Both regular white potatoes and sweet potatoes provide fiber and are relatively low in calories, so they are good choices when you want a starchy food. Whether you prefer french fries or healthier baked potatoes, eating these vegetables helps you fit the recommended amount of minerals into your diet.
If you're worried about your blood pressure, eating more foods with potassium is a good idea since it can help counteract the effects of sodium. Each cup of chopped russet potato provides you with 626 milligrams of potassium, and each cup of chopped sweet potato contains 438 milligrams of the recommended 4,700 milligrams per day of this essential mineral.
You need manganese for healing wounds, forming healthy bones and turning the food you eat into energy. Manganese is also an antioxidant, so it helps prevent cell damage from free radicals. A 1-cup serving of russet potato gives you 0.24 milligram, and the same-sized serving of sweet potato contains 0.34 milligram of the 1.8 milligrams of manganese you need each day.
Keeping your heart, nerves, muscles, bones and immune system healthy and functioning properly requires magnesium. Magnesium also helps you keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels within the correct range. Aim to get 320 milligrams per day. A serving of russet potato provides 34 milligrams, while a serving of sweet potato contains 32 milligrams.
Phosphorus helps strengthens your bones and teeth, keeps your metabolism going strong and helps with heart, kidney, muscle and nerve function. Eating a serving of regular potatoes provides you with 82 milligrams, and a serving of sweet potatoes contains 61 milligrams out of the 700 milligrams you need each day.
While potatoes and sweet potatoes are not a great source of the other essential minerals, they do contain at least trace amounts of calcium, iron, sodium, zinc and selenium. Regular potatoes contain only 118 calories per cup and are a good source of vitamin C with 8.6 milligrams. Sweet potatoes provide 112 calories per cup and are a good source of vitamin A with 18,443 international units.
- North Dakota State University: Potatoes From Garden to Table
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Potatoes, Russet, Flesh and Skin, Raw
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Sweet Potato, Raw, Unprepared
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Potassium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Manganese
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium
- MedlinePlus: Phosphorus
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.