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Kamote and Kangkong: Two Super Nutritious Vegetables

Updated on July 22, 2015
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Mona writes a column for Enrich Magazine which is distributed in five countries. She is interested in learning as she writes.

The best things in life are often the simplest things that are easily at hand. In the Philippines, Kamote and Kangkong are common vegetables that are packed with nutrition and filled with many health benefits. Here is some information on both vegetables:

1. Kamote, camote

Kamote, or “Sweet Potato” is probably one of the tastiest foods to eat if you go on a diet. Many celebrities in Philippines love its sweet and starchy taste. They go on diets eating just kamote and boiled fish. There are many ways to eat kamote, but just boiling it and eating it the way it is, is very, very delicious and easy to do. It also is much more filling than regular potatoes. You will get hungry after three hours if you eat a potato. If you eat kamote, you won’t be hungry for at least five hours.

camote comes in many colors.
camote comes in many colors. | Source

Nutritional Benefits of Kamote

If you are diabetic, don’t be dismayed by the fact that kamote tastes sweet. It is actually good for you because it can help to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Kamote is rich in calcium, iron, complex carbohydrates, protein and fiber. It is also vitamin rich with lots of C, A, E and B (Pantothenic Acid, Folate, Niacin, Thiamin and Riboflavin). Plus it has minerals like sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Imagine getting all these phytonutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals in just one tuber.

Kamote has many colors -- yellow, red, purple, beige, brown or orange. The flesh can be white, pink, violet, purple, red, orange or yellow. Most kamote comes from China.

This vegetable goes by many names; boniato in Spain, batata in Venezuela and Argentina, camote in Mexico and Chile, kumar in Peru, kumera in Polynesia, goguma in Korea and yaki-imo in Japano.

How to Cook Kamote

In the Philippines the easiest way to eat it and enjoy it is to boil it as it is. Another variation (and a very popular snack) is to cut it up, fry it with honey or sugar and put it on a stick for “kamote-cue” (a la barbecue). Kamote can also be baked, sun dried, sautéed or roasted as an ingredient for several dishes, or used for porridges and soups, among others.

Kangkong
Kangkong | Source

Kangkong For Long Life

In the Philippines, it is often said that kangkong (River Spinach) is good for a long life. Basically, it is a humble vegetable, but very, very delicious as a side dish to your main meal. It is very good for your health, too.

Kangkong is sometimes called water spinach, swamp morning glory (in English), water convolvulus, swamp cabbage, river spinach, liseron d’eau (French), patate aquatique (French), and espinaca acuaica (Spanish).

Health Values

Kangkong has properties that make it a good purgative or diuretic. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antiepileptic, anti-diabetic, anthelmintic, antimicrobial and hypolipidemic properties.

The vegetable is rich in phytonutrients, fiber, protein, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Beta-carotene: medium; vitamin E: medium; riboflavin: low; folic acid: medium; ascorbic acid: medium to high; calcium: medium; iron: medium; protein: 2.5%. Leaves contain flavonoids.

Studies have shown that kangkong has properties to appease hypoglycemia, is good for ulcers, has cytotoxicity towards cancer cell lines, can enhance memory, is an anxiolytic and CNS depressant (good for epilepsy), according to stuartxchange.com.

Vietnamese Canh Chua cooked with kangkong.
Vietnamese Canh Chua cooked with kangkong. | Source

How to Make Kamote Que

Kangkong with oyster sauce

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    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 6 months ago from Philippines

      Hi Marlene B.,

      I hope you find it in the market. In the Philippines, we always eat kangkong for long life:)

      Thank you for reading,

      Mona

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 6 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I truly enjoy learning about foods and their health benefit. I have heard of sweet potatoes and enjoy eating them regularly, but I have never heard of the other veggies you mention. They sound like they are very healthy. I will look for them the next time I am at the international supermarket.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Besarian, hope you manage to find kangkong in your side of the planet:). It's really delicious.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      I have never heard of kangkong. I would love to try it though! I'll se if I can't find some. I have never met a veggie I didn't like. Very interesting, informative, and healthy hub!

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Poetryman6969, I have heard of taro root, but only from the TV show, Survivor. Haven't tried it yet:(.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I have heard good things about sweet potatoes practically everywhere.

      I have never hear of kangkong.

      Voted up for being useful and interesting.

      Have you ever heard of taro root? What do you think of it?

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Peggy W, yes, kangkong is water spinach. It has a mild flavor but it can be jazzed up with stir frying or flavored with oyster sauce. Thank you for the visit!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I am very familiar with sweet potato (kamote, in your language) but never heard of kangkong (water spinach). Does it taste anything like regular spinach? UUI votes!

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      CrisSp, yes, please let me know how it works out with Spinach. In the Philippines we usually have kangkong for long life. I also love the sweetness of camote. Life is good!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Oh, how I miss these two wonderful green leafy vegetables! My version of spinach! Why I never thought of spinach with oyster sauce or simply boil it and have it with "bagoong and suka"? I definitely have to try it and will let you know if it is as good as the original "kamote and kangkong".

      Cheers to a healthy lifestyle!

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the info, Christian. Are you who I think you are?

    • profile image

      Christian 3 years ago

      Actually, for the kamote, the said nutrients are found on the leaves. The root crop is but carbohydrate.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks DDE. Always glad when you stop by.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Wow! incredible photos and so useful. the information is very important to all.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      JPSO138, yes, kangkong is awesome and truly delicious. I'll try cooking it in butter next time. It sounds like a good idea to have it at least twice weekly. I take kamote when I want to diet or lose weight. It's lots more filling than potato, and lots tastier, too. Kamote cue is so delicious for merienda and it's healthy and nutritious, too. Glad your wife likes it:).

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      JPSO138, yes, kangkong is awesome and truly delicious. I'll try cooking it in butter next time. It sounds like a good idea to have it at least twice weekly. I take kamote when I want to diet or lose weight. It's lots more filling than potato, and lots tastier, too. Kamote cue is so delicious for merienda and it's healthy and nutritious, too. Glad your wife likes it:).

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      I love kangkong and I never fail to take it once or twice in a week. Usually I cook kangkong with butter. Your hub makes me want for more kangkong. My wife loves kamote and yes, she likes it kamote cue style. Great hub indeed!

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Borsia,

      What's so nice about them is that they are amazingly cheap, very tasty and nutritious!

    • Borsia profile image

      Borsia 3 years ago from Currently, Philippines

      Agreed; I've always eaten a lot of sweet potatoes (more yams in the US).

      Now that I'm living in the Philippines we eat these quite often and both are very good & healthy.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks MsDora. It's nice that we have options that allow us to eat healthily and enjoy the taste, too:)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I love sweet potato. Glad to learn its other name and all the other benefits. Kangkong is also very interesting. Thanks for all these nutritional facts.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      ChitrangadaSharan, thank you for your kind words! I must try roasting the sweet potato, it sounds like a yummy ideal.

      Mhatter99: I'm glad you appreciated it. Both veggies are incredibly cheap in the Philippines, yet so nutritious.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this nutritional guide.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice and interesting information shared by you. In India, Sweet potato is taken during festivals, while the devotee is on 'Fast' and even otherwise. It is also consumed simply by roasting it.

      You have provided some interesting preparations and facts about sweet potato.

      Thanks for sharing!

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