Sweet Potato Nutrition - Information, recipes and top tips

Our sweet potato nutrition page offers a more detailed look at the nutritional value and corresponding health benefits of eating sweet potato, along with top tips, interesting snippets, and our favourite recipes that feature sweet potato.

Our printable sweet potato nutrition vegetable chart makes a great at a glance guide. Stick it in a notebook, or to the front of the fridge - it might inspire you when you look inside and don't know what to do with what's lurking in your vegetable drawer!

If you are looking for some printables to help your child recognise their veggies, we've created a nice collection of sweet potato nutrition themed vegetable worksheets.

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There are over 6500 varieties of sweet potato globally! Here in the UK we generally find the orange ones in the supermarkets, although you may find white and purple ones in ethnic stores. We found some purple ones in a Chinese supermarket last year. They made a really lovely flour which I coated chicken strips in for a striking looking salad.

Cucumber Nutrition - Nutritional Information

Sweet potatoes are a good source of Vitamin B6 and Potassium.

It is a very good source of Vitamin C and manganese.

It is an excellent source of Vitamin A and beta carotene.

Sweet Potato Nutrition - Health Benefits of Eating Sweet Potato

  • Sweet potatoes are fabulous for our eyes due to the vitamin A they contain, a deficiency can lead to night blindness.
  • Sweet potatoes can help to alleviate muscle cramps when eaten regularly - this is due to the potassium they contain, as potassium deficiency is often the cause of cramps.
  • Sweet potatoes have a role to play in keeping your heart healthy, again this is due to potassium which, through the control of electrolytes and fluids in the body, helps to control blood pressure.
  • Sweet potatoes are a great thing to eat in times of stress - not just because they are a healthier way of enjoying a sweet taste, but because they help to replace the minerals the body uses up when under stress.
  • Sweet potatoes can help to regulate blood sugar levels and go some way to preventing insulin resistance.
  • An excellent source of anti oxidants, sweet potatoes can help to reduce inflammation in the body which is the leading cause of many debilitating illnesses.
  • Research has suggested that sweet potatoes may be able to reduce the health risks associated with heavy metals and so called oxygen radicals.

When to Buy Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are available all year round, although it isn't native to the UK, though hardier varieties that do well in the British climate are now available to home growers.

How to Store Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are best stored in a cool, dark place, where they should last for about a month.

One of the things that I personally find most disturbing about sweet potatoes is that their skins can be deceptive when they are rotten! There is not a lot worse than reaching into the vegetable rack, grabbing a potato, and feeling the squelch as your fingers break the skin and penetrate the rotting flesh!

Let that serve as a warning to you to store your potatoes probably, and make sure air can circulate around them!

Growing Your Own

If you want to grow your own sweet potatoes in the UK don't try and grow them from the ones that you buy in the supermarket, as these are very unlikely to be hardy enough to thrive in our cooler climate.

Thompson and Morgan offer 3 varieties of sweet potato that will grow here in the UK. They say that they can be grown in pots or sacks, so we shall be giving them a try on our balcony this summer, when we will hopefully have the opportunity to try eating their leaves which can apparently be substituted for spinach. 

The 'slips' as the young plants are called, need to be kept in a frost free environment for 3 weeks after planting, to ensure they are nice and strong to face life outdoors. 

They will need regular watering throughout the summer, and if you are growing them in pots you will need to feed every 2 weeks of so.

Your sweet potatoes should be ready to harvest some time between 12 and 16 weeks after planting. 

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Interesting Sweet Potato Nutrition Vegetable Facts

  • Sweet potatoes aren't actually potatoes! They are part of the Ipomoea family, most of which are flowering plants like the morning glory.
  • A sweet potato is often referred to as a yam even though it isn't and comes from a completely different plant family.
  • Sweet potatoes are something of a historical mystery; they are known to be native to South America, but they were being grown in Polynesia in 1200 AD.
  • When Captain Cook landed in New Zealand in 1769, sweet potatoes were already a staple diet for the Maoris.
  • George Washington farmed sweet potatoes before he became president of the USA.
  • China is the world's biggest producer of sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Nutrition - Sweet Potato Recipes

We love sweet potatoes SO much that we have an entire page of sweet potato recipes for you to peruse - everything from patatas bravas recipe through to a chocolate icecream!

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