How Much Selenium is in Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a popular root vegetable that are enjoyed by many people around the world. They are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients that are important for maintaining good health. One of the key nutrients found in sweet potatoes is selenium, a trace mineral that plays a vital role in various bodily functions.

Selenium is an essential nutrient that helps to support a healthy immune system, regulate thyroid function, and protect against oxidative damage. It is also important for reproductive health, skin health, and muscle function. Sweet potatoes are a great source of selenium, with one medium-sized sweet potato containing around 2 micrograms of this important nutrient. This makes sweet potatoes an excellent choice for anyone looking to boost their selenium intake.

In addition to selenium, sweet potatoes are also rich in other important nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and manganese, among other nutrients. They are also low in fat and calories, making them a great choice for anyone looking to maintain a healthy weight. Whether baked, boiled, or mashed, sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious addition to any meal.

What Are Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are a type of root vegetable that are often used in cooking. They are native to Central and South America, and have been cultivated for thousands of years. Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are often considered a healthy food choice.

There are many different varieties of sweet potatoes, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Some of the most popular varieties include:

  • Beauregard
  • Covington
  • Jewel
  • Garnet

Sweet potatoes are often confused with yams, but they are actually two different types of vegetables. Yams are native to Africa and Asia, and are much larger than sweet potatoes. In the United States, most of the products labeled as yams are actually sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are a tuber that grows underground, and are harvested in the fall. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often used in soups, stews, and casseroles. They can also be baked, mashed, or fried.

Sweet potatoes are a good source of many important nutrients, including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium

In addition to these nutrients, sweet potatoes are also a good source of selenium. Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in many important bodily functions. It is important for the immune system, and may also help to protect against certain types of cancer.

Overall, sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious food that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you prefer them baked, mashed, or fried, sweet potatoes are a great addition to any meal.

Nutrition Facts of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a highly nutritious root vegetable that is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are a great source of energy and are low in fat, making them an excellent addition to any healthy diet.

Macronutrients

A single serving of sweet potato (one medium-sized potato, about 114 grams) contains approximately:

  • 103 calories
  • 0.2 grams of fat
  • 23.6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3.8 grams of fiber
  • 7.4 grams of sugar
  • 2.3 grams of protein

Sweet potatoes are also a great source of complex carbohydrates, which are essential for maintaining energy levels throughout the day.

Vitamins and Minerals

Sweet potatoes are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin A: One serving of sweet potato contains over 400% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
  • Vitamin C: One serving of sweet potato contains approximately 37% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
  • Potassium: One serving of sweet potato contains approximately 15% of the recommended daily intake of potassium.
  • Calcium: One serving of sweet potato contains approximately 4% of the recommended daily intake of calcium.
  • Iron: One serving of sweet potato contains approximately 4% of the recommended daily intake of iron.
  • Zinc: One serving of sweet potato contains approximately 3% of the recommended daily intake of zinc.
  • Selenium: Sweet potatoes are also a good source of selenium, with one serving containing approximately 2% of the recommended daily intake.

Other Nutrients

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of other essential nutrients, including:

  • Water: Sweet potatoes are approximately 77% water, making them a great way to stay hydrated.
  • Fiber: Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, which can help regulate digestion and promote feelings of fullness.
  • Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, including glucose, fructose, sucrose, and maltose.
  • Vitamins B12 and D: Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins B12 and D, which are essential for maintaining healthy bones and a healthy nervous system.

Overall, sweet potatoes are a highly nutritious and delicious addition to any healthy diet, and their high selenium content makes them an excellent choice for those looking to boost their selenium intake.

Benefits of Eating Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious root vegetable that are packed with a wide range of health benefits. They are a great source of antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals that can help improve overall health and well-being.

Nutritional Value of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and E, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. They are also a good source of potassium, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve digestion. Additionally, sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index, making them a great option for those looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Sweet potatoes also contain resistant starch, which is a type of starch that is not digested in the small intestine. This means that it can pass through the gut without being broken down, providing fuel for beneficial gut bacteria and helping to reduce inflammation in the body.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Eating sweet potatoes can provide numerous health benefits, including:

  • Improved vision: Sweet potatoes are a rich source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy eyesight and can help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

  • Healthy skin: The antioxidants in sweet potatoes can help protect the skin from damage caused by UV radiation and environmental pollutants. Additionally, the vitamin C in sweet potatoes plays a key role in collagen production, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin.

  • Improved brain function: Sweet potatoes are a good source of choline, which is essential for brain development and function. Additionally, the methionine and glycine in sweet potatoes can help improve memory and cognitive function.

