Recently at CP Tony has been eating sweet potato almost every day. He mixes it with some ginger and a ton of veggies and chicken and it looks and smells awesome (except for that one time when he put in a ton of ginger and you could smell it from 10 feet away). As embarrassing as it is to say, I don’t think I had ever eaten a sweet potato in my life (not counting sweet potato fries)!
Sweet potatoes are an incredibly healthy food. Oddly enough they aren’t actually related to the regular potato at all. They are high in fiber, vitamin A, potassium and a little calcium to boot. They get their orange color from being high in beta-carotene, and they also contain loads of other phytochemicals like quercetin, chlorogenic acid and cryptoxanthin. So not only are they delicious, they pack a nutritional wallop!
One of best things about sweet potatoes is that you get to flavor them up with some other incredibly healthy foods. With a traditional potato people slap on butter, salt, and maybe some bacon bits and tons of cheese. Certainly not the world’s healthiest topping combo.
A sweet potato on the other hand can be dressed up very nicely without adding many additional calories. My wife and I on Saturday added a little pastured butter, a good amount of cinnamon and a touch of ginger, and it was to die for.
The pastured butter contains good amounts of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K (especially K2-MK4, which is very important for proper bone health) as well as some cancer fighting conjugated linolenic acid and heart-healthy omega-3’s. Yes the butter also contains some saturated fat, but so what, it is not the enemy it is made out to be. One third of butter fat is monounsaturated, and pastured butter also contains lauric acid, an anti-microbial saturated fatty acid.
Cinnamon also has tons of health benefits that I blogged about it in more detail here. Finally, ginger. Ginger is well known to soothe an upset stomach, nausea and vomiting due to its gingerol content. Some studies in Denmark have shown that 75% of pregnant women who used ginger experienced relief from morning sickness without side effects. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties and may help with arthritis. It also may: inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells, lower total cholesterol, inhibit LDL oxidation (oxidized LDL is an independent marker for heart disease), and slow the development of atherosclerosis. This is some serious stuff.
So after a nice little training session on Saturday Anna and I had a delicious dinner of wild salmon, sweet potato and sautéed broccoli. It was absolutely fantastic.
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