A Nutritional Superhero: Sweetpotatoes Can Make You Stronger, Faster, Healthier
New York, NY – A favorite holiday staple, the sweetpotato, has taken on a larger challenge than just satisfying the stomachs of Thanksgiving revelers. In some of the world’s poorest countries, the orange-fleshed varieties of sweetpotatoes, which are familiar to most Americans, are eaten to prevent blindness and disease.
Orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes are rich in beta carotene, which the body converts into sight- and life-saving vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is the number one cause of childhood blindness. It also weakens the immune system, leaving children vulnerable to disease and death. Each year, 670,000 children will die from vitamin A deficiency, and another 350,000 will go blind. However, research has shown that just one medium-sized sweetpotato weighing 125 grams (or 4.4 ounces) gives primary school children over twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.