Sweet Potatoes-Delicious Nutrition
Sweet Potato Vine
A sweet potato is a familiar part of many of our holiday feasts. Sweet Potatoes however are packed with so much flavor and nutrition it would be a shame to reserve them strictly for special occasions or holiday meals.
The sweet potato is one of the oldest vegetables known to man. They are native to Central America. Christopher Columbus brought them back with him to Europe and gradually they spread throughout the world.
Sweet Potatoes are blessed with a beautiful yellow orange color that is a signal to us that they are loaded with Vitamin A beta carotene. They actually are one of the richest sources we have (in my mind the tastiest). Eat one sweet potato, and you have given yourself nearly 300 percent of the amount the experts say is needed daily for good health.
We all hear how we need to increase our intake of vegetables. Some vegetables I love, some I can take or leave. I love sweet potatoes. But also my philosophy is simple...I want to make my vegetables count. I want to pack in as much nutrient density into my vegetable intake as I can. Sweet potatoes make this one easy. They are virtually loaded. Excellent source of Vitamin A-very good source of Vitamin C and Manganese--- Good source of fiber, B6, Copper, potassium, and iron. Sweet potatoes really pack a nutritional punch. And they are so versatile and tasty!
Sweet Potatoes are one of those vegetables that are undergoing a lot of research. Thus far, the findings are not surprisingly overwhelmingly positive.
Studies of male smokers with lung cancer and smokers who did not have the disease-- showed that the men who had eaten the most yellow-orange or dark green vegetables (sweet potatoes are of course in this category) had half the risk of getting the disease than those who had eaten the least.
The ones that had only had as little as one serving every 10 days or less were the most likely to get lung cancer. The men that had consumed a serving every other day were the least likely to get lung cancer.
Studies are showing that this cancer protection is extending to cervical cancer also. University of Washington researchers did a study showing that women who consumed the most dark green and yellow-orange vegetables had as much as a 60 percent reduced risk of cervical cancer risk than the non vegetable eaters.
Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber. This translates into being a cholesterol fighter. It works by picking up the bad LDL cholesterol and whisking it out of the body. The fiber also is good for preventing constipation and promoting regularity.
In my home, I try to use fresh sweet potatoes, not canned. When choosing sweet potatoes at the market, steer clear of refrigerated tubers, stick with room temperature. When refrigerated, sweet potatoes will take on an off taste.
If you want to give your family a healthy treat, here is a recipe from Allrecipes.com, from Joyce Waits
Sweet Potato Pie
- 1 (1 pound) sweet potato
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
- 1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
- 2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
- 3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a soufflé, and then will sink down as it cools.
This is simply delicious, but I find just baking a plain sweet potato then put a pat of butter melting on it ....simply nirvana.
Enjoy sweet potatoes as often as you can. They are a cost effective way to a nutritional insurance policy. Usually, you can get kids to eat them also (try sweet potato fries).
Your health is important, do some research, what you will come up with is that vegetables like sweet potatoes are not just for holidays anymore.