Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes (and one super simple recipe)

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes (and one super simple recipe)

If you’re looking for a healthy sweet treat, choosing a vegetable is probably the last thing you’d think of. “Big mistake. Big. Huge!” Okay, maybe not huge, but there’s a lot to be said for choosing the humble sweet potato for a sweet treat, a simple side, or a scrumptious breakfast.

Here are just some of the reasons to add sweet potatoes to your grocery list:

  • They’re highly nutritious. Sweet potatoes pack in the nutrients, including vitamins A (213% of the Daily Value) and C (44% DV) and magnesium (43% DV) with 180 calories, 41 grams of carbs (6.6 of which are fiber), and 4 grams of protein. They’re also a good source of copper, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, potassium, niacin, and antioxidants.
  • Sweet potatoes promote gut health due to their high fiber and antioxidant content. Specifically, sweet potatoes contain a type of soluble fiber known as viscous fibers. These fibers absorb water, add bulk, and can soften your stool. But sweet potatoes also contain insoluble fibers, which the bacteria in the gut ferment to produce short-chain fatty acids. These fats fuel cells that line the intestine to keep your gut healthy.
  • May help your body protect against certain types of cancers as they’re rich in anthocyanins. These antioxidants have been found (in test tube and animal studies) to help slow the growth of bladder, colon, stomach, and breast cancer. However, human studies are still needed.
  • May promote healthy vision due to its rich beta-carotene content, which gives sweet potatoes that vibrant orange color. In fact, a single serving of sweet potatoes offers twice the daily required amount of beta-carotene.
  • May boost brain function, especially those that are purple, due to their rich supply of anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that help prevent free-radical damage. Animal research also suggests their high antioxidant content can help improve spatial memory. In general, diets high in vegetables and fruits (which are high in antioxidants and other nutrients) are associated with a lower risk of mental decline.
  • May support immune functioning as they’re a rich source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is vital for balanced immune functioning, and lower levels in the blood have been shown to negatively impact immunity. Vitamin A is also important for a healthy gut as it helps maintain the mucous membranes that line the gut.

There are several sizes and colors, including white, purple, and orange. All of the varieties can be used in different recipes, such as:

But different varieties do work better with some recipes than others.

Pureed sweet potatoes can also be added to a wide range of baked goods and add moisture without added fat. They also add sweetness without added sugar. If you’ve ever used applesauce in bread, muffin, or cookie recipes, you can just as easily add pureed sweet potatoes (just mash ¾ cooked potatoes with ¼ water for the right consistency).

One of the easiest (and best) ways to eat sweet potatoes is as toast. Really. This grain-free toast is fiber-rich, vegan, gluten- and dairy-free, and fits into most diets. In fact, sweet potato toast works well in the Mediterranean, Whole30, Paleo, and even low-carb diets. Plus, it’s surprisingly versatile and low in calories. Here’s how simple it is to make:

Simple Sweet Potato Toast

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes (and one super simple recipe)

Simple Sweet Potato Toast

Cook Time: 10 minutes
Course: Breakfast, dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Calories: 20kcal
Author: Sue Mosebar, Editor-in-Chief


  • 2 Large Sweet Potatoes Garnet Yams or Japanese Sweet Potatoes
  • Avocado Oil Spray
  • Dash of Salt


  • Scrub the sweet potatoes to remove any dirt or grime.
  • You can choose to peel if you don’t like the texture of the peel. However, if you leave the peel on, the “toast” keeps its shape better.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Then line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take a sharp knife and cut off the tips of the sweet potatoes and discard. Slice the rest of the sweet potatoes lengthwise into same-size slices—about 1/3 to 1/4 of an inch thick.
  • Lay sweet potato “toasts” on the parchment paper, so they aren’t touching. And spray with avocado oil on both sides.
  • Sprinkle each one with a dash of salt.
  • Bake in the oven for 5 minutes per side until they’re fully cooked. You should be able to stick with a fork, but they shouldn’t fall apart.
  • Add your choice of toppings to enjoy right away.


Chef Note: You can make extra for later. Just allow them to cool completely and store them in the fridge in an airtight container to be used within the next three to five days. They can be reheated in the oven, air fryer, or toaster oven.
Chef Note: Choose larger sweet potatoes that have a tube-like shape, so it’s easier to slice and top like toast.
Chef Note: Toppings can be sweet or savory. Some popular choices include:
  • Smashed avocado and a fried egg with a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning or just the avocado or just the egg and your favorite seasonings.
  • Cream cheese with lox, red onion, and tomato slices, or for something sweet, go with cream cheese with sliced fruit or some no-sugar-added jam and a sprinkle of seeds or nuts for some added crunch.
  • Ricotta cheese with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
  • Tuna or chicken salad and perhaps a slice of cheese for a melt.
  • Your choice of nut butter, topped with sliced bananas or berries.
  • Add some hummus and sliced tomatoes or other raw or roasted veggies.
Chef Note: You can also make sweet potato toast in an air fryer. Place the slices in a single layer (without touching) and turn on the air fryer at 380 for about 8 minutes per side.


Fiber: 1g | Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!