Now that Thanksgiving is around the corner and we have entered the Sweet Potato Season, I thought I’d serve up some shocking news about the sweet potato. Are you ready? Brace yourself. Sweet potatoes do not belong to the potato family!
As it turns out, the sweet potato is a relative of the Morning Glory (Ipomoea Batatas), and its nutritional makeup is quite different than the white potato.
The sweet potato – a powerhouse of nutrients rich in anti-oxidants – is a first-rate provider of vitamin A and beta-carotene. The sweet potato contains significant amounts of vitamins C and E, is a great source of potassium, is fat and cholesterol free and high in fiber. The sweet potato has a low glycemic index which helps maintain steady blood glucose levels. This overlooked vegetable protects against heart disease, stroke, cancer and delays the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest rated the nutritional value of vegetables. The sweet potato, a simple root vegetable, was rated the most nutritious of all.
Protein Gms. 2
Carbs Gms. 28
Sod Mgs. 11
Calcium: 31.9 mg
Magnesium: 22.8 mg
Phosphorous : 62.7 mg
Potassium: 396.7 mg
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Fiber Gms. 3
Fat Gms. 0.1
Sat Fat Gms. 0.0
Chol Mgs. 0
% Fat Cal. 1%
Sweet potatoes are a great complement to any type of meat, poultry or fish. Add chunks of sweet potatoes to soups, stews or even chili. Peel or grate raw sweet potatoes into salads. My personal favorite: Start the day with a baked (or microwaved) sweet potato. Top it with low-fat plain yogurt and a little drizzle of honey.
Do not put sweet potatoes in your refrigerator unless they have first been cooked. They will quickly spoil. Best to keep them at room temperature. Coldness and wetness turn the sugars in sweet potatoes and change the taste. Plan on using within one week’s time.
Sweet Potato Facts:
China generates 85% of the world’s sweet potato crop; the U.S. ranked 10th.The two most popular varieties of sweet potatoes are the Beauregard, which is grown in Louisiana and the Carolinas, and the garnet, grown in California.
One cup of cooked sweet potato provides 30 milligrams (50,000 IU) of beta-carotene.
(It would take 23 cups of broccoli to provide the same amount of beta-carotene.)
Tomorrow … sweet potato recipes!
Spread the word … NOT the icing,
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