When it comes to potatoes, the general consensus it that it is a delicious and versatile vegetable used in many dishes such as mashed potatoes and casseroles, and in fact, potatoes are the fourth most consumed food-crop in the world. But are potatoes really good for your health? And what are the nutritional differences in potatoes and sweet potatoes?
Sweet potatoes and potatoes are both root vegetables originated from South America, but they have little in common apart from their origin and name. Potatoes can grow in most climates and soil, making it an easy crop to grow, but sweet potatoes tend to be more delicate.
The sweet potatoes are not immune to cold weather and frost, and tend to be sensitive to daylight. The insides of sweet potatoes are not always orange or yellow, but sometimes can be purple.
Purple sweet potatoes contain peonidins and cyanidins, which possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties, when passing through a person’s digestive system, can reduce the health risks posed by oxygen radicals and heavy metals.
What about orange sweet potatoes?
The orange colored sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are considered by some to be one of the best sources for beta-carotene, which convert into vitamin A, an essential vitamin.
It is said that sweet potato alone could fill 90% of vitamin A needed for a day. Study shows that feeding sweet potatoes to children is an efficient way to provide children the necessary amount of vitamin A.
Beta-carotene is also an antioxidant, and helps cleanse the body of toxin. To maximize the intake of beta-carotene in sweet potato, researchers suggest including 3 to 5 grams of fat, which converts into about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. The recommended method of cooking is boiling or steaming, as these two methods best preserve the nutrition in sweet potatoes.
Potatoes get a bad rap from foods like French fries and potato chips but actually have many health benefits. Potatoes are very good sources of vitamin B6, and good sources of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid. Vitamin B6 is essential for the formation of new cells in the human body, and are active everywhere in the body.
B6 is also needed to serotonin, which prevents depression, and melatonin, which provides your body with quality sleep. Potatoes also have antioxidant properties, which comes from the variety of phytonutrients they contain. Study states that potatoes also have the potential to lower blood pressure, effectively preventing disease. They also contain lots of fiber in their skin, so to take full advantage of potatoes, consuming potato skin is recommended. The best way to preserve most nutrients in potatoes when cooking them is steaming or roasting them without peeling off the skin.
In conclusion, even though they share very little in common, both potatoes and sweet potatoes are great sources of various nutrients, and we honestly think both are great. Sweet potatoes are generally considered the healthier option because white potatoes are often related to greasy foods and fast food, but are actually quite good for you, and both are excellent options as long as you follow a healthy cooking method.
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