If I understand correctly, sweet potatoes are just normal potatoes with a dash of color and a dash of pizazz added to them, right? Well, no. In spite of the fact that they are both exceptional comfort foods and incredibly diverse root vegetables, these two peas in a pod are not truly as similar to one another as one would believe they are. In terms of both their nutritional value and their flavor, potatoes and sweet potatoes offer something completely different to the table (per Healthline).
When it comes to nutrition, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are quite similar in a number of aspects. However, when comparing the quantity of vitamin A that these two veggies contain, sweet potatoes come out on top (or should we say pie?). Because our systems are incapable of producing vitamin A from scratch, we must get it from the foods that we consume (per Cleveland Clinic). Is it feasible to receive the daily necessary quantity of vitamin A from sweet potatoes on their own, despite the fact that there are numerous delightful methods to ingest vitamin A? Let’s take a more in-depth look, shall we?
How Much Vitamin A Is Necessary for Us?
Have you ever heard the old wives’ story that eating carrots would improve your night vision? Carrots, like sweet potatoes, have a high beta-carotene content, but contrary to popular belief, they do not improve your ability to see in the dark (per Harvard Health Publishing). According to the Mayo Clinic, our bodies convert beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is a substance that plays an important part in maintaining healthy eyes. This process is analogous to the story of Rumpelstiltskin turning straw into gold.
A sufficient intake of vitamin A is beneficial for more than only our eyes, as a matter of fact. According to Harvard Health Publishing, it also helps maintain healthy bones and encourages the development and activity of white blood cells, which are the cells in the body responsible for fighting infections. Additionally, vitamin A controls cell development as well as cell division, both of which are essential for reproducing.
It is suggested that adult males take in 900 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A on a daily basis, while adult women should strive to take in 700 mcg. You can obtain vitamin A by eating leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, cantaloupe, mangoes, beef liver, fish oil, and milk. Other sources include pumpkin, squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, cantaloupe, and mangoes. On the other hand, the Office of Dietary Supplements reports that a single cooked sweet potato with its skin on has 1,403 mcg of vitamin A, which is much more than the amount that is suggested to be consumed daily.
In addition to the very high levels of vitamin A that they contain, sweet potatoes also have a great deal more to offer. In addition to this, they are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium (per Harvard Health Publishing). However, you should be aware that sweet potatoes have a glycemic index and glycemic load that is almost identical to those of conventional potatoes. This will have an effect on the amount of glucose in your blood. On the other hand, considering that most individuals do not consume as many sweet potatoes as they do white potatoes, it would seem that sweet potatoes do not have the same effect on weight gain and diabetes as their lighter counterparts.
You should give this recipe for Mexican-style stuffed sweet potatoes a go if you’re looking for a dish that’s high in vitamin A and fiber but doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare. But if potatoes roasted in the oven aren’t your thing, you could always try boiling them and mashing them instead. If you boil your sweet potatoes, as opposed to baking or frying them, you will be able to keep more of the beneficial beta-carotene and make it easier for your body to absorb it. These benefits are not achieved by the other cooking techniques.