The Potato is Always Available
The potato truly has many health benefits; it is an affordable universal crop to produce. The potato is available all year round. The ordinary potato is humble and nutrient dense. Do not underestimate the vitamins, phytochemicals, and the minerals that are packed into the potato. These nutrients will ward off many diseases and will greatly show off the many health benefits.
Don’t Forget the Sweet Potato
The sweet potato can be dated back as far as 1542. It has been noted that Spanish explorers had found sweet potatoes that were growing in “Indian” gardens. This area is now known as Louisiana in the United States. It has also been noted that sweet potatoes were cultivated in the Carolina area as well. This was in North America prior to the European colonization. There were periods of shortages in the south, and this was where the sweet potato came in. During the war between the states era, the sweet potato was even substituted for coffee. From the Colonial days until World War II, the sweet potato was well known and was a familiar and welcome sight for the hungry. It was even used as a snack item. During the revolutionary era, the sweet potato was a main source of nourishment for homesteaders and soldiers.
Sweet Potato and Nutrition
The sweet potato is highly nutritious, and it is an excellent source of beta-carotene. It can raise the levels of vitamin A in the blood. When digested the body can break down the starch from a sweet potato into simple sugar. The sweet potato has been called the world’s healthiest food! Sweet potatoes offer an abundance of:
*Vitamin A and Vitamin C
Other benefits of the sweet potato include:
*Allows the body to relax
*Good for the skin
*Assists with digestion
*Assists with tooth formation
*Assists with blood cell formation
*Good for the immune system
Bringing out the Sweetness Through Cooking
The sweet potato has a natural built-in sweetness, and it will sweeten more when cooked. The enzymatic sweetening is enhanced through the heating process. There is more than one way to cook the wonderful sweet potato and bring the sweetness out. And while there is no need to add sugar when cooking, some will add butter, cinnamon and brown sugar for a delicious sweet treat that is also nutritious. They are also wonderful for breakfast; simply add crunchy seeds, almond butter and fresh fruit for a healthy breakfast that will keep you going.