Sweet potato is a vegetable that is increasingly popping up in Dutch cuisine. The sweet potato is known as a healthy alternative to the traditional Dutch potato. But how healthy is the sweet potato really? And is it true that a sweet potato is healthier than a regular one? I thought it’s time to sort this out.
Origin of the sweet potato
The sweet potato is originally from South America. But because it can grow in many places, man has spread this crop throughout the world during the past centuries. Unlike the name suggests, the sweet potato isn’t a family member of the potato at all! The sweet potato is in fact a tuberous plant. So sweet potato is actually a vegetable.
The sweet potato looks a lot like a normal beeper. The taste is sweet, but also spicy at the same time. This makes the sweet potato suitable for both sweet and savory dishes. And you can process sweet potatoes in a variety of ways such as cooked, fried or pureed.
It’s therefore not surprising that the sweet potato has become a popular addition to the kitchen in more and more countries.
Nutritional value of the sweet potato
The sweet potato is very nutritious. In addition, there are many vitamins, minerals and fiber in sweet potato. Especially the important vitamins A, C, B5, B6 and E are present.
In addition to the high nutritional value, there are also many substances in sweet potato that have a healthy effect on our body. For example, the sweet potato is packed with vitamin C and that is good for your skin and overall resistance. And sweet potato is a good source of vitamin B6 which keeps our blood vessels supple. Vitamin B6 and potassium also help to lower your blood pressure.
About 1.5% to 2% of the sweet potato consists of proteins. That’s not very much, but still worth mentioning. That is because these proteins are very special. Proteins are important building blocks for our body. There are many different types of proteins, and so many different types of building blocks. The proteins in sweet potato are special because our body can use them as a kind of joker, from a card game. These proteins can be converted into all kinds of different building blocks. And that makes them very valuable.
There are various nutrients in sweet potatoes that function as antioxidants in our body. Antioxidants are nutrients that protect against the harmful effects of free radicals. Everyone has free radicals in his body. You cannot do anything about that. It’s very important that you get enough antioxidants through food to eliminate these free radicals. If you eat sweet potato, you can be sure that you get enough antioxidants.
Sweet potatoes contain a relatively large amount of dietary fiber relative to the number of carbohydrates. In addition, there is a favorable ratio of soluble and insoluble fiber in sweet potatoes. This means that the fibers are or are not soluble in water. The soluble fibers ensure that you get a feeling of saturation so that you eat less. They cause a delayed absorption of the carbohydrates so that your blood sugar does not peak. There are also insoluble fibers in sweet potatoes. And these too are linked to a number of health benefits, such as a reduced risk of diabetes and improved intestinal health.
Sweet potato is packed with beta carotene. And this substance can easily convert our body to vitamin A. Vitamin A is very good for all your body cells, but especially for your eyes. Vitamin A contributes to growth and recovery and also increases your resistance.
The nutritional value table shows that there are quite a lot of carbohydrates in sweet potatoes. The carbohydrates in sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates. This means that our digestion processes them slowly so that the energy from carbohydrates (glucose) slowly enters our blood. This keeps our blood sugar level constant. This is very different with fast carbohydrates. They deliver energy very quickly and therefore the blood sugar levels peak.
If you can choose between carbohydrates that are absorbed quickly and carbohydrates that are absorbed slowly, then slowly it is definitely better. Unfortunately, an average diet is full of fast carbohydrates. They include bread, rice, potato starch and sugar. Fast carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to peak and that is bad for our health. These carbohydrates also increase your body weight and increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Your body benefits from carbohydrates that are absorbed slowly. The sweet potato supplies such carbohydrates. And there are also all important vitamins and minerals in sweet potato that contribute to your health. And let’s not forget that the sweet potato is very tasty!
How to make fried sweet potato?
It is super easy! Cut the sweet potato into cubes or strips. Put it on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with paprika powder and bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 200 degrees celcius.