The sweet potato is a starchy, sweet-tasting root vegetable. They have a thin, brown skin on the outside with coloured flesh inside – most commonly orange in colour, but other varieties are white, purple or yellow. You can eat sweet potatoes whole or peeled, and the leaves of the plant are edible too.
They may both be called ‘potatoes’, but sweet and white potatoes are not actually related. Botanically, the sweet potato belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, whereas the white potato sits in the nightshade family.
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fibre as well as containing an array of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, and they’re a good source of most of our B vitamins and vitamin C. One of the key nutritional benefits of sweet potato is that they’re high in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed. Add a drizzle of olive oil just before serving to increase your absorption of beneficial beta-carotene.
80g of sweet potato, or about one medium potato, counts towards one of your five-a-day, unlike white potato which does not. Take a look at our infographic to find out what counts as 5-a-day.
Great ways to incorporate Sweet Potato into your diet:
Check out an my easy recipe for Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
A new study out of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands details the type of diet that was found to fuel the growth of healthy gut bacteria, particularly strains that have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. The results aren’t terribly surprising — that is to say, you’ll have to eat a healthy diet if you want a healthy gut. Among other things, the study found that high amounts of sugar and meat make things worse.
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