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Sweet Potatoes very nutritious!


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HEALTH WATCH: Sweet potato, best nutrient bang for a buck

Posted on November 20, 2015 in Nutrition

By Michael Greger MD Sweet potatoes can be considered a superfood. They are one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. (And one day, perhaps, even off the planet, as NASA has chosen the sweet potato for space missions.)

A study out of the University of Washington aimed to identify which vegetables provided the most nutrients per dollar. The healthiest foods, like dark green leafy vegetables, may also be the cheapest, and the highest nutrient-rich food scores per dollar were obtained for sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are not just packed with nutrition but may also have special cancer-fighting properties. In 1931, a unique protein was discovered in sweet potatoes. It turns out that 80% of the protein in sweet potatoes is a type of protease inhibitor with potential anticancer effects. These proteins were originally tested against leukemia and appeared to suppress the growth of leukemia cells in a petri dish.

But how would a sweet potato protein ever get into our bloodstream? As soon as most proteins hit our stomach, they start getting digested. To get around the digestion issue, researchers tried sweet potato protein against tongue cancer cells (sweet potato proteins certainly come in contact with our mouth!). Tongue cancer is often treated with chemotherapy, and most of the chemo drugs for tongue cancer have adverse effects; so, it is indispensable for us to find other therapeutic strategies. Sweet potato protein rapidly diminished viability of the cancer in vitro within a matter of days, leading the researchers to propose that sweet potatoes may be useful for human tongue cancer. But could they possibly help with other cancers as well?

Remarkably, this special class of proteins doesn’t just survive digestion, but may also be absorbed into the bloodstream intact (in at least two of the nine women with advanced cervical cancer researchers tried giving them to).

Most recently, sweet potato proteins were tried on colorectal cancer cells, one of our most common and deadly cancers. Normally, we just surgically remove the colon, but that only works in the early stages since there are often “micrometastases” outside the colon that can subsequently lead to cancer recurrence and death; so, we’ve been searching for anti-metastatic agents. Not only does sweet potato protein slow down the growth of colon cancer cells, but it may also decrease cancer cell migration and invasion.

Sweet potato consumption has also been associated with lower gallbladder cancer rates, but it has never been directly put to the test, but what’s the downside?

GrayRiver Farms has sweet potatoes!

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Are we talking about yams, the big orange ones (which are really a variety of sweet potato)?  Or are we talking about the other type of sweet potatoes, which tend to be white or yellow (purple in Hawaii).  I like the big orange ones, the white/yellow ones not so much. 

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13 minutes ago, JudyS said:

Are we talking about yams, the big orange ones (which are really a variety of sweet potato)?  Or are we talking about the other type of sweet potatoes, which tend to be white or yellow (purple in Hawaii).  I like the big orange ones, the white/yellow ones not so much. 

Beats me, Judy. They can be harvested fairly small or wait until they're big. Mine or orange inside. Next time you come to the clinic in Volcan, remind me and I'll give you a vine.

Edited by Dottie Atwater
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2 hours ago, Dottie Atwater said:

Beats me, Judy. They can be harvested fairly small or wait until they're big. Mine or orange inside. Next time you come to the clinic in Volcan, remind me and I'll give you a vine.

Wrong Judy I think.  I never come to the clinic in Volcan, or Boquete either.  Can't be away that long.

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23 hours ago, Carol said:

I agree with Bonnie, Betty's sweet potatoes are the real deal.  Very sweet and delicious, not like the Panamainian variety.

I don't know what you mean by the "Panamanian" variety. I'm sure Betty's are delicious, and my sweet potatoes are the "real deal," too. I don't sell them, but I'll be happy to give "starts" to anyone who happens to be in Volcan. Just let me know. In the attached picture, I harvested this one while it was still fairly small.  When I have too many to use right away, I bake them in foil and then freeze them. 

DSCN5177.JPG

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Dottie - another thing to try, we don't eat gluten and found that cutting the sweet potatoes into rounds about 1/4 or little more thick browning as you say and using them as hamburger buns, with all the fixings.  Great taste, even if we could eat bread I would not go back.  The sweet potatoes are so so much better.  Try it, you will love it.   Also make a few extra thinly sliced or french fry slices to accompany the burgers :-)

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Sweet Potatoes and Yams are a very confusing topic, made worse by the fact that two basic types of sweet potato (there are many named varieties) are sold in the U.S., one called yams (they are not really yams) and one generally called sweet potato, both of which are sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas). Yams are actually a totally different genus (Dioscoreaceae). I have to look this up every time the topic comes up. :-)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/25/difference-between-sweet-potatoes-and-yams_n_1097840.html

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3 hours ago, Ken and Becky said:

You are right, it's not a gluten problem, but it probably is gliadin.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/modern-wheat-a-perfect-chronic-poison-doctor-says/

I eat wheat in all forms with gusto.  If it binds with opiate receptors, maybe that's why I enjoy bread and pasta so much.  Maybe I should be smoking it to get the full joy of it.

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