9 things about sweet potatoes you just ought to know!

English: Picture of fries made from sweet pota...

English: Picture of fries made from sweet potatoes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Experimental line of provitamin A-enriched ora...

Experimental line of provitamin A-enriched orange maize, harvested in Zambia (Photo credit: CIMMYT)

1.  They are high in vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies.  Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.
2. They are a good source of vitamin C.  While most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, few people are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essen­tial to helping us cope with stress. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer.
3.  They contain Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year.  Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin Dplays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.
4.  Sweet potatoes contain iron. Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper im­mune functioning, and the metabolizing of protein, among other things.
5.  Sweet potatoes are a good source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the popula­tion in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.
Superior fiber content
Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes. Contributing close to 7 grams of fiber per serving, they make an excellent starchy addition to any meal. The high fiber content gives them a “slow burning” quality. This basically means their caloric energy is used more slowly and efficiently than a low-fiber carbohydrate.

6. Heart-healthy
They contain a large amount of vitamin B6. This vitamin is crucial in breaking down a substance called homocysteine, which contributes to hardening of the arteries and blood vessels. Vitamin B6 helps keep the walls of these important blood passageways flexible and healthy which allows blood to flow freely.

In addition, sweet potatoes contain high amounts of potassium. Potassium plays an important role in lowering blood pressure by ridding the body of excess sodium and regulating fluid balance. It is also an important electrolyte that helps regulate the natural rhythm of the heart, and maintains normal function of the brain and central nervous system.

7. Rich in beta-carotene
Beta-carotene or vitamin A is an important antioxidant. One medium sweet potato provides your body with the complete recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and then some. Vitamin A is useful in the prevention of several different types of cancer as it is one of the most potent antioxidants out there.

Beta-carotene also helps to internally protect your skin from sun damage by both deflecting and repairing cell damage caused by excessive UV exposure. It also is an excellent nutrient for eye health and has been linked to prevention of vision loss and macular degeneration.

8. A great source of manganese
Manganese is a little-discussed trace mineral that has some great health benefits. It is a pivotal component in the metabolism of carbohydrates which helps support healthy blood sugar levels. This can help stabilize the appetite for hours as opposed to the temporary satisfaction that comes with most other carbohydrates.

It also is a cofactor in enzymes that play an important role in the generation of energy as well as the efficient utilization of antioxidants. It is used for the treatment of anemia and is useful as a treatment for several premenstrual symptoms in women as well.

9. Rich in vitamins C and E
As if being one of the top vegetable sources of beta-carotene weren’t enough, sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins C and E. These are potent antioxidant vitamins that play an important role in disease prevention and longevity.

Both vitamins also play a huge role in the health and beauty of your skin and hair, making them popular supplements. The combination of beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C in one food makes the sweet potato one heck of a “beauty food”. These nutrients all contribute to a healthy, glowing complexion and vibrant hair.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035739_sweet_potatoes_beta-carotene_nutrients.html#ixzz2aiYD4jG0

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-reasons-to-love-sweet-potatoes.html#ixzz2aiXuCJP5

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Cocoa

Cocoa Nuts – food of the gods

Good news for all chocolate lovers and lovers of cocoa drink: now proven that we have a healthy chocolate that has real benefits for our health.

Cocoa nuts are fruits that grow on the cacao tree. Origin of the tree in the Amazon region and is grown only in hot weather conditions, wet and in thick vegetation, the tree shaded sunshine and winds. Tree yielding its fruits throughout the year.

During the Mayan and Aztec tribe of cocoa was great value. Sometimes used beans as a substitute for money. Throughout history have used cocoa various medical needs, in fact there were over 100 medical uses cocoa, which uses collected letters found in Europe.

Cocoa three major uses ancient medicine:
1. Weight lifting

2. Strengthening / weak nervous system stimulation, treatment of apathy or exhaustion.

Cocoa antidepressants
 
Cocoa nut contains nutrients earned him the image of an antidepressant. Nut contains three Neurotransmitter encourage a good mood: Serotonin, Dopamine, Phenylethylamine – PEA
The PEA in chocolate walnut affects brain chemistry in a positive way that it secretes a chemical in the brain that gives a feeling similar to when in love.

Cocoa contains an amino acid called tryptophan tryptophan and chemical called monoamine oxides) mao). Oxidase which allow serotonin and dopamine Lnrotrnsmitor moving circulation for longer and thus improves mood and helps the overall good feeling.

Chocolate and Heart Health

Besides the wonderful feeling similar to love, chocolate has many benefits for heart health and blood vessels. In fact the Aztecs called the cacao “yolloti eztli” means “heart blood”. Already in their time they realized the importance of the cocoa cure cardiovascular system (CVD).

Cocoa advantages in that it makes a number of pathogenic processes that cause the development of CVD, the most important among them is inhibiting the oxidation process the LDL (bad cholesterol) by free radicals. This is to prevent or stop the process of the formation of a major arterial branch. More chocolate prevents the tendency of platelets to stick and form blood clots.

SUPER FOODS

Superfoods help keep us healthy and youthful. They potentially fight diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease and may even help slow the aging process. So what better foods to toss into your salads?

cucumbers, lemons, avocado and other greens

 Beets &spinach . Thanks to a unique pigment, called betalain, biting into a beet provides antioxidants, reduces inflammation and may help flush toxins out of the body. Beets are also rich in blood pressure lowering nitrates.Much of the research on carrots has traditionally focused on carotenoids and their important antioxidant benefits. After all, carrots (along with pumpkin and spinach) rank high on the list of all commonly-consumed U.S. antioxidant vegetables in terms of their beta-carotene content. But recent research has turned the health spotlight onto another category of phytonutrients in carrots called polyacetylenes. In carrots, the most important polyacetylenes include falcarinol and falcarindiol. Several recent studies have identified these carrot polyacetylenes as phytonutrients that can help inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells, especially when these polyacetylenes are found in their reduced (versus oxidized) form. These new findings are exciting because they suggest a key interaction between the carotenoids and polyacetylenes in carrots. Apparently, the rich carotenoid content of carrots not only helps prevent oxidative damage inside our body, but it may also help prevent oxidative damage to the carrot polyacetylenes. In other words, these two amazing groups of phytonutrients in carrots may work together in a synergistic way to maximize our health benefits!