9 Benefits of Sweet Potatoes (plus Nutritional Info & Recipes)

Updated in October 2023

Sweet potato benefits are derived from its high carbohydrate content, making it an excellent energy source, as well as its high levels of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C and minerals, such as potassium and magnesium. It can prevent diabetes, cancer and heart attack, as well as improve intestinal health and increase muscle mass.

Furthermore, sweet potatoes have a low fat content and are a great source of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and anthocyanins. These help to protect the body's cells against the effects of free radicals, preventing premature aging.

Sweet potatoes vary in color and can be white, cream, orange or purple, all which contain different flavors and nutritional composition. Purple sweet potatoes have a higher amount of anthocyanin-type antioxidants and orange sweet potatoes have a higher level of beta-carotene, for example. Sweet potatoes can be consumed boiled or roasted, but can also be used as a base for mousses or turned into flour for breads and cookies. 

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Health benefits

The main health benefits of sweet potatoes are:

1. Preventing premature aging

Sweet potatoes, especially the orange ones, have excellent amounts of beta-carotene, which are converted in the body into vitamin A. Furthermore, as they are rich in vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant that protects the body's cells against inflammation and free radicals), sweet potatoes can promote firmer, wrinkle-free skin.

2. Maintaining gut health

Because it is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, especially when cooked with the skin, sweet potatoes help to add bulk to the stool and can stimulate bowel movements, combating constipation. Check-out other high-fiber foods you can incorporate into your diet.

Furthermore, sweet potatoes function as a natural prebiotic, as they are a source of food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestine. This helps to keep intestinal flora within normal levels, which can treat and prevent constipation.

3. Preventing diabetes

Despite having good amounts of carbohydrates, sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber, which means they end up having a low glycemic index. This can help to reduce the speed at which sugar is absorbed after meals, preventing blood sugar spikes. This property of sweet potatoes is essential for preventing diabetes, but it can also be recommended, in small quantities, for those who already have the disease.

4. Promoting muscle mass gain

Sweet potatoes are a great source of energy and are therefore widely consumed by those who exercise or physically exert themselves regularly Because of its high fiber contents, sweet potato carbohydrates are released gradually, making it a great option for those who need energy for long periods of physical activity.

5. Promoting weight loss

Sweet potatoes can help with weight loss, as they are high in fiber, which increases the time it takes for food to digest. Food remains in the stomach for longer, keeping you fuller for longer and reducing overeating. 

6. Preventing heart disease

Sweet potatoes, especially purple ones, are rich in anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that improves blood vessel functioning. These can reduce the formation of fatty plaques in arteries and reduce “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood, preventing diseases such as stroke, heart attack and atherosclerosis.

Furthermore, because of their high potassium levels, sweet potatoes also help eliminate excess sodium from the body through urine, preventing high blood pressure.

7. Strengthening the immune system

Because it contains high amounts of vitamin C, beta-carotene and anthocyanins, sweet potatoes have excellent antioxidant action in the body. This can boost immunity and prevent diseases such as flu and colds, in addition to promote wound healing.

8. Preventing some types of cancer

Sweet potatoes have excellent amounts of fiber, which is important for strengthening the beneficial bacteria in the intestine and maintaining the balance of the intestinal flora. This balance of bacteria is one of the important mechanisms for preventing bowel cancer.

Furthermore, sweet potatoes help prevent other types of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer, as they are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and anthocyanins that protect cells against free radicals.

9. Promoting visual health

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidant compounds that work to prevent vision loss and help maintain eye health.

Nutritional information

The following table outlines the nutritional information for 100 g (or 3 tablespoons) of cooked sweet potatoes:


100 g of sweet potatoes


80.4 Kcal


0.6 g


0.1 g


18.4 g


2.2 g

Vitamin A

787 mcg


9440 mcg

Vitamin E

0.9 mg

Vitamin C

12.8 mg


6 mcg


148 mg


17 mg


0.7 mg


18 mg


15 mg

To obtain the benefits of sweet potatoes, it is also essential to incorporate them into a healthy diet and to exercise regularly.

How to eat

Sweet potatoes can be consumed with or without the skin, and can be roasted, boiled or grilled. They can be eaten for breakfast and snacks, replacing bread, and added to main meals, accompanied by fresh vegetables and protein-rich foods, such as chicken, turkey, eggs or fish.

