16 Complete Protein Pairings with Sweet Potatoes

Summary:

  • Sweet potato is low in protein - about 2 grams per sweetpotato.
  • In addition, sweet potato provides only 7 of the 9 essential amino acids sufficiently - it is a little low on leucine and lysine.[1]
  • Sweet potato pairs well with carrots, cranberry, crimini mushroom, pumpkin seeds or black beans to create a complete protein profile. [2] More sweet potato pairings and detailed analysis below.

A complete protein is a protein source that "contains adequate proportions of the nine essential amino acids" that our body can not produce on its own.

World Health Organization [2], National Academy Press [3]

We analyzed the amino acid composition of sweet potatoes, and found both vegan and vegetarian pairings with sweet potatoes that creates a complete protein profile. Read on to discover new combinations of foods to enjoy!

Details on how we calculate complete protein profiles.

image of sweet potatoes source

Amount of Protein in Sweet Potatoes

Relatively low in protein, a single sweet potato contains 2 grams of protein, or about 4% of recommended daily values. [1]

To get the adequate amount of protein with sweet potatoes alone, you will need 24 sweet potatoes (3180 grams) for an average female, or 29 sweet potatoes for males. [4] That's over 2740 calories, and a lot of sweet potato! Pairing sweet potato with a richer protein source is a good idea.

Full nutritional profile for sweet potatoes
USDA Source: Sweet potato, raw, unprepared

Macronutrients in 1 sweetpotato (130g) of sweet potatoes:

% of RDV Amount
Calories
5.6% 112 kCal
Carbohydrates
0% -
Total fat
0.1% 0.1 grams
Protein
4.1% 2 grams

Essential Amino Acids in Sweet Potatoes

Proportionally, sweet potato does contain abundant amounts of 7 out of the nine essential amino acids. However, sweet potato is a little short on leucine and lysine.[1]

To have adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids with sweet potato alone, you will have to eat 23 sweet potatoes (2966 grams) for an average person. [2]

That's about 7% more sweet potato to compensate for the lack of leucine and lysine, compared to the protein requirement alone.

The amount of each essential amino acid in 1 sweetpotato (130g) of sweet potatoes:

Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [1] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
4.1% 2.041g
Histidine
6.4% 0.04g
Isoleucine
8.3% 0.072g
Leucine
6.3% 0.12g
Lysine
5% 0.086g
Methionine
4.4% 0.038g
Phenylalanine
7.8% 0.116g
Threonine
12% 0.108g
Tryptophan
15.5% 0.04g
Valine
10.4% 0.112g

More Complete Protein with Sweet Potatoes

Top vegan pairings with sweet potatoes include:
  1. Carrots
  2. Cranberry
  3. Crimini Mushroom
  4. Pumpkin Seeds
  5. Black Beans
  6. Kidney Beans
  7. Nutritional Yeast
  8. Dijon Mustard
  9. Yellow Mustard
  10. White Beans
  11. Mung Bean
  12. Lima Beans
Although dairy and eggs are generally considered complete proteins, some types of vegetarian food pair more efficiently with sweet potatoes. These include:
  1. Sour Cream
  2. Caramel
  3. Yogurt
  4. Milk

Vegan 1. Carrots and Sweet Potatoes


image of carrots
image of sweet potatoes

Low in protein, carrot is high in leucine and lysine, which is complementary to sweet potato.

A ratio of 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.4 carrot (26g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.08 to 1:32 for sweet potato to carrot by weight.

Full nutritional profile for carrots
USDA Source: Carrots, raw

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.4 large carrots :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [5] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
10.7% 5.3g
Histidine
17.6% 0.11g
Isoleucine
23.1% 0.2g
Leucine
17.2% 0.33g
Lysine
14.1% 0.24g
Methionine
11.6% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
20.5% 0.3g
Threonine
35.4% 0.32g
Tryptophan
39.9% 0.1g
Valine
27.5% 0.3g

Vegan 2. Cranberry and Sweet Potatoes


image of cranberry
image of sweet potatoes

Cranberry is low in protein, and is high in leucine and lysine, complementing the profile of sweet potato.

