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Nutrition and health benefits of Japanese sweet potato

Sweet potatoes, known botanically as Ipomoea batatas, belong to the Convolvulaceae (morning glory) family. These tuber vegetables were cultivated by humans more than five thousand years ago in Central and South America, and Japanese sweet potatoes are celebrated in many popular Sanraku cuisines. Many people confuse potatoes with sweet potatoes; however, sweet potatoes are not potatoes. Potato tubers develop from plant stems, while sweet potatoes are tubers that grow from roots. In addition, potatoes belong to the nightshade family (Solanaceae); instead, sweet potatoes are the morning glory species (Convolvulaceae).

Japanese sweet potatoes are known as Satsuma-imo in Japanese. They are grown in Japan, especially in the city of Okinawa, from where they are exported to many countries, including North America. Sweet potatoes are the staple food of Okinawans and are the secret to their long, healthy lives. Also, Japanese sweet potatoes grown in other regions differ from Okinawa sweet potatoes because Okinawa sweet potatoes have purple flesh, while the other variety has yellow flesh. Japanese sweet potatoes, also called Japanese yams, are sweet and have cream-colored flesh with a soft texture and thin, rough-textured skin. In addition, they are long, slender and irregularly shaped.

Japanese Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts

According to the Nutritionix databases, 130 grams of 5-inch-long raw Japanese sweet potatoes contain the following nutritional components. Although all types of sweet potatoes have a similar nutritional composition, the color of the flesh determines the carotenoid and phenolic content. Yellow and orange sweet potatoes are higher in carotenoids and polyphenols than purple and cream yams. Therefore, you should choose Japanese sweet potatoes that are yellow to orange in color to get enriched nutrients and health benefits.

Nutritional component

Amount per serving

% Daily Values ​​(based on a 2000 calorie diet)

Total fats

0 g



0 g


Total carbohydrates

26 g


Dietary fiber

3.9 g



5.4 g


2 g


72 mg



438 mg


Vitamin A


Vitamin C






Health benefits

This root vegetable has several health benefits based on Japanese sweet potato nutrition. Health care providers recommend including them in your diet to manage various medical conditions, including diabetes, eye health, cholesterol management, and constipation, along with over-the-counter and prescription medications.

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However, Japanese sweet potatoes are not a substitute for what your doctor prescribes. Below are some of the significant benefits of Japanese sweet potatoes.

Daily fuel for energy

The carbohydrates in Japanese sweet potatoes fulfill a significant portion of a person’s daily calorie intake. These are the fuel for human energy essential to carry out the body’s metabolic and physiological functions. Our brain, heart, nerves and every cell in the body need carbohydrates for proper and normal functioning. According to the USDA, carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of our daily calorie intake. 130 grams of sweet potato provide you with 9% of calories. Therefore, you can consume them accordingly to reach 45% of your daily caloric intake, which will be 650 grams. However, you can combine any source of carbohydrates with sweet potatoes to reduce this consumption amount by 650 grams.

Benefits of dietary fiber

Dietary fiber is the insoluble part of food that absorbs water and helps soften stools. Therefore, it helps relieve constipation and mitigates the symptoms of other medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and other gastrointestinal problems. According to some limited studies, eating foods rich in dietary fiber helps reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. In addition, sweet potatoes rich in fiber are also beneficial in heart disease, cholesterol, obesity and diabetes mellitus. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, depending on age and sex, the recommended daily intake of fiber ranges from 22.4 to 33.6 grams.

Healthy vitamins

According to Slism Calorie, 200 grams of Japanese sweet potatoes contain the following vitamins.


Quantity per 200 grams

Vitamin C

58 mg

Vitamin E

3.2 mg

Vitamin B1

0.22 mg

Vitamin B2

0.06 mg

Vitamin B3

1.6 mg

Vitamin B5

1.92 mg

Vitamin B6

0.56 mg

Vitamin B7

8 mg

Vitamin B9

98 ug

Japanese sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C and E. These powerful antioxidants eliminate toxic free radicals and prevent the incidence of cancer in important organs of the body. In addition, they neutralize oxidizing agents and help mitigate the symptoms of various disorders. Japanese sweet potatoes are also rich in B vitamins that are vital for the proper functioning of the CNS, especially the brain.

eye health

Because Japanese sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene converted to vitamin A; they are excellent for eye health. Vitamin A strengthens the eye nerves and eyesight and helps with night blindness and dry eyes. In addition, it prevents the incidence of eye infections.

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In addition, Japanese sweet potatoes are rich in fat-soluble antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein, which are necessary for maintaining eye health. These carotenoids prevent and delay age-related macular degeneration and chronic eye diseases such as cataracts.

Minerals for:

According to Slism Calorie, 200 grams of Japanese sweet potatoes contain the following minerals.


Quantity per 200 grams


8 mg


940 mg


80 mg


50 mg


92 mg


0.36 mg


0.88 mg


1.4 mg

heart health

Various minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium work collectively to maintain heart health and prevent the incidence of many cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction and stroke angina pectoris However, limited scientific evidence supports these benefits of Japanese sweet potatoes.


Potassium is the essential mineral for regulating the conduction and transmission of nerve impulses, which regulates the heartbeat. It is also crucial for regulating blood pressure, so potassium-rich foods such as sweet potatoes and bananas are recommended for hypertensive patients along with hypertension drug therapy. In addition, prehypertension alone can be controlled with lifestyle modifications and a diet rich in potassium and dietary fiber. Magnesium is also needed to transport calcium and potassium to regulate blood pressure.


Calcium prevents the absorption of bad cholesterol and fats, which is crucial for maintaining normal cholesterol levels. Lowering bad cholesterol also prevents diseases such as obesity, which can lead to cardiovascular problems and diabetes. In addition, calcium is essential for normal heart rhythm and the prevention of heart problems such as bradycardia. However, see your doctor for adequate calcium for heart and blood pressure problems.

Amino acid content:

Japanese sweet potatoes also contain amino acids such as tryptophan, the precursor to the production of serotonin and melatonin. These neurotransmitters benefit the normal sleep/wake cycle, appetite and mood regulation. In addition, insufficient levels of serotonin and melatonin can lead to insomnia, depression, loss of memory and cognitive function.

summing up

Japanese sweet potatoes are nutrient-rich root vegetables with several health benefits that a person should include in their diet; it does not mean that you can replace prescription drugs to manage the medical conditions listed above. See the informative content above and consult your doctor for the recommended dietary intake of Japanese sweet potato nutrition.

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