Sweet potatoes are a delicacy for most African Communities. They are readily available and can be consumed as a snack, meal and even prepeared as finger foods for meal starters. They are great when boiled, baked or roasted.
As a respected traditional recipe in my community we boil beans and soft maize then adds sweet potatoes to the mixture and mash them together creating a highly nutritious meal (a heavy meal that calls for instant shut eye). Whatever your style, this delicacy includes the richness of the following nutrients:
- High in Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies, which has been linked with degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.
- Good source of Vitamin C
It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essential to helping us cope with stress. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer. While most people know that vitamin c is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion and cell formation.
- Has Iron
Iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper immune functioning, and the metabolising of protein among other things.
- Good source of Magnesium
Magnesium is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle and nerve function.
- Contains Vitamin D
Vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
One medium sweet potato provides nearly a third of the vitamin C you need each day.
3 Simple serving ideas:
1) Purée cooked sweet potatoes with bananas, maple syrup and cinnamon. Top with chopped walnuts. The fat content of the walnuts will help you get optimal absorption of the beta-carotene in the sweet potatoes.
2) Steam cubed sweet potatoes, tofu, and broccoli. Mix in raisins and serve hot or cold with a curried vinaigrette dressing. Once again, the oil in the vinaigrette will help you improve the bioavailability of the sweet potatoes’ beta-carotene.
3) Baked sweet potatoes make a great food to pack in to-go lunches.