Sweet potato (not to be confused with yams) 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!"
Sweet potatoes help prevent cancer and heart disease. They are 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.
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.
When 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.
Snappy Sweet Potato Crackers Recipe
Ingredients for 8 servings
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 2-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1/4 cup milk
- Coarse salt
- Sesame seeds
- Cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a large bowl.
- Add butter and by hand work it into the flour mixture until it becomes a coarse mealy texture.
- Cook sweet potato in boiling water until softened. Cool, remove skin and purée with milk to make a smooth mixture.
- Beat 1 cup of the sweet potato purée into flour and then turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead well about 80 turns. Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll each very thin. Cut into rounds or squares; sprinkle with salt, sesame seeds and a little cayenne, if desired.
- Bake in oven on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes until bottoms are slightly browned. Turn over and bake 3-4 minutes more. Cool on rack before storing in a airtight container.
Sources: Louisiana Sweet potatoes Commission (http://www.sweetpotato.org/)
North Carolina Sweet Potatoes (http://www.ncsweetpotatoes.com)
Healing power of sweet potatoes by June Mims