What is Sweet potato?

The origin of the sweet potato is similar to that of the potato in that they are both natives of South America. The sweet potato is originally from the tropical Americas and was first domesticated there at least 5,000 years ago. They spread very quickly at this time throughout the region and even into the Caribbean. Previous to Western exploration the sweet potatoes were also present in Polynesia. A grouping of over 1000 islands scattered across the southern and central parts of the Pacific Ocean). How exactly they arrived on these islands has been the subject of a great debate for many years.

In today’s age sweet potatoes can now be found being cultivated in tropical and warm temperature regions where there is a sufficient amount of water to support their growth. In North America, North Carolina is the leading state in sweet potato production, providing around 40% of the annual U.S. production of sweet potatoes.

Not only does their ability to be grown easily make them popular but also their “sweet” taste and very nutritious elements make sweet potatoes a great food choice. Along with their load of starch sweet potatoes also contain a rich amount of dietary fibre, vitamins A, C, and B6. In 1992, there was a study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest where they compared the nutritional value of other vegetables to the sweet potato. By looking at fibre content, the amount and qualityof complex carbohydrates and protein present in each vegetable; and by examining vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron content the sweet potato was ranked heads above the rest as the most nutritious vegetable. Sweet potatoes with the dark orange flesh that we often accompany with the thoughtof them or yams are ones with morevitamin A present in them.

This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese.

Click here to see thenutritional values of Swwet Yam

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