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Feb 1, 2013
February is National Sweet Potato Month
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Celebrate Sweet Potato Benefits

February is National Sweet Potato Month and the sad thing is the consumption of sweet potatoes is going down. This celebration like say a rice festival encourages new and different recipes and ways to enjoy this delicious vegetable!

Now November is being considered to be national Sweet Potato Month so we may get to celebrate sweet potatoes and the ages they have been around twice this year. Many think sweet potatoes are only for special occasions when it really needs to be a part of our daily diet or at least several days a week.

Sweet potato's great color is a hint to its elevated content of Vitamin A in the variety of beta-carotene. A sweet potato contains over four times the needed daily allowance of Vitamin A, a strong antioxidant that protects against free radicals and helps fight against smoking-related diseases like emphysema and lung cancer. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin C and the trace mineral manganese.

As earlier articles I have written on certain foods, sweet potatoes have a positive effect on blood sugar. With a high concentrate of fiber, complex carbohydrates and carotenoids, they help steady blood sugar levels. Since they also lower insulin resistance, they are believed to have anti-diabetic properties. The significant fiber content lowers the risk of cancer and heart disease, too. A medium potato provides us with well over our Daily Value of vitamin A need; which plays a main role in the health of our eyes, skin, skeletal, soft tissue, and teeth.

The orange variety is often called a yam in parts of North America, but is not; with the yam being native to Africa and Asia and rare in North America. The yam is said to have menopausal benefits and benefits of many kinds pertaining to women so that was disappointing to hear.

Still; sweet potato is certainly an important food to make our life healthier. With diabetes being so great in the US it is certainly a great prevention that we should not hesitate to add along with the lung, visual and many other benefits. Let's learn more though!

Happy National Sweet Potato Month!
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Sweet Potatoes in America


Over 40% of the US supply of sweet potato is grown in North Carolina. That is a great thing and check with your grocer to see where yours comes from. If you are from the US just have US only! Just one small way to help America, simple as it is and know what we are consuming. You can see many of these growers right online! You can even see all the different kinds they have.

There is the Beauregard, Carolina Rose, Carolina Ruby, Cordner, Hernandez, Jewel and N.C. Porto Rico 198. These are a native crop in North Carolina grown in the Coastal Plains. The American Indians were growing sweet potatoes when the English first hit their shores and they have been here since prehistoric times. It is believed that dinosaurs may have eaten delicious sweet potatoes. You think?

After two years of letter writing and a lot of hard work, a fourth grade teacher and her students who took interest in getting the sweet potato the state vegetable; got the bill passed in the General Assembly's summer session of 1995. They aroused the interest and support of a whole community. Finally the sweet potato was named the Official Vegetable of the State of North Carolina!

Sweet potatoes are grown mainly in the Coastal Plain areas of North Carolina; Johnston, Nash and Wilson counties producing the most sweet potatoes. Sampson, Columbus, Wayne, Harnett, Cumberland, Edgecombe and Duplin counties also grow sweet potatoes; Johnston County being the number one producer of sweet potatoes. They do best in these counties because the sweet potato is a root crop and is more suited to the sandy warm soil of this area.


Purple Sweet Potato
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The Purple Sweet Potato - Extra Benefits

The purple sweet potato has Anthocyanin which gives it its unusual violet color. This sweet potato contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties similar to red wine. There are many species of these sweet potatoes and most would be very important in the diet for more than just special occasions. We need to put these in our diet right away…and keep them there!

Studies are showing it is important to have some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of sweet potato. They say that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our intake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes. One tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil is suggested providing the 3.5 grams of fat.

Being low in sodium, sweet potatoes are cholesterol free, fat free, high in fiber, containing minerals and vitamins A, C and E. Leave the skin on for more nutrition.

Also it is claimed some nutritional benefits from sweet potatoes may not be achieved unless you use steam or boil cooking method. I prefer the steamed and it only takes a few minutes to tenderize beautifully and deliciously!
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Posted: Feb 1, 2013 5:12am
Jun 18, 2009
Feeding America - Formerly Known as America's Second Harvest - Hunger Advocate 

Dear Alice Diane,

As a concerned hunger advocate, you know that child nutrition is one of the highest priorities at Feeding America—and our advocates and food banks are gearing up for the upcoming Congressional debates surrounding the reauthorization of federal funding for child nutrition programs.  In this month’s edition of the Hunger Advocate, learn more about the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act and the critical programs it will fund.

 

Child Nutrition–A Critical Foundation
Check out this new monthly series focusing on children and hunger—through the summer and fall, you will learn more about the role good nutrition plays in the growth, development, health, and well-being of our nation’s children.  This month, find out how early childhood nutrition affects long-term educational progress and success.

 

Can You Make a Difference in the Life of a Hungry Child?
The latest Child Food Insecurity Report shows that in 26 states, one in six young children are food insecure.  In this land of plenty, that’s way too many hungry children.  Can one person make a difference? Absolutely!  Click here to find out how you can help!

Hunger Action Month— September 2009

Hunger Action Month is a nationwide effort to engage America in the fight against hunger—and it’s coming in September!  From coast to coast, communities will be holding anti-hunger events to bring us together in this important cause, with a particular focus on child hunger issues.  Read more about Hunger Action Month— and visit the Hunger Action Center to find out what’s coming up in your community!

 
  
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Posted: Jun 18, 2009 8:34am

 

 
 
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Alice C.
, 1, 2 children
Ringoes, NJ, USA
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