Sweet potato, not only is just sweet to your taste buds but also good for your cardiovascular health! It is an edible, underground tuber initially cultivated in the Central American region. This crunchy, starch root vegetable is rich source of flavonoid anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber that are essential for optimal health.Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes may be one of nature's unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene. Several recent studies have shown the superior ability of sweet potatoes to raise our blood levels of vitamin A. This benefit may be particularly true for children. In several studies from Africa, sweet potatoes were found to contain between 100-1,600 micrograms (RAE) of vitamin A in every 3.5 ounces—enough, on average, to meet 35% of all vitamin A needs, and in many cases enough to meet over 90% of vitamin A needs (from this single food alone).
Sweet potato is known to be a good source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and certain B vitamins that are considered essential to human health. Besides the commonly consumed root of the plant, certain tissues in sweet potato are also edible and high in nutritional value. Although studies have confirmed that water-soluble vitamins exist in sweet potato roots and leaves, there has been limited information about how these vitamins are actually distributed in the plants. Wilmer Barrera and David Picha from Louisiana State University Agricultural Center published a research study in HortScience that shows that mature and young leaves of sweet potato can provide significant amounts of vitamin B6 and other essential vitamins.
“The objective of the study was to determine the ascorbic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 content in a wide range of edible tissues of ‘Beauregard' and ‘LA 07-146' sweet potatoes, two important commercial cultivars in Louisiana,” Barrera and …
Although sweet potato leaves are being eaten in some parts of the world, the root that is the toast of sweet potato lovers. In the market, buy fresh tubers with intact smooth skin and firm consistency. Go for organic varieties for best taste and nutrition levels.
Avoid soft, flabby, or wilted roots. Also, avoid those sound woody in texture as they tend to be excess in fiber and unappetizing. As in potatoes, sprouting would make them lose flavor and less desirable.
Wash them in clean running water to remove sand and soil. They should be stored in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place.
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