Sep 10th, 2016
Author: Cocoon Web Design
The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a root vegetable and dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato. Although the soft, orange sweet potato is often called a “yam” in parts of North America, the sweet potato is botanically very distinct from a genuine yam (Dioscorea), which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family. (reference: Wikipedia)
The intensity of the sweet potato’s orange flesh color is directly correlated to its beta-carotene content. From the beta-carotene in orange-fleshed sweet potato, our bodies can typically produce vitamin A, which is why this nutrient is often referred to as “Provitamin A.” In some studies, sweet potatoes have been shown to be a better source of bioavailable beta-carotene than green leafy vegetables. Because sweet potatoes are available in many countries on a virtual year-round basis, their ability to provide us with a key antioxidant like beta-carotene makes them a excellent antioxidant food. Additionally, purple-fleshed sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of anthocyanins (especially peonidins and cyanidins) and have outstanding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. (reference: The World’s Healthiest Foods)
Recent research has shown that a minimum of three to five grams of fat per meal significantly increases a body’s uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes. Check with your doctor or nutritionist to determine if including some fat (preferably monounsaturated fat) in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits. Sweet potato phytonutrients also have a positive impact on fibrinogen, which is one of the key glycoproteins in the body that is required for successful blood clotting. With the help of a coagulation factor called thrombin, fibronogen gets converted into fibrin during the blood clotting process. Balanced amounts of fibrinogen, thrombin and fibrin are a key part of the body’s health and its ability to close off wounds and stop loss of blood. (reference: The World’s Healthiest Foods)
It may be easier to achieve some nutritional benefits from sweet potatoes by steaming or boiling instead of roasting, method, since it tends to preserve the nutrients and has shown better blood sugar effects (including the achievement of a lower glycemic index). Additionally, the 6.6 grams of dietary fiber in a medium sweet potato are a plus in terms of blood sugar regulation, since they help steady the pace of digestion. (reference: The World’s Healthiest Foods)
Sweet Potato Fries (serves four)
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (based on preference)
Pre-heat the oven to 450°.
Cut the sweet potatoes into fry-sized wedges. Place them in a sauce pot with one tablespoon of kosher salt and enough water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook uncovered for two minutes until the potatoes are soft on the outside but still firm in the middle. Drain immediately.
Combine the drained sweet potatoes, one teaspoon of kosher/sea salt, and one tablespoon of olive oil in a mixing bowl. Cover and shake to roughen up the sides of the sweet potatoes.
Spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip the potatoes. Bake for another 5-7 minutes, until the potatoes are dry to the touch and brown in some places.
Preferably, eat as soon as they’re cool enough to handle!
Just a friendly reminder, we have added a new class to the schedule. Come in and join trainer Mateusz for Lunch time shred with a complimentary lunch! What better way to utilize your lunch, get up and move!!
-Lunch Time Shred Wednesday’s at 12pm with Trainer Mateusz!
** Please take note; Maryla will be doing a recap presentation of her trip to Rio where she volunteered as a Massage Therapist for the 2016 Olympics!
The presentation will be held on September 30, 2016 more information to follow, but mark your calendars!***