I know only less than a handful of people that do not like sweet potatoes. Sweet potato is known to be very filling and quite sweet. It’s like yam soaked in nature’s sweetness. The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. They come in a variety of sizes and colors — including orange, white, and purple — and are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potato
- Supports the immune system: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which can be converted to vitamin A and help support your immune system and gut health. Eating them regularly can help prevent vitamin A deficiency.
- Very Nutritious: Sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also high in antioxidants that protect your body from free radical damage and chronic disease.
- Good for digestion: Sweet potatoes are high in fibre, which has been shown to promote a healthy digestive system. Much of the research so far has been conducted on animals, but it would appear that the high phytosterol content of sweet potatoes does have a protective effect on the digestive system and may be important in the prevention and management of duodenal and gastric ulcers, including those due to NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen).
- Good for eye health: A study by Food & Nutrition Research found that purple sweet potatoes contain a specific group of antioxidants also known as anthocyanins which have been shown to be beneficial to the eyes.
- May fight cancer: Animal and test-tube research suggests that the anthocyanins and other antioxidants found in sweet potatoes may protect against certain cancers. However, human studies are needed.
How To Eat Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes can be boiled, fried, baked or roasted. Any way you choose to enjoy your sweet potato, you may never go wrong.
- Boiled Sweet Potatoes with Sauce; boil potatoes with salt until soft. Enjoy, with any sauce of your choice. It could be egg sauce, tomato sauce or vegetable sauce.
- Fried sweet potatoes; you can cut your potatoes into your prefered size and deep fry it. Enjoy with fish stew (or any stew), or egg sauce.
- Sweet potato porridge; just like yam, you can make a delicious sweet potato porridge, that contains vegetables and smoked fish.