Sweet Potatoes: Versatile Tuber Packed with Vitamin A, Fiber
Sweet potatoes, we often associate them with Thanksgiving. But in fact, they weren't on the menu at the first Thanksgiving.
Today, the average American eats about five pounds of sweet potatoes a year.
A medium sweet potato contains more than seven times the recommended daily amount of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber, vitamin C and potassium. And they cause less of a spike in blood sugar than white potatoes.
They were first grown 5000 years ago in South America.
In the early 20th century, George Washington carver helped U.S. farmers find markets for excess sweet potatoes by inventing dozens of uses, including dyes, molasses, ink, synthetic rubber and postage stamp glue.
Today nearly 2 billion pounds of sweet potatoes are grown in the U.S. annually. North Carolina produces more than any other state.
Did you know that not all sweet potatoes are orange? They can also come in other colors such as red or purple.
If you eat lots of them, sweet potatoes can actually turn your skin orange. But don't worry, this is harmless and goes away.
Though they're sometimes called yams, sweet potatoes and yams aren't the same.
Yams come from a completely different plant that's native to Africa and Asia. They're rarely found in the U.S.
Something to remember next time you bite into canned yams. If you read the label closely, you'll likely find that what you're really eating is a sweet potato.
This entry last modified on: January 14, 2013 12:12 PM
About the Video
Not all sweet potatoes are orange. Find out what other colors this tuber comes in and what makes it a nutritional superstar.