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image sweet potato health nutrition vegetables has calcium magnesium vitamin C protein potassium vitamin A All You Ever Wanted to Know About Sweet Potatoes, Vegetables and Nutrition.

When asked about the difference between a yam and a sweet potato, they will usually answer, "The yam is that orange or deep red potato we bake or roast for Thanksgiving." Unfortunately, they have eaten both kinds of sweet potatoes while swallowing the myth. There are no yams on the American dinner table. What we call yams are really just a variety of sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes in their many varieties are a highly nutritious food, easy to prepare, heavenly tasting, and extremely versatile on any menu. Yet, they are undervalued, ignored, and under appreciated. Some people enjoy the wonderful flavor and health benefits of sweet potatoes year round, but for many families sweet potatoes appear on the table at Thanksgiving and only then. We know of some folks who have never even eaten a sweet potato.

Sweet potatoes were actually born in Mexico, Central, and South America, as well as the West Indies. Their botanical name, Ipomoca batata, was derived from the American Indians of Louisiana who were growing them in native gardens as early as 1540. The Indians referred to sweet potatoes as batatas.

In his first voyage to the West Indies Columbus discovered many new foods which he brought back to Spain. Sweet potatoes were among his ship's treasures. The Spanish relished them and began cultivating them immediately. Soon they were profitably exporting them to England where they were included in spice pies to be devoured at the court of Henry VIII.

True yams, however, are nothing like the sweet potato, but are a tuber native to Africa, very starchy, not very sweet, and grow as large as 100 pounds.

It was the Southerners, mainly from North Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana, who adopted the name yams for the darker-skinned orange variety and made them an important part of their cuisine. "Yams" were so important in the South that during the American Revolution and the Civil War, they were said to have sustained the fighting soldiers.

The sweet potato deserves to be on the highest perch because it is a nutritional powerhouse with 4 ounces of cooked pulp supplying 2 grams of protein, 3.4 grams of fiber, 24.6 mg of vitamin C, 28 mg of calcium, 22.6 mcg of folic acid, 20 mg of magnesium, 348 mg of potassium, and a whopping 21822 I.U. of vitamin A.

That's mighty impressive for only a half cup serving. The skins, which are completely edible, add even more fiber.


Discover More Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Articles Like this One.

Note: Sweet Potato phytonutrients and over 30 different Fruits and Vegetables plus sea vegetables, special colon cleansing fibers, a special blend of probiotics, 17 herbal concentrates, antioxidants and a complete multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. All are contained in the Daily Biobasics Multi-vitamin and Mineral Supplement Nutritional Power House!

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