Again, I’m no kitchen whizz… and food, to me, has three characteristics: good, not good and bad. GOOD food, I will eat, NOT GOOD food, I will not eat and the BAD–well, sweets and chocolates fall under this category. So, whenever I encounter the BAD kind, I always have to weigh the pros and cons.
For me, the Sweet Potato is filed under the GOOD category. This Sweet Potato or Kamote is very handy. I imagine the likes of Labaw Donggon bringing them along on their journeys.
The sweet potato actually originated from the American continent. It is theorized, however, that the Polynesians being the expert sailors that they are, picked it up from South America during the Polynesian Migration. Their word for Kamote is Kumara which suggests a human transfer.
From Luzon, in 1594, Chinese sailors took the root crop to Fukien in South China. The humble sweet potato has often saved lives, pre-ww1 Japanese used it when typhoons would devastate their other crops. In the 1960’s, too, it kept millions of famine-plagued Chinese from starvation.
This is the history behind the Sweet Potato that is now before us. Also, I eat it because of all the fun colors.
Sweet potatoes contain extremely high levels of antioxidants as a result of its many vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Root proteins in sweet potato may provide additional antioxidant capability. The high levels of antioxidants make sweet potatoes protective against cancer, heart disease and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or asthma. The vitamin A in sweet potatoes may also protect smokers from developing emphysema or other lung problems and may be protective against the development of macular degeneration or cataracts in the eye.