As a complex carbohydrate, is consuming sweet potato protein worth it? There are 20 amino acids that your body needs daily. These form part of the building blocks of proteins and should not be ignored. Protein is vital to the function of the body and your body requires it from different sources.
Sweet potato protein is a source of plant-based protein. Plant based proteins are what is classed as incomplete foods. This is because they do not provide all the 20 essential amino acids that the body requires daily. So how do we get our 20 essential amino acids?
We get them from a variety of protein sources. Animal protein sources are the highest in terms of protein sources, but you can get from plant based too. So, if you are a vegetarian, this is not a problem, providing you consume a variety of different plant-based proteins daily.
So how much protein is in a sweet potato?
Sweet potatoes are a strong choice for bodybuilders, athletes and health conscious individuals as they are a healthy starch option. They are also high in fiber, minerals and vitamins and low in calorie amount.
But they do have a small amount of protein. A 4-ounce sweet potato has nearly 2 grams of protein. But as I mentioned before, sweet potato (a plant-based protein source) is an incomplete food. So it should be paired with other protein source foods. Preferably animal protein, but other plant based will suffice.
Within the 4-ounce sweet potato (cooked), there is a minimal calorie amount of 110. From these 110 calories, around 7% are protein. The rest of the calories are from carbohydrates. Now depending on your activity level (bodybuilders for example), you may require a higher daily protein percentage than the average person.
Your daily protein intake
Around 10 and 40 percent of your daily calories need to be from protein. So, if you are sticking to a 2400 a day calorie diet, you will want to be consuming around 60-200 grams of protein. But this will differ depending on your level of daily activity.
If you are looking to boost your protein intake with something paired with sweet potato, why not try brown or whole grain rice. Brown rice offers around 2 grams of protein per 1/3rd cup. Finding different ways to pair your proteins, not only gives your body the essential aminos it needs, it also makes for a great meal.
Me personally, I love sweet potato. A good suggestion for making your sweet potato more enjoyable (not to mention adding more protein), is to sprinkle chopped walnuts or pine nuts on top. It gives an excellent flavour. Sometimes if I’m feeling adventurous, I will roast the nuts before sprinkling them. Although this is sometimes better on a salad.
Some extra advice on sweet potato protein
While many tend to remove the skin (not just with sweet potato but with most fruits and vegetables), it is not always the best option. Housed within the skin of various fruits and vegetables are a mountain of essential vitamins and minerals.
Sure there are some fruits and vegetables that you should remove the skin, but with sweet potatoes leave them on. Thoroughly wash them of course, then prepare your dish.
If you are making mash, then it is probably better (texture wise) to move it. But for everything else, keep them intact. The skin of sweet potatoes is high in fiber, an essential part of our daily diet. Making sweet potato wedges, sprinkled with some spices and a touch of natural yogurt is amazing.