For example, 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.8 cup of cranberry (83g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.26 to 1:0.11 for sweet potato to cranberry by weight.

Full nutritional profile for cranberry
USDA Source: Cranberries, raw

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.8 cup cranberry :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [6] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11% 5.5g
Histidine
18.4% 0.12g
Isoleucine
24% 0.21g
Leucine
18.2% 0.34g
Lysine
14.4% 0.25g
Methionine
11.2% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
21.4% 0.32g
Threonine
32.6% 0.29g
Tryptophan
39.7% 0.1g
Valine
29.4% 0.32g

Vegan 3. Crimini Mushroom and Sweet Potatoes


image of crimini mushroom
image of sweet potatoes

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, crimini mushroom is high in leucine and lysine, which is complementary to sweet potato.

A ratio of 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.4 cup of crimini mushroom (38g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.12 to 1:46 for sweet potato to crimini mushroom by weight.

Full nutritional profile for crimini mushroom
USDA Source: Mushrooms, brown, italian, or crimini, raw

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.4 cup crimini mushroom :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [7] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
12.1% 6g
Histidine
20% 0.13g
Isoleucine
25.1% 0.22g
Leucine
18.9% 0.36g
Lysine
18.1% 0.31g
Methionine
13.1% 0.11g
Phenylalanine
21.9% 0.33g
Threonine
34.7% 0.31g
Tryptophan
46.8% 0.12g
Valine
29.9% 0.32g

Vegan 4. Pumpkin Seeds and Sweet Potatoes


image of pumpkin seeds
image of sweet potatoes

Pumpkin seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine and lysine, complementing the profile of sweet potato.

For example, 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.7 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds (3g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.01 to 1:3 for sweet potato to pumpkin seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for pumpkin seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, whole, roasted, without salt

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.7 tbsp pumpkin seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [8] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.2% 5.6g
Histidine
18.3% 0.12g
Isoleucine
23.9% 0.21g
Leucine
18.1% 0.34g
Lysine
14.8% 0.25g
Methionine
12.3% 0.11g
Phenylalanine
21.1% 0.31g
Threonine
32.1% 0.29g
Tryptophan
42.2% 0.11g
Valine
29.7% 0.32g

Vegan 5. Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes


image of black beans
image of sweet potatoes

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, black bean is high in leucine and lysine, which is complementary to sweet potato.

A ratio of 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.7 tablespoon of black beans (10g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.03 to 1:0 for sweet potato to black bean by weight.

Full nutritional profile for black beans
USDA Source: Beans, black turtle, mature seeds, canned

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.7 tbsp black beans :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [9] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.4% 5.7g
Histidine
18.7% 0.12g
Isoleucine
24.1% 0.21g
Leucine
18.6% 0.35g
Lysine
15% 0.26g
Methionine
11.9% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
21.8% 0.33g
Threonine
32.5% 0.29g
Tryptophan
41.5% 0.11g
Valine
29.1% 0.31g

Vegan 6. Kidney Beans and Sweet Potatoes


image of kidney beans
image of sweet potatoes

Kidney bean is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine and lysine, complementing the profile of sweet potato.

For example, 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.8 tablespoon of kidney beans (8g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.02 to 1:0 for sweet potato to kidney bean by weight.

Full nutritional profile for kidney beans
USDA Source: Beans, kidney, red, mature seeds, canned, drained solids, rinsed in tap water

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.8 tbsp kidney beans :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [10] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.4% 5.7g
Histidine
18.7% 0.12g
Isoleucine
24.1% 0.21g
Leucine
18.6% 0.35g
Lysine
15% 0.26g
Methionine
11.9% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
21.8% 0.33g
Threonine
32.5% 0.29g
Tryptophan
41.5% 0.11g
Valine
29.1% 0.31g

Vegan 7. Nutritional Yeast and Sweet Potatoes


image of nutritional yeast
image of sweet potatoes

A great source of protein, nutritional yeast is high in leucine and lysine, which is complementary to sweet potato.

