More than 6,000 varieties of sweet potatoes exist worldwide.


  • Sweet potato is a member of the Convolvulaceae botanical family.
  • Sweet potatoes come in a range of colors including orange, red, white and purple.
  • Much confusion exists between sweet potatoes and yams. Yams are a completely distinctive plant belonging to a different botanical family. Sweet potatoes are commonly labeled as yams in grocery stores, but yams are a starchy root vegetable with an entirely different nutrient profile. Their appearance is generally rough and scaly on the outside and they can grow to over four feet long.


  • A one cup serving of sweet potatoes is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, B3, B5, B6, copper, manganese, and fiber.
    • Vitamin A encourages healthy vision, skin, reproduction, and immune function.
    • Vitamin C increases absorption of iron, plays a part in wound healing and helps to repair and maintain bones, teeth, and cartilage.
    • Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, promotes cholesterol production, digestion and nervous system function.
    • Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, converts food into energy and aids in fat metabolism, hormone production and red blood cell formation.
    • Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is required for protein metabolism, brain development during pregnancy and infancy, and plays a role in immune function.
    • Copper is an antioxidant that supports bone formation, energy production and nervous system function.
    • Manganese aids in cartilage and bone formation and wound healing.
    • Fiber supports a healthy digestive system by preventing constipation.

How to Purchase, Prepare, and Store

  • Sweet potatoes are available year round at grocery stores.
  • Select firm sweet potatoes with smooth skin. Avoid those with soft spots, cracks or blemishes.
  • Wash sweet potatoes prior to preparing, then slice, dice, or cut into wedges or matchsticks.
  • Prepare sweet potatoes by boiling, baking, steaming, microwaving, or grilling. If baking or microwaving, poke holes into the sweet potato with a fork to allow steam to escape.
  • Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dry area.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup cooked (200 g)

  • Calories: 180
  • Protein: 4.02 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Carbohydrate: 41.4 g
  • Fiber: 6.6 g
  • Calcium: 76 mg
  • Iron:  1.38 mg
  • Magnesium: 54 mg
  • Phosphorus: 108 mg
  • Folate: 12 µg
  • Vitamin A: 1920 µg



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