Nature is its own healer. For every body ailment that exists, nature has the solution. But it’s rare to find food so delicious and naturally designed to ward off disease. In the lovely sweet potato, we have an amazing cancer fighter. Rich in vitamins and fiber, sweet potatoes also have an irresistible flavor. They come with a range of benefits, from health sustenance to cancer prevention.
There are different species with various colors, from red to light orange and even purple. Here’s a tip: the darker the pigment, the higher the antioxidant level. Furthermore, sweet potatoes contain high levels of vitamin C, calcium, and potassium as well as other cancer-preventing substances.
But before we delve further into the cancer-killing properties of the sweet potato, let’s learn a little about this vegetable’s history.
A brief history of the sweet potato
Spanish explorers set out to the New World seeking an ocean navigation route to India and its fabled treasures of silver, gold, spices, and jewelry.
Though they found these desired treasures in North and South America, the explorers discovered other items of value including three extremely important foods of the world today: corn, Irish potatoes, and the sweet potato.
Because it’s a tropical plant, the sweet potato was probably first discovered by Christopher Columbus in Central America and in Peru by Pizarro. In Peru, the sweet potato was cultivated specifically by the Inca people and the pre-Incan tribes for several hundred, maybe thousands of years.
The sweet potato was later taken back to Spain, then to Italy, then later spreading to Germany, Belgium, and Austria before finally arriving in England. While it took almost 200 years for the English to accept the Irish potato as proper food, the sweet potato quickly became a pricey and rare delicacy.
The cancer-fighting qualities of the sweet potato
- Carotenoid to curb growth of cancer cells
Sweet potatoes are packed with phytochemicals which are scientifically known to prevent disease in the body. David Tomen of Nootropics Expert says that having a good dose of sweet potatoes in your diet is a sure formula for staying healthy and boosting your body with antioxidants. “Sweet potatoes contain carotenoids, a particularly strong phytochemical with antioxidant qualities. They also help improve cognitive function in the elderly” he says. The high quantity of carotenoid compounds helps the body prevent cancer-forming cells.
- Sporamin boosts immune system performance
As Steve Dorkins from HealthStart UK points out. “Sweet potatoes contain the plant–based protein sporamin, a widely recognized anti-cancer compound that’s present in up to 80% of the proteins in sweet potatoes. Sporamin facilitates the positive growth of the immune system and helps diminish cancer growth as well as preventing it from spreading around the body. “
Other positive effects of sweet potato include:
- Regulation of blood sugar
- Controlling symptoms of diabetes
- Improving vision
- Reduction of inflammation
- Promotion of fertility
If your diet has been short of sweet potato, you might want to consider changing that today. Too many people relegate the consumption to once or twice a year (generally during holidays). Baked or mashed are all too common ways of preparing sweet potatoes, so consider spicing up your sweet potato consumption by cutting them into fries and adding a little cinnamon for a mix of sweet and savory tastes.