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By David Ottobre
Dare MD

Packed with flavour and nutrients, the humble sweet potato has been making waves in the fitness world for its versatility and health benefits. 

From its vibrant colourful flesh to its countless ways of preparation, the sweet potato is a must-try for food enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals alike.

Types of sweet potato

When it comes to sweet potatoes, there are several different varieties to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. The most common types are:

  1. Orange sweet potatoes: These are the most widely available and recognisable variety. They have a vibrant orange flesh and a sweet, buttery flavour. Orange sweet potatoes are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury.
  2. Purple sweet potatoes: These have a deep purple skin and vibrant purple flesh. They are slightly less sweet than orange sweet potatoes but still offer a rich, earthy flavour. Purple sweet potatoes are a great choice for adding a pop of colour to your meals and are consumed by some of the healthiest populations worldwide.
  3. White sweet potatoes: As the name suggests, these sweet potatoes have a pale white flesh. They have a milder flavour compared to orange or purple sweet potatoes and suit soups, stews, and casseroles.
  4. Japanese sweet potatoes: These sweet potatoes have a reddish-purple skin and a creamy white flesh. They have a slightly nutty flavour and a denser texture compared to other varieties. Japanese sweet potatoes are often enjoyed roasted or baked and make a delicious side dish.

Why include sweet potatoes in your diet?

Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the sweet potato is a great addition to any diet.

Here’s why:

Nutritional profile of sweet potatoes

We recommend sweet potato to anyone trying to drop fat and increase the nutrient density of their food. Not only are sweet potatoes an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but they’re also very satiating.

Here’s some of the best nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes:

The beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes is converted into vitamin A in the body, giving us up to 400% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A.

It’s one of the richest sources of this essential nutrient which promotes a healthy immune system, supports cell growth and aids vision and retina health.

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, which is known for its immune-boosting properties. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.

It also aids in collagen production, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments.

Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fibre which is essential for a healthy digestive system, as it helps regulate bowel movements and prevents constipation.

Sweet potatoes can support weight loss by being relatively low in calories. Since they make you feel full thanks to their high fibre content, it’s hard to over-consume them.

Their relatively low glycemic index (GI) means they don’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels and they are high in resistant starch, meaning they support gut bacteria and increase feelings of fullness.

For these reasons, sweet potato is often considered a super food for weight loss.

Sweet potatoes for athletes and active individuals

You’ll often hear of athletes and active individuals eating sweet potatoes as a fuel source. This is largely due to the complex carbohydrates found in sweet potatoes, which provide a steady source of energy, making them an excellent fuel for physical activity. They are also rich in potassium, which plays a crucial role in maintaining proper muscle function and preventing cramps.

Consuming sweet potatoes before or after a workout can help replenish glycogen stores, which are depleted during exercise. By timing the intake of this nutrient effectively, you can aid  recovery and promote muscle growth and repair.

Including sweet potato in your diet

The sweet potato is truly a nutrient powerhouse packed with flavour and health benefits. From its high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to its versatility in the kitchen, the sweet potato is a valuable addition to any diet.

Want to start eating healthier, feeling better and looking younger? Start your journey to healthier eating with a DARE. meal plan today. 

Contact us now to book a tour and learn more.