Until recently, I associated today’s featured food with the holidays. Sweet potatoes were served at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, covered in butter and brown sugar and topped with marshmallows. Honestly, they were more of a dessert than a side dish.
Even before switching to plant based, I discovered that sweet potatoes could be enjoyed year around, baked like a regular potato and served with butter, salt and pepper. That was a step in the right direction. Lately, sweet potatoes have been my go to food. They are incredibly versatile and full of health benefits.
Sweet potatoes are wonderful for the digestive system. They promote productive bacteria in the stomach, small intestine and colon, while starving out unproductive bacteria and mold. They enhance the body’s production of B12. And they help to prevent megacolon, an expansion of the large intestine due to bacteria, and alleviate narrowing of the intestinal tract due to chronic inflammation.
Sweet potatoes have an abundance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Their orange flesh is packed with carotenoids. Those phytochemicals are powerful, drawing radiation from the body and protecting against skin, breast, reproductive, stomach, intestinal, esophageal and rectal cancers.
In addition, sweet potatoes rid the body of unstable, destructive, cancer causing estrogen that interferes with the body’s hormone function. These estrogens come from plastics, pharmaceuticals and environmental toxins. And for those struggling with insomnia, sweet potatoes provide a critical form of glucose that stimulates the development of neurotransmitters, which aid in sleeping soundly. (Info from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William.)
When I first changed my diet, plain baked sweet potatoes became a frequent meal, as they were easy to prepare and eat. I simply added a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. I’ve since built up quite a collection of recipes that include sweet potatoes as an ingredient. I enjoy them raw in salads, as a base for sauces, chopped up in soups and spicy curries, and they are even a main ingredient in a healthy sugar and gluten free muffin.
I’ve enjoyed roasted sweet potato fries and combining roasted cubes with other veggies. Lately one of my favorite things is to dice sweet potatoes and steam them, along with an assortment of other fresh vegetables, for a colorful and nutritious dinner bowl.
Sweet potatoes are a wonderful comfort food. Anthony writes, in Life Changing Foods, that this super veggie has properties that give the sensation that the world has shut down. It’s an important function that makes me feel safe and soothed, like I’ve received a hug. I love that. And I love my sweet potatoes. No sugar or marshmallows needed or wanted.
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