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. 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 5 inches long and weighing 130 grams -- contains about 113 calories. None of these calories are provided by fat. Sweet potatoes contain no fat, saturated fat or cholesterol.
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Japanese sweet potatoes contain approximately 27 grams of carbohydrates. This carbohydrate value comes from three sources: dietary fiber, sugars and starch. Japanese sweet potatoes contain approximately 4 grams of dietary fiber, providing about 16 percent of the daily value for fiber. The 5 grams of sugars in Japanese sweet potatoes are predominantly sucrose and glucose, with a small amount of fructose. The USDA reports that the potatoes contain about 17 grams of starch.
- Japanese sweet potatoes contain approximately 27 grams of carbohydrates.
- Japanese sweet potatoes contain approximately 4 grams of dietary fiber, providing about 16 percent of the daily value for fiber.
Japanese sweet potatoes provide approximately 2 grams 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.
Granola Health Benefits
Japanese sweet potatoes are a rich source of a variety of vitamins essential for optimum health, including vitamins A, C, E and B-6. According to the USDA, Japanese sweet potatoes contain 11,062 micrograms of vitamin A, providing 202.2 percent of daily value. One average-sized sweet potato provides 30 percent of the DV for vitamin C and about 12 percent of the vitamin B-6 requirement. These vitamins are thought to act as powerful antioxidants, preventing cellular damage from free radicals in the body.
- Japanese sweet potatoes are a rich source of a variety of vitamins essential for optimum health, including vitamins A, C, E and B-6.
Potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium are all minerals that Japanese sweet potatoes contain in large amounts. With 438 milligrams of potassium in every average-sized potato, Japanese sweet potatoes provide nearly 10 percent of the daily requirement. They provide 25 percent of the daily requirement for manganese, and about 12 percent of the copper requirement.
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- Gourmet Sleuth: Japanese Sweet Potato
- Herbal Extracts Plus: White Sweet Potato
- USDA Agricultural Research Service: Nutrient Data Laboratory
- Sweet potato, raw, unprepared (Includes foods for USDA's Food Distribution Program). FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.
- Bahado-Singh PS, Riley CK, Wheatley AO, Lowe HI. Relationship between processing method and the glycemic indices of ten sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) cultivars commonly consumed in Jamaica. J Nutr Metab. 2011;2011:584832. doi:10.1155/2011/584832
- Sugata M, Lin CY, Shih YC. Anti-Inflammatory and anticancer activities of Taiwanese purple-fleshed sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas L. Lam) extracts. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:768093. doi:10.1155/2015/768093
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin A fact sheet for health professionals. Updated February 14, 2020.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Potassium fact sheet for health professionals. Updated June 3, 2020.
- American Diabetes Association. Diabetes superfoods.
- Food allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Updated 2014.
- Can eating too many carrots turn your skin orange?. Cleveland Clinic. Updated 2019.
- Types of sweet potatoes. Berkeley Wellness. University of California. Updated 2015.
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.