Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Must – Eat - Vegetables for Wellness: Part 4

Wellness is defined as the condition or state of having good physical and mental health, especially as the result of deliberate effort that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life by proper diet, exercise and maintaining good health habits, as opposed to treating diseases.

When I was growing up, my grand mom and mother used to say “Eat your veggies, it will keep you strong and safe” or they’d say “Eat your salad, you won’t turn into a rabbit instead you will be as strong and as fast as a horse”. To be honest, I grew up liking vegetables due to repetition, being a writer-researcher has opened my eyes to the miracles of plants, vegetables and fruits. 

Wellness has now become a popular topic for people around the world. Social media has made it possible for people to read health tips from their mobile devices or chancing about their friends’ latest fruit “Like” and more. People have the power to “share” the things they like or articles they think would help other people stay healthy and glow with beauty. Below is my personal list of veggies our fridge often has an abundance of; I recommend you do the same and you will feel light and healthier even more.

5. Sweet potato

My research on this veggie necessity brought me to various cultures, countries and ways it can be cooked and consumed. Wow! I did not know there were so many ways you could cook this large, sweet-tasting, starchy tuberous root vegetable. Even the more reason, you should have a staple supply of this wellness must eat vegetable in your pantry for personal consumption. Also the sweet potato is a source of vitamin B6, vitamin B1, phosphorus and potassium; known to be an energy food used in cooking all over the world.

From Africa’s “amukeke” (sun-dried slices of root) eaten with peanut sauce to Egypt’s "batata" where this sweet potato tubers are known to be baked as a snack or dessert, served with honey to Korea’s “Goguma”, to Japan’s “yaki-imo” (roasted sweet potato) and “imo-jōchū” a Japanese Potato wine, to India’s Sweet potato – “shakarkand, शक्करकंद” roasted slowly over kitchen coal and eaten with yogurt dressing. Sweet potato contains calcium, sugars and carbohydrates which makes it filling to the tummy.

Different cultures from different continents have acknowledged the importance of this root vegetable.  Radio carbon dating revealed the presence of this tuber in the Cook Islands dating back to 1000 AD. Researchers postulated that it was brought to central Polynesia around 700 AD, it was Polynesians who brought this tuber when they traveled to South America. The first record of the name “sweet potato” is found in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1775. In Chile, Mexico, Central America, and the Philippines, this is known as camote or kamote. In Argentina, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, it is called batata. Boniato is another name for it in Spain and Uruguay. In Peru, it is kumar, while in New Zealand it is called kumara.

The root vegetable is a great source of iron and fiber that can help regulate the digestive system.This vegetable tuber is found in different varieties all over the world has anti-cancer properties like vitamin C, A and manganese. No wonder everyone is going gaga over this root tuber veggie necessity. Try it today!

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