Japanese Sweet Potato Nutrition

Japanese Sweet Potato Nutrition

The Japanese sweet potato is a red- or purple-skinned, yellow-white fleshed potato that belongs to the Ipomea batata botanical family. According to Herbal Extracts Plus, the Japanese sweet potato is similar to American yams, but tastes sweeter.

Overview
The Japanese sweet potato is a red- or purple-skinned, yellow-white fleshed potato that belongs to the Ipomea batata botanical family. According to Herbal Extracts Plus, the Japanese sweet potato is similar to American yams, but tastes sweeter. Vietnam, China, Japan, India and Indonesia are the biggest producers of Japanese sweet potatoes. It is commonly used in Asia as a thickener and flour substitute, as well as a main ingredient in the Japanese dish tempura and in the liquor shochu. Japanese sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber and provide a number of essential vitamins and minerals.
Calories and Fat
According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service Nutrient Data Laboratory, an average-sized raw Japanese sweet potato -- approximately five inches long and weighing 130g -- contains about 113 calories. None of these calories are provided by fat . Sweet potatoes contain no fat, saturated fat or cholesterol.

Carbohydrates
Japanese sweet potatoes contain approximately 27g of carbohydrates. This carbohydrate value comes from three sources: dietary fiber, sugars and starch. Japanese sweet potatoes contain approximately 4g of dietary fiber, for about 12 percent of the daily recommended requirement for dietary fiber in a healthy diet, according to the World's Healthiest Foods site. The 5g of sugars in Japanese sweet potatoes are predominantly sucrose and glucose, with a small amount of fructose. The USDA site reports that the potatoes contain about 17g of starch.
Protein
Japanese sweet potatoes provide approximately 2g of protein. While trace amounts of all essential amino acids are present, the potatoes contain the compounds threonine, leucine, phenylalanine, valine, alanine and serine in the largest amounts.
Vitamins
Japanese sweet potatoes are a rich source of a variety of vitamins essential for optimum health, including vitamins A, C, E and B6. According to the USDA, Japanese sweet potatoes contain 11,062mcg of the beta-carotene form of vitamin A, for 202.2 percent of daily recommended intake of vitamin A. One average-sized sweet potato provides nearly 30 percent of the requirement for vitamin C and about 12 percent of the vitamin B6 requirement. These vitamins are thought to act as powerful antioxidants, preventing cellular damage from free radicals in the body. Because Japanese sweet potatoes are so high in vitamins, they're often recommended as an essential part of a healthy diet.
Minerals
Potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium are all minerals that Japanese sweet potatoes contain in large amounts. With 438mg of potassium in every average-sized potato, Japanese sweet potatoes provide 10 percent of the daily magnesium requirement. They provide 25 percent of the daily need for manganese, about 12 percent of the copper requirement and 39mg of calcium.

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