dishes. Apart from being an excellent source of nutrients like vitamins, potassium, fibre and many more, it also has antioxidants like beta-carotene which protects the body and reduces the risk factors for health problems.