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The Healing Power of Sweet Potatoes
by June Mims

sweet potatoesThe healing power of the sweet potato: another good food that has received a bad name, taking blame for weight gain. The sweet potato is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. It can help preserve your memory, control diabetes and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Sweet potatoes are more than just a filling food. Scarlet O'Hara had a 19-inch waist, which she kept by eating the sweet potato her nanny prepared for her before filling up on party fare. She could truthfully say, "Why I can't eat a thing!"

The sweet potato is a member of the morning glory family and except in name only, is not related to the white potato. It helps prevent cancer and heart disease. It is rich in complex carbohydrates and low in calories - there are only 117 calories in a 4-oz. serving. Sweet potatoes are used in controlling weight and conditions like diabetes.

They are an easy way to get the heart healthy and to get cancer- fighting benefits into your diet. This information comes from the spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association, Pamela Savage-Marr, R.D.

A little known fact about beta-carotene and vitamins C and vitamin E is the protection they give the blood vessels and certain parts of the eye. The sweet potato gives you half of your daily value of vitamin C in only a 4-oz. serving.

The same serving gives you 20 percent of the daily value of vitamin E. "That's a very difficult nutrient to get from natural sources," says Paul Lachance, Ph. D., professor of nutrition at Rutgers University, New Jersey.

Since sweet potatoes are such a good source of fiber, they're a good food for people with diabetes. The fiber helps lower blood sugar by slowing the rate at which food is converted into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. Also, because they are such complex carbohydrates, sweet potatoes can help control weight.

Now, let's get to the mind. Sweet potatoes not only keep you healthy, they have those good B vitamins, folate and vitamin B6, that give the brain a boost as we age. Jean Mayer, USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, has been doing research on the value of the B vitamins. The results are very promising.

sweet potatoes courtesy LA  Sweet Potato CommissionWhen buying sweet potatoes, look for the ones with the most orange color. They have the most beta-carotene. They have little fat, but they do require a little fat to get the vitamins into your system. It is easy to get the required five to seven grams from other foods in your meal. Knowing this fact, I don't think I will worry about the pat of real butter I will melt on my nutritious sweet potato.

Source: LA Sweet Potato Commission

 

also see -> Sweet Potato Pie Recipes | Sweet Potato Casserole

Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake | Pumpkin Pie Recipes

 

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