Not just a sweet version of regular white potatoes, Sweet Potatoes belong to a totally different food family.  They provide powerful antioxidant protection via their unique root storage proteins.  Their characteristic yellow/orange color is indicative of their beta-carotene and carotenoid phytonutrient content.  Sweet Potatoes sweeten life with their more than 60 nutrients, versatility, and robust flavor.

Archeologists have uncovered Sweet Potato relics deep in Peruvian caves dating back more than 5,000 years.  Christopher Columbus introduced this delicious vegetable to Europe when he brought it back from his voyage to the New World after 1492.  (That’s when he was out sailing the ocean blue!)  

Because there are about 400 varieties of Sweet Potatoes, their color and shape can vary widely.  They belong to the plant family Convolvulaceae, which is the same as the morning glory, and these delicious vegetables are known by the scientific name Ipomoea batatas.  Orange Sweet Potatoes are the type that most of us are used to but they come in other interesting varieties:

  • Yellow/Orange Fleshed:  The intensity of the Sweet Potato’s orange color is directly related to its beta-carotene content.  Our bodies convert this beta-carotene into Vitamin A.  Some of the more popular cultivars in this category are California Gold, Carolina Ruby, Evangeline, and Beauregarde.  
  • Purple-Fleshed:  These Sweet Potatoes feature a rich flavor with a denser and drier texture than their orange cousins.  The purple hue is indicative of the fantastic antioxidants contained in this variety — the anthocyanins.  These are like the antioxidants found in Blueberries. The sought-after cultivars with purple flesh include Japanese Purple, Korean Purple, Mokuau, and Agena.
  • Cream/White-Fleshed:  Although the skin is generally brown or purple in color, these lighter fleshed-Sweet Potatoes typically have a milder flavor than the darker-fleshed cultivars.  Some types to look for include Hayman, O’Henry, Batas, Dingess, and Brazilian.  

Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise at epidemic proportions.  Sweet Potatoes have an incredible ability to improve blood sugar regulation, even in people with Type 2 Diabetes.  In addition to containing beneficial dietary fiber, recent research has shown interesting results from  Sweet Potato extracts.  It seems that these tubers significantly increase blood levels of adiponectin.  Adiponectin is a hormone produced by fat cells that positively modifies insulin metabolism.  Low levels of adiponectin is associated with high inflammation, insulin resistance, and lipid abnormalities.  

Sweet Potatoes are not part of the nightshade family of vegetables like White Potatoes and are technically not even a potato!  Who knew?  Nevertheless, Sweet Potatoes sweeten life and are a great way to START SOMEWHERE adding flavor that gives your body what it needs.  LIVE YOUNGER with more real food.  You can do it.  I will help you!

Sweet Potatoes Sweeten Life

Sweet Potatoes Sweeten Life