Can I drink raw sweet potato?


Raw sweet potato juice has become an increasingly popular health drink due to its nutritional benefits. However, some people wonder if it’s actually safe to drink raw sweet potato juice. There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether or not to drink raw sweet potato juice. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the potential benefits and downsides of drinking raw sweet potato juice.

Nutritional Overview of Sweet Potatoes

First, let’s examine the nutritional profile of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients including:

Nutrient Per 100g Raw Sweet Potato
Calories 86
Carbs 20g
Fiber 3g
Sugar 4g
Protein 1.6g
Vitamin A 14187IU (283% DV)
Vitamin C 2.4mg (4% DV)
Manganese 0.258mg (13% DV)
Copper 0.127mg (14% DV)
Vitamin B6 0.209mg (12% DV)
Potassium 337mg (7% DV)

As you can see, sweet potatoes contain high amounts of vitamin A, manganese, copper, vitamin B6 and potassium. They are also a good source of fiber, vitamins C and E, niacin and pantothenic acid.

Potential Benefits of Raw Sweet Potato Juice

Drinking raw sweet potato juice may provide some potential health benefits:

High Nutrient Density

Since you are consuming the potato in its raw form, you get the full range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients found in the sweet potato. Juicing gives you an easy way to ingest a concentrated dose of nutrients.

Vitamin A

One of the biggest benefits of sweet potato juice is its extremely high vitamin A content. One cup of raw sweet potato juice can provide over 700% of your daily vitamin A needs. Vitamin A is vital for immune function, vision, skin health and cellular communication.


Sweet potatoes contain antioxidants like beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid and anthocyanins. These compounds help neutralize harmful free radicals to protect cells against damage. Drinking the raw juice gives you an excellent dose of antioxidants.


Some research indicates the antioxidants in sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory effects to help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to various diseases.

Blood Sugar Control

Despite their carbohydrate and sugar content, studies show compounds in sweet potatoes can help moderate blood sugar levels. The fiber and nutrients in the juice may also assist with blood sugar control.

Gut Health

The fiber and nutrients in sweet potato juice can help feed beneficial gut bacteria. This improves digestive health and helps maintain the balance of microorganisms in the intestines.

Heart Health

Some studies indicate that antioxidants in purple sweet potatoes may help decrease blood pressure and risk factors for heart disease. More research is needed, but the juice may provide benefits for cardiovascular health.

Potential Downsides of Raw Sweet Potato Juice

While drinking raw sweet potato juice has some benefits, there are also some potential downsides to consider:

High Glycemic Index

Despite their positive impact on blood sugar, sweet potatoes actually have a high glycemic index. This means the carbohydrates are digested and absorbed quickly, raising blood sugar and insulin levels. People with diabetes or weight concerns should moderate their intake.

Oxalate Content

Raw sweet potatoes contain a compound called oxalic acid which can bind to calcium and cause kidney stones in those prone to the condition. Cooking helps reduce oxalates, so juice may be higher in oxalates than cooked potatoes.

Solanine Toxicity

Like other nightshades, sweet potatoes contain a toxin called solanine. Cooking destroys most solanine. But drinking raw juice may provide higher amounts, especially if the potatoes are green or damaged. Solanine poisoning is rare, but possible.

Pesticide Exposure

Unless you are using organic produce, raw sweet potatoes may contain traces of pesticides. Cooking helps reduce pesticide levels, while juicing provides a more concentrated dose. It’s best to peel non-organic potatoes before juicing to decrease pesticide intake.

High Sugar Content

Juicing the potato can concentrate its natural sugars. This results in a higher glycemic load than eating a whole baked potato. Individuals watching their sugar intake should limit quantities.

Potential Bacterial Contamination

Because the potato is raw, any bacteria on the surface can end up in your juice. This includes potentially harmful organisms like E. coli or salmonella. Proper cleaning and handling techniques are necessary to avoid contamination.

Short Shelf Life

Fresh raw sweet potato juice only stays good for 1-2 days when refrigerated. The juice must be consumed quickly to avoid spoilage and potential foodborne illness.

May Cause Gas or Bloating

The high fiber content in raw sweet potato juice can cause gas, abdominal pain or bloating when consumed in large amounts. Start with small servings to see how your body handles the juice.

Nutrient Loss from Juicing

Juicing strips away the potato’s skin and flesh, removing some nutrients like protein, iron and B vitamins. You also miss out on the beneficial resistant starch found in cooked sweet potatoes.

Best Practices for Safe Consumption

If you want to drink raw sweet potato juice, here are some tips to do so safely:

Use Organic Potatoes

Choose organic sweet potatoes whenever possible to minimize pesticide contamination.

Wash Potatoes Thoroughly

Scrub potatoes with a clean vegetable brush under running water before juicing to remove dirt and bacteria from the surface.

Peel Before Juicing

Peel off the skin to remove pesticide residues and oxalates concentrated in the peel. The flesh still provides plenty of nutrients.

Watch for Signs of Spoilage

Avoid juicing potatoes that are sprouting, green, mushy or damaged. Only use firm, fresh sweet potatoes. Discard any juice that smells unpleasant or fermented.

Juice Promptly

Cut and juice potatoes right before drinking the juice. Don’t store cut potatoes for long periods before juicing them.

Drink Juice Immediately

Consume the raw sweet potato juice within a few hours of juicing for food safety. Don’t leave it sitting out at room temperature.

Refrigerate Leftovers

Store any unused juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 1-2 days for best quality and safety.

Monitor Digestive Effects

Drink small amounts at first. Stop consuming the juice if you experience nausea, vomiting, cramps or other negative reactions.

Avoid Overconsumption

Stick to 4-8 ounces of raw sweet potato juice per day. Consuming extremely large amounts could potentially cause solanine poisoning in sensitive individuals. Moderation is key.

Should You Drink Raw Sweet Potato Juice?

Based on the potential pros and cons, here are some final recommendations on consuming raw sweet potato juice:

Children & Pregnant Women Should Avoid It

Children, pregnant women, elderly individuals, and people with compromised immune systems should avoid raw sweet potato juice due to food safety concerns. Cooked sweet potato is safer for these groups.

Diabetics Should Exercise Caution

People with diabetes or blood sugar issues should be mindful of the glycemic index of sweet potato juice. Monitor your blood sugar closely when consuming it.

People Prone to Kidney Stones Should Moderate Intake

If you have a history of developing kidney stones, limit your raw sweet potato juice consumption and balance it with high calcium foods to minimize stone risk.

Moderation is Important

While occasional raw sweet potato juice (4-8oz per day) is likely safe for most healthy adults, more research is needed on large amounts. It’s best not to over-consume any single food.

Pay Attention to Your Body

If you experience negative symptoms like digestive upset after drinking the juice, stop consuming it. Listen to the signals your body sends about food tolerances.

Use Proper Food Safety Precautions

Always follow proper handling, hygiene, and storage methods to minimize foodborne illness risk from any raw produce.

The Bottom Line

Raw sweet potato juice contains many beneficial vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But there are also some potential health and safety concerns to consider. Using caution and moderation with raw sweet potato juice is recommended. While nutritional powerhouses, sweet potatoes may be safer and more tolerable for most people when gently cooked. As with any food, pay attention to how your body reacts and practice proper food safety habits for optimal wellness.

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