Welcome! I'm a 48 (and 1/2) year old, wife, mother (8 1/2 year old son), daughter, sister, friend and volunteer. So, 48.5 really means I'm into my 49th year on this amazing planet, and on July 19, 2010, I'll be in my 50th year. The mid-century mark. L. The big 5-0. However you want to say it, to most of the English speaking world, it means "old". I want to get there with grace, passion, beauty, love and laughter. I want to get there the old-fashioned way: by taking care of myself, eating right, creating a balanced life, laughing and living life to it's fullest. I'll be documenting my journey and hope you will watch and learn along the way. I'll also provide some of my tips for looking young and feeling your best as we head to and beyond our mid-century mark. Here's to being "Beautifully 50".

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Power of the Sweet Potato (or 'The Supreme Yam')

Sweet potatoes...not just for the holidays anymore. Seriously, we all need a reminder on the power of this colorful potato! One of Dr. Mao's must-eat foods, the sweet potato, and cousin yam, both provide more beta-carotene and vitamin C than carrots, more protein than wheat and rice, and more fiber than oat bran and as much potassium as a banana! A single skin-on sweet potato only contains 120 calories, and has over 1000 mcg of vitamin A (more than our daily requirement), plus good amounts of B6 and folate. Most importantly, both are a rich source of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), the mother lode of all hormones.

DHEA is what we call a "precursor hormone", one that remains latent in the body until it converts to a hormone that our body needs. It can become estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone, all so essential for our body's anti-aging defenses to work. DHEA doesn't stop there, it is a potent immunity booster, helps to control auto-immune disorders, and has been shown to possess significant anticancer properties. As the most abundant steroid in our body, DHEA also helps ward off arteriosclerosis, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation to the brain, prevents fat accumulation, and improves heart function. Need I say more??

My favorite way to eat sweet potatoes is simple...puncture a few times with a fork, bake in a hot (400˚ oven) until you see caramelized potato seeping out of your fork holes, slice open, add a little butter and S&P to taste. Depending on my mood, I might add cinnamon and brown sugar (sweet mood) or chili powder (hot mood). Both are delicious! Sweet potato fries are another quick favorite - I simply slice into strips, add a little olive oil and salt, and bake until done. Of course, make sure to keep the yummy skin on, lots of potent vitamins are in the skin!

When buying sweet potatoes (actually slightly healthier and definitely tastier than cousin yam), avoid ones with blemishes, cracks, soft spots and cuts. Store, uncovered, in a cool, dark spot (always hard for me to find!).

Sweet Potato Fries with rosemary
Add chili powder, paprika, thyme or cinnamon!

So, I'm thinking one a day will keep aging away!


Kathysue said...

I love a baked sweet potatoe and keep them on hand at all times. I am a sweet girl so I use the brown sugar and butter. I also use these instead of yams at Thanksgiving. So much prettier presentation and everyone loves them. I love all of your healthy reminders, Kathysue

La Dolfina said...

Hi Cindy,
I'm loving your posts!!
Just wanted to let you know that I gave you the sunshine award on my blog tonight so go over and claim it when you get a chance!!
Hope you've had a wonderful weekend!!
~xo always,

Semi Expat said...

Love them so much - knew that they were good for you but didn't know just how good... So am doubly delighted!

Rosina at Middle Ageless said...

Another yam lover! I have at least one a day, smothered with blueberries for the heart-healthy pterostilbenes. Yams also are the most alkaline-forming foods and help keep your body the correct pH. Off to bake a couple. Thanks for the great post :)

red ticking said...

yummy... i love these anyway they are cooked... x pam

Anonymous said...

The quickest most efficient way to consume a food for it's nutrients is through the fast gaining method of liquidizing raw and making it pallatable by adding a sweet fruit to the blender. Try it and see the best results much sooner.