About Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is a root vegetable that belongs to the Convolvulaceae family. This starchy-sweet vegetable is a tuberous root. In certain places in North America, the soft orange colored version of this vegetable is referred to as yam. The shoots and young leaves of this plant are sometimes eaten in both the raw and cooked form.

History of Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes find a mention in Peruvian records dating back to 750 BC. Christopher Columbus brought sweet potato to America from Saint Thomas Island. Sweet potatoes are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables by man and were eaten during prehistoric times, as is apparent from relics excavated from Peruvian caves that are 10,000 years old. Spanish explorers took sweet potato to the Philippines, while Portuguese invaders introduced this root vegetable to Indians, Africans, and Indonesians. Sweet potato is still a staple food in South American cuisine.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato

  • Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties that help in preventing conditions such as colon cancer, asthma, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Vitamin A in sweet potato makes it ideal for people who smoke and are suffering from lung problems and emphysema.
  • Sweet potato is low in fat, rich in fiber, and has a low glycemic index, making it the ideal food for dieters and diabetics.
  • Sweet potato is useful in treating an inflamed colon and stomach ulcers.
  • The high fiber content in this vegetable makes it useful for preventing hemorrhoids.
  • Loaded with minerals and vitamins, this is an ideal food for individuals involved in high intensity work.