A ratio of 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.3 teaspoon of nutritional yeast (1g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0 to 1:0 for sweet potato to nutritional yeast by weight.

Full nutritional profile for nutritional yeast
USDA Source: Leavening agents, yeast, baker's, active dry

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.3 tsp nutritional yeast :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [11] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.1% 5.5g
Histidine
17.5% 0.11g
Isoleucine
23.1% 0.2g
Leucine
17.4% 0.33g
Lysine
14.5% 0.25g
Methionine
11.7% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
20.6% 0.31g
Threonine
32.3% 0.29g
Tryptophan
40.9% 0.11g
Valine
28.1% 0.3g

Vegan 8. Dijon Mustard and Sweet Potatoes


image of dijon mustard
image of sweet potatoes

Dijon mustard is a great source of protein, and is high in leucine and lysine, complementing the profile of sweet potato.

For example, 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.4 tablespoon of dijon mustard (2g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.01 to 1:2.8 for sweet potato to dijon mustard by weight.

Full nutritional profile for dijon mustard
USDA Source: Spices, mustard seed, ground

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.4 tbsp dijon mustard :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [12] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.4% 5.7g
Histidine
19.2% 0.12g
Isoleucine
23.9% 0.21g
Leucine
18.3% 0.35g
Lysine
15% 0.26g
Methionine
12.2% 0.11g
Phenylalanine
21.2% 0.32g
Threonine
32.1% 0.29g
Tryptophan
41% 0.11g
Valine
29.1% 0.31g

Vegan 9. Yellow Mustard and Sweet Potatoes


image of yellow mustard
image of sweet potatoes

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, yellow mustard is high in leucine and lysine, which is complementary to sweet potato.

A ratio of 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 1.1 tablespoons of yellow mustard (16g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.05 to 1:0.27 for sweet potato to yellow mustard by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yellow mustard
USDA Source: Mustard, prepared, yellow

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 1.1 tbsp yellow mustard :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [13] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.4% 5.7g
Histidine
19% 0.12g
Isoleucine
23.5% 0.2g
Leucine
18.3% 0.35g
Lysine
15% 0.26g
Methionine
12.4% 0.11g
Phenylalanine
21.1% 0.31g
Threonine
32.9% 0.3g
Tryptophan
39.3% 0.1g
Valine
28.7% 0.31g

Vegan 10. White Beans and Sweet Potatoes


image of white beans
image of sweet potatoes

White bean is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine and lysine, complementing the profile of sweet potato.

For example, 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 1.6 teaspoons of white beans (9g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.03 to 1:0 for sweet potato to white bean by weight.

Full nutritional profile for white beans
USDA Source: Beans, white, mature seeds, canned

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 1.6 tsp white beans :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [14] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.5% 5.7g
Histidine
18.8% 0.12g
Isoleucine
24.1% 0.21g
Leucine
18.6% 0.35g
Lysine
15.1% 0.26g
Methionine
12.1% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
21.8% 0.32g
Threonine
33% 0.3g
Tryptophan
41.7% 0.11g
Valine
29% 0.31g

Vegan 11. Mung Bean and Sweet Potatoes


image of mung bean
image of sweet potatoes

A great source of protein, mung bean is high in leucine and lysine, which is complementary to sweet potato.

A ratio of 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.6 teaspoon of mung bean (3g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.01 to 1:0 for sweet potato to mung bean by weight.

Full nutritional profile for mung bean
USDA Source: Mung beans, mature seeds, raw

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.6 tsp mung bean :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [15] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.4% 5.7g
Histidine
18.8% 0.12g
Isoleucine
23.8% 0.2g
Leucine
18.4% 0.35g
Lysine
15.1% 0.26g
Methionine
11.8% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
21.9% 0.33g
Threonine
32.2% 0.29g
Tryptophan
41.3% 0.11g
Valine
28.8% 0.31g

Vegan 12. Lima Beans and Sweet Potatoes


image of lima beans
image of sweet potatoes

Lima bean is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine and lysine, complementing the profile of sweet potato.

