Table of Contents Hide
- Sweet potatoes Nutritional Profile
- How Many Nutrients in This Food
- How To Serve Nutritious Sweet potatoes Food
- How To Buying This Food
- How To Storing This Food
- How To Preparing This Food
- What Happens When You Cook Sweet potatoes Food
- How Other Kinds of Processing effect Sweet Potatoes Food
- Medical Uses and/or Benefits Of Sweet potatoes
See also Potatoes.
Sweet potatoes Nutritional Profile
• Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate
• Protein: Moderate
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: High
• Fiber: High
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A, folate, vitamin C
• Major mineral contribution: Potassium
How Many Nutrients in This Food
• Sweet potatoes are high carbohydrate foods, rich in starch and high in dietary fiber (soluble pectins in the flesh). Alpha amylase, an enzyme in sweet potatoes, converts starches to sugars as the potato matures or when it is stored or while it is cooking, so older sweet potatoes are sweeter than young ones.
• Sweet potatoes are an extraordinary source of vitamin A derived from the carotene pigments that make the potato orange yellow. The deeper the color, the higher the vitamin A content. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of B vitamin folate, vitamin C, and potassium.
• One baked 5” × 2” sweet potato has 3.8 g dietary fiber, 21,907 IU vitamin A (nearly 10 times the RDA for a woman, seven times the RDA for a man), 22.3 mg vitamin C (30 percent of the RDA for a woman, 25 percent of the RDA for a man), and 542 mg potassium, nearly twice as much as one-half cup (four ounces) fresh orange juice.
• Raw sweet potatoes, like raw lima beans, contain cyanogenic glycosides, natural chemicals that break down into hydrogen cyanide in your stomach or when the potato is heated. If you pierce the potato while it is baking or leave the lid off the pot while it is boiling, the hydrogen cyanide (a gas) will float off harmlessly into the air.
How To Serve Nutritious Sweet potatoes Food
• Baked or boiled.
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How To Buying This Food
Solid, well-shaped sweet potatoes, thick in the center and tapering toward the ends. The potatoes should feel heavy for their size and the skin should be evenly colored and free of blemishes, bruises, and mold.
• Moldy sweet potatoes may be contaminated with a number of toxins including the liver toxin ipomeamarone and a toxic derivative, ipomeamaronol. These toxins cannot be destroyed by normal boiling or baking.
How To Storing This Food
• Handle sweet potatoes gently to avoid bruising. When you bruise a sweet potato you tear some of its cells, releasing polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that hastens the oxidation of phenols in the potato, creating brown compounds that darken the potato.
• Store sweet potatoes in a cool (55–60°F), dark cabinet, not in the refrigerator. Like bruising, very cold temperature damage the potato’s cells, releasing polyphenoloxidase and darkening the potato.
• Store home-grown sweet potatoes at 85°F for four to six days right after harvesting to sweeten them by increasing the natural conversion of starches to sugars.
How To Preparing This Food
• Scrub sweet potatoes under cool running water. Boiling the potatoes in their skin will save more vitamins since you will be able to peel them more closely after they are cooked.
• If you plan to bake the sweet potatoes, pierce the skin with a cake tester to let the steam escape as the potato cooks, and insert an aluminum “potato nail” to carry heat evenly through as it bakes.
What Happens When You Cook Sweet potatoes Food
• Cooking sweetens the potato by converting some of its starches to sugars. Cooking also changes the potato’s texture. When you bake a sweet potato, the water inside its cells dissolves some of the pectins in its cell walls, so the potato gets softer.
• As it continues to bake, moisture begins to evaporate from the cells and the potato shrinks. When you boil sweet potatoes, the initial reaction is just the opposite: at first, the starch granules in the potato absorb moisture and swell so that the potato looks bigger.
• If you continue to boil the potato,
however, its starch granules will absorb so much water that they rupture. The water inside will leak out and the potato, once again, will shrink.
How Other Kinds of Processing effect Sweet Potatoes Food
Sweet potatoes canned in water have the same nutrients as cooked fresh sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes canned in sugar syrups have more carbohydrates and more calories.
Medical Uses and/or Benefits Of Sweet potatoes
Lower risk of stroke.
Various nutrition studies have attested to the power of adequate potassium to keep blood pressure within safe levels.
• For example, in the 1990s, data from the long-running Harvard School of Public Health/Health Professionals Follow-Up Study of male doctors showed that a diet rich in high potassium foods such as bananas, oranges, and plantain may reduce the risk of stroke.
• In the study, the men who ate the higher number of potassium-rich foods (an average of nine servings a day) had a risk of stroke 38 percent lower than that of men who consumed fewer than four servings a day.
• In 2008, a similar survey at the Queen’s Medical Center (Honolulu) showed a similar protective effect among men and women using
diuretic drugs (medicines that increase urination and thus the loss of potassium).
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