  • Reduced inflammation: The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in sweet potatoes can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to a wide range of health issues, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Overall, sweet potatoes are a highly nutritious and versatile food that can provide numerous health benefits. Whether baked, roasted, mashed, or fried, sweet potatoes are a delicious addition to any meal.

How Much Selenium is in Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are a great source of various nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One of the essential trace minerals found in sweet potatoes is selenium. Selenium is a vital nutrient that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, including immune system function and thyroid hormone metabolism.

According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, sweet potatoes have varying levels of selenium content, depending on the variety and growing conditions. The study found that sweet potatoes contain an average of 0.20 to 0.46 micrograms of selenium per gram of fresh weight.

To put this into perspective, one medium-sized sweet potato (about 114 grams) contains approximately 23 to 53 micrograms of selenium. This amount of selenium is about 30-70% of the recommended daily intake for adults, which is 55 micrograms.

It is worth noting that while selenium is an essential nutrient, it can also be toxic in high doses. The tolerable upper intake level for selenium is 400 micrograms per day for adults. Therefore, it is crucial to consume sweet potatoes and other selenium-rich foods in moderation to avoid toxicity.

In summary, sweet potatoes are a good source of selenium, with an average of 0.20 to 0.46 micrograms of selenium per gram of fresh weight. Consuming a medium-sized sweet potato can provide 30-70% of the recommended daily intake of selenium for adults. However, it is essential to consume sweet potatoes in moderation to avoid toxicity.

How to Prepare and Store Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious root vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Here are some tips on how to prepare and store sweet potatoes:

Preparation

Sweet potatoes can be prepared in many ways, including steamed, baked, mashed, or canned. Here are some tips for each preparation method:

  • Steamed: To steam sweet potatoes, peel and chop them into small pieces. Place them in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
  • Baked: To bake sweet potatoes, preheat your oven to 400°F. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, then prick them all over with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes or until tender.
  • Mashed: To make mashed sweet potatoes, boil peeled and chopped sweet potatoes until tender. Drain and mash with butter, milk, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Canned: Canned sweet potatoes are a convenient option for quick meals. Look for canned sweet potatoes that are packed in water or their own juice, rather than syrup.

Storage

Sweet potatoes can be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place for up to several weeks. Avoid storing sweet potatoes in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature can alter their taste and texture. If you have leftover cooked sweet potatoes, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

When storing sweet potatoes, it’s important to keep track of their weight. A medium-sized sweet potato typically weighs about 5 ounces, while a large sweet potato can weigh up to 12 ounces. Knowing the weight of your sweet potatoes can help you plan recipes and portion sizes.

Conclusion

By following these tips, you can enjoy sweet potatoes in a variety of ways while ensuring they stay fresh and flavorful. Whether you prefer steamed, baked, mashed, or canned sweet potatoes, proper preparation and storage techniques can help you get the most out of this nutritious root vegetable.

Comparison to Regular Potatoes

When it comes to comparing sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, there are several differences to consider. One of the most notable differences is the amount of selenium in each type of potato. Sweet potatoes have been found to contain higher levels of selenium compared to regular potatoes. According to a study conducted in central Nigeria, sweet potatoes have the highest selenium content among root and tuber plants analyzed, with a mean value of 19.2 ± 5.20 μg/kg.

Aside from selenium, sweet potatoes also have a more diverse nutritional profile compared to regular potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than regular potatoes. For example, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, with one medium-sized sweet potato containing 438% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin A. They are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.

In terms of macronutrients, sweet potatoes are lower in protein and fat compared to regular potatoes. However, sweet potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy. They are also lower in sugar, with a lower glycemic index compared to regular potatoes. This means that sweet potatoes are less likely to cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.

When it comes to serving size, one medium-sized sweet potato (about 114 grams) contains 103 calories, 0.2 grams of total fat, 0.1 grams of saturated fat, 23.6 grams of carbohydrates, 3.8 grams of fiber, 7.4 grams of sugar, and 2.3 grams of protein. In comparison, one medium-sized regular potato (about 173 grams) contains 161 calories, 0.2 grams of total fat, 0.1 grams of saturated fat, 36.6 grams of carbohydrates, 3.8 grams of fiber, 1.9 grams of sugar, and 4.3 grams of protein.

Overall, sweet potatoes are a more nutrient-dense option compared to regular potatoes, with higher levels of selenium, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, both types of potatoes can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and prepared in a healthy manner.

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About the Author Adam


As a health and fitness writer, Adam combines his two passions—weightlifting and writing. With a creative writing degree under his belt, he spends his mornings lifting weights, his nights putting pen to paper, and eating too many snacks in between.

Health Disclaimer

  • Any products written about is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
  • Results may vary/may not be typical. 
  • This information does not constitute medical advice and it should not be relied upon as such. Consult with your doctor before modifying your regular medical regime.

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