Native to Central America, the sweet potato is not related to potatoes but instead is in the same family as morning glory. Remains of sweet potatoes were discovered in a cave in Peru, showing that they have been consumed since prehistoric times. This crop was an important dietary staple for early American homesteaders and for soldiers during the Civil War. Sweet potatoes are very popular in the southern United States and have been grown in that region since the 16th century. Although often mistaken for the yam, sweet potatoes are more flavorful and less starchy than yams.
- Sweet potatoes contain an enzyme which converts many of its starches to sugar as it matures.
- There are over 300 varieties of sweet potato, with flesh ranging from white to deep orange In Eastern medicine, this vegetable is highly regarded for its tonifying and nourishing abilities.
- Sweet potatoes and yam are two different crop s- yams can grow much larger than sweet potatoes and are native to Africa and Asia.
- Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as antioxidants.
- They also provide fiber and potassium.