For example, 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 1.1 tablespoons of lima beans (11g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.03 to 1:0 for sweet potato to lima bean by weight.

Full nutritional profile for lima beans
USDA Source: Lima beans, immature seeds, raw

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 1.1 tbsp lima beans :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [16] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.7% 5.8g
Histidine
19.9% 0.13g
Isoleucine
26.2% 0.23g
Leucine
18.8% 0.36g
Lysine
15.3% 0.26g
Methionine
11.8% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
21.8% 0.32g
Threonine
33.4% 0.3g
Tryptophan
42.4% 0.11g
Valine
30.1% 0.32g

Vegetarian 13. Sour Cream and Sweet Potatoes


image of sour cream
image of sweet potatoes

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, sour cream is high in leucine and lysine, which is complementary to sweet potato.

A ratio of 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.8 tablespoon of sour cream (9g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.03 to 1:11 for sweet potato to sour cream by weight.

Full nutritional profile for sour cream
USDA Source: Cream, sour, cultured

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.8 tbsp sour cream :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [17] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
10.7% 5.3g
Histidine
17.3% 0.11g
Isoleucine
22.5% 0.19g
Leucine
17.4% 0.33g
Lysine
14% 0.24g
Methionine
11.8% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
20.4% 0.3g
Threonine
31.4% 0.28g
Tryptophan
40.2% 0.1g
Valine
27.5% 0.3g

Vegetarian 14. Caramel and Sweet Potatoes


image of caramel
image of sweet potatoes

Caramel is low in protein, and is high in leucine and lysine, complementing the profile of sweet potato.

For example, 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 1.2 tablespoons of caramel (24g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.08 to 1:0.04 for sweet potato to caramel by weight.

Full nutritional profile for caramel
USDA Source: Toppings, butterscotch or caramel

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 1.2 tbsp caramel :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [18] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
10.8% 5.4g
Histidine
17.5% 0.11g
Isoleucine
23.3% 0.2g
Leucine
17.7% 0.33g
Lysine
14.2% 0.24g
Methionine
12% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
20.6% 0.31g
Threonine
31.8% 0.29g
Tryptophan
38.8% 0.1g
Valine
28.1% 0.3g

Vegetarian 15. Yogurt and Sweet Potatoes


image of yogurt
image of sweet potatoes

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, yogurt is high in leucine and lysine, which is complementary to sweet potato.

A ratio of 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.6 tablespoon of yogurt (10g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.03 to 1:0.2 for sweet potato to yogurt by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yogurt
USDA Source: Yogurt, plain, whole milk

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.6 tbsp yogurt :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [19] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
10.9% 5.4g
Histidine
17.3% 0.11g
Isoleucine
23% 0.2g
Leucine
17.6% 0.33g
Lysine
14.3% 0.25g
Methionine
12.1% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
20.7% 0.31g
Threonine
31.5% 0.28g
Tryptophan
39.5% 0.1g
Valine
28.5% 0.31g

Vegetarian 16. Milk and Sweet Potatoes


image of milk
image of sweet potatoes

Milk is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine and lysine, complementing the profile of sweet potato.

For example, 2.5 sweet potatoes (325g) and 0.8 tablespoon of milk (12g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.04 to 1:15 for sweet potato to milk by weight.

Full nutritional profile for milk
USDA Source: Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D

Table of amino acids of 2.5 sweetpotato sweet potatoes and 0.8 tbsp milk :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [20] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11% 5.5g
Histidine
17.9% 0.11g
Isoleucine
23.2% 0.2g
Leucine
17.8% 0.34g
Lysine
14.5% 0.25g
Methionine
12.2% 0.1g
Phenylalanine
20.8% 0.31g
Threonine
31.8% 0.29g
Tryptophan
40.7% 0.11g
Valine
28.3% 0.31g


Complete Protein Pairings

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