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Sweet Potato Fact Sheet

Empowering People Sweet potato is one of the most nutritious vegetables grown in the state of Mississippi. There are several species of edible sweet potatoes. The yellow colored variety is rich in beta-carotene, while the purple fleshed one is rich in anthocyanin with high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties.

Nutrition Facts: Sweet potato is an excellent source of fiber. It is high in vitamin A because of the beta-carotene content, and in vitamin C, a good source of calcium. It is also an excellent source of iron, and potassium, and it is cholesterol free and fat free.

Tips For Preparing Sweet Potatoes You can cook and eat the entire tuber, flesh and skin after scrubbing and washing it. As the flesh of sweet potatoes will darken upon contact with the air, you should cook them immediately after peeling and/or cutting them. To prevent them from turning color, keep them in a bowl covered completely with cold water until you are ready to cook them.

Healthiest Ways of Cooking Sweet Potatoes include: Boiling: Adding a small amount of good-fat olive oil, canola oil, or monounsaturated butter substitute to boiled sweet potato increases the bioavailability of the beta-carotene content. Steaming: Steam for 10 minutes, toss with olive or canola oil, and top it with cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or ground ginger and garlic for extra flavor and nutrition. Baking: For a healthy snack while watching TV, thinly slice scrubbed, unpeeled sweet potatoes. Spread them single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon, or any herb in your cabinet, and season all. Brush with olive oil and bake them until done. Sweet potatoes can be washed and baked unpeeled and topped with healthy ingredients such as pecans, chives, and a dash of olive oil.

How to select a store Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. They should be stored in a cool, well-ventilated place where they can be kept fresh for up to two or three weeks. Sweet potatoes eaten in moderation can be a part of a healthy meal throughout the year.

This Fact sheet is provided by: Edith Ezekwe, MS, RD, LD, MT (ASCP) Extension Nutrition Specialist/ Instructor, Nutrition and Dietetics Department of Human Sciences Alcorn State University Phone: 601.877.6258 Fax: 601.877.3960 Alcorn State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion or disability in delivery of programs and is an equal opportunity employer.

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