Although there is no specific amount recommended for sweet potato consumption, the recommendation varies between 1 and 2 cups of sweet potatoes, cut into cubes.

In the case of diabetics, sweet potato consumption should be in small portions, between 1/2 and 1 cup, and preferably boiled, as this form lowers the glycemic index when compared to roasted or grilled forms.

Healthy sweet potato recipes

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Some healthy and nutritious recipes using sweet potatoes are:

1. Grilled chicken with sweet potatoes


  • 1 skinless chicken fillet
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Oregano, salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare:

Season the chicken with bay leaves, lemon, pepper and oregano and let it rest for 1 hour in the fridge. Wash and cut the unpeeled potatoes into medium cubes. Line a tray with aluminum foil and place the potatoes in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil, grill the chicken fillet for 5 minutes on each side and set aside. Serve the chicken with roasted sweet potatoes, accompanied by a salad prepared with red cabbage, peppers, tomatoes and arugula, seasoned with oil and vinegar.

2. Sweet potato fries


  • 2 medium units of sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 rosemary branch
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (or 350ºF). Cut the potato, unpeeled and into thin sticks and spread on a platter lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil, being sure to keep them separated from each other. Season the potatoes with salt, oil and pepper. Place the potatoes in the oven to bake for around 20 to 30 minutes or until they are golden and soft. Wait for it to cool and serve.

3. Sweet Potato Chips


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil
  • Rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare:

Wash the potatoes, dry them well and cut into very thin slices, with the skin on. On a tray, line with baking paper or aluminum and season the potatoes with olive oil or coconut oil, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Place the chips in an oven preheated at 200ºC (or 390ºF) for 10 to 15 minutes. Flip the chips and bake for another 10 minutes or until they are golden and crispy.

4. Sweet potato cookies


  • 2 cups of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 cups of white wheat flour
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt to taste

How to prepare:

Grease a baking tray with butter and set aside. Mix all the ingredients until you form a homogeneous dough that does not stick to your hands. Shape the cookies into a round shape or stick shape and place them on the greased tray, so that they are separated from each other. Bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC (or 350ºF) for 20 minutes or until golden.

5. Sweet potato cheese bread


  • 100 g of cooked sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 100 g of fresh ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon of unflavored whey protein powder
  • 1 cup of sour tapioca flour
  • ½ cup of sweet cassava starch

How to prepare:

Place the cooked sweet potato, egg, water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ricotta in a blender and blend until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Then, pour the mixture into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well with your hands. Place the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes until the dough is firm. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and form balls with your hands, placing them on a baking sheet greased with the rest of the olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 160ºC (320ºF) for 15 minutes or until the cheese breads are golden.

6. Sweet potato brownie


  • 2 cups of cooked sweet potato
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 tablespoons of cocoa or carob powder
  • 1 cup of chopped 70% chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons of powdered sweetener or honey
  • 2 cups of almond flour, oat flour or rice flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

How to prepare:

Cook the sweet potato, remove the skin and set aside. In a bowl, beat the eggs until they double in volume. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Grease a baking pan and distribute the dough, baking in the oven at 180 ºC for around 25 minutes.

7. Sweet potato bread

The following recipe yields 3 large loaves of bread that can be eaten for breakfast and snacks.


  • 1 tablespoon of dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 cup of warm milk
  • 2 cups (350 g) of mashed purple sweet potatoes
  • 600 g of wheat flour (approximately 3 ½ cups)
  • 2 level tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Wheat flour for sprinkling

How to prepare

Cook the sweet potato with its skin until it is very soft. Peel and mash. Mix the yeast with water and let it rest for 5 minutes. Stir the hydrated yeast, egg, salt and milk in a blender. Beat well and gradually add the sweet potato, beating until it becomes a thick cream. In a bowl, place this mixture and gradually add the wheat flour, mixing with a spoon or your hands. Continue adding flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hands; Add the butter and mix well, until the dough is smooth and shiny; Cover with plastic wrap and let rest until the dough doubles in size.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces and shape the breads on a floured surface. Place the batters in a greased pan without letting them touch each other. Place in a preheated oven at high temperature for 10 minutes, lowering to medium oven and leaving to bake for another 45 minutes or until the dough is golden. If you want to make smaller loaves, the baking time should be shorter.