Yams, as labelled in America, are one of the healthiest foods you’ll come across. Nutritionally packed, the root vegetable holds a vast amount of beta-carotene, potassium, Vitamin C and other minerals and vitamins. Containing plenty of starch, it’s a great source of carbohydrate and holds triple the amount of calories than a similar sized portion of another vegetable.
The great thing about the sweet potato is its availability. You can grow it, or more easily, pop down to your local fruit and vegetable store or supermarket. They are best found from October through to March, but when searching be sure to avoid those with spots or blemishes. Aim to try and pick out ones medium sized and with smoother skin.
Research has shown that they are excellent for the heart as they contain a large amount of vitamin B6, which is important in the break down of a substance named homocysteine. This helps maintain the health and flexibility of important blood passageways such as arteries and blood vessels. Its high potassium content also helps it play a key role in lowering blood pressure. The beta-carotene is an important antioxidant, which can prevent certain types of cancer and help internally protect your skin from sun damage. Another benefit includes its superior fibre content, which gives it a great slow burning quality.
Because it contains a high amount of starch, in a meal it can replace other starches such as white potato, rice or pasta. By using it as an accompaniment to meat and vegetables, you’re consuming a similar amount of energy while receiving an additional boost from its vitamins and nutrients, also. The soft, fluffy inner, like any other potato, can be baked, mashed, boiled and roasted.