Thursday, February 11, 2010


8:37 PM

For centuries, our Filipino ancestors survived eating "kamote" or sweet potato. Life back then was simple and so is the staple food. Today, we grew up eating rice, junkfood, fastfood, instant food and so many kinds of food. The good old "kamote" is now branded as "poor man's food" but this is about to change soon...

Our very own kamote is an excellent source of starch and contains huge amounts of carotenoids. Kamote’s deep orange-yellow color proclaims to everyone that they’re high in the antioxidant beta carotene. Sweet potatoes are superb sources of fiber, vitamins B6, C and E, folate, and potassium. It is these and other phytochemicals that make sweet potatoes a potent anti-cancer food. 

And like all vegetables, they’re fat-free and low in calories — one small sweet potato has just 54 calories. And hear this: Sweet potatoes may reduce your risk for lung cancer, especially good news to the millions of Filipino smokers and ex-smokers out there. Cooking-wise, it’s best to eat them boiled, mashed or baked.(

Below is a very good article and it is worth reading and sharing.
Title: "The underrated kamote can save our country"
Author: William M. Esposo
Publisher: Philippine Star
Date Published: Thursday, April 17, 2008

Too many wrong instructions have been programmed into the Filipino psyche. If we want to move forward, we must unlearn those things that bring us down. Our counterproductive mindsets prevent us from sustaining whatever beachheads we have accomplished. We are among the hardest to convince when it comes to retooling ourselves and adopting scientifically- validated new methods. We're afraid to venture beyond our comfort zone. We are a nation blessed with tremendous natural resources and yet many Filipinos suffer from hunger and malnutrition. While it's true that the nation's wealth is cornered by only a few Filipinos, we must not lose sight of the fact  that a good part of our malnutrition problem is also self- inflicted. Rampant malnutrition could have been significantly
checked had the government taken time to promote food alternatives that could even provide better nutrition than the usually consumed staples such as rice. Ignorance, not just lack of money, causes malnutrition. Captive to our comfort zone, our people either do not know their food options or simply refuse to consider the other foods that are available to them. The underrated kamote illustrates my point. Do you know that kamote far exceeds the nutrition and health values of rice? Here are the benefits of substituting rice with kamote:

1. Kamote is more filling and suppresses hunger pangs longer. It is also cheaper than rice.

2. Unlike rice, kamote is so easy to grow. It grows in backyards with or without fertilizers.
Local government executives can provide their poor communities with idle government land for planting kamote which the entire community
can share.

3. Unlike rice which needs to be eaten with a dish, kamote tastes good and can be eaten by itself. Thus, substituting rice with kamote saves money for other needs.

4. Rice cannot match the nutritional values of kamote. Because rice converts to sugar in the body, the Philippines registers as a top producer of diabetics in the world. The poor tends to load up on rice and less on the dish which are more expensive. That makes them vulnerable to diabetes, an ailment known in developed countries as a rich man's disease.

5. The nutritional values of a 3 oz baked kamote are:
calories 90, fat 0g, saturated fat 0 g, cholesterol 0 mg,carbohydrate 21 g, protein 2g, dietary fiber 3 g, sodium 36 mg, vitamin A 19,218 IU, folic acid 6 micrograms, pantothenic acid 1 mg,vitamin B6 <1 mg,vitamin C 20 mg, vitamin E 1 mg,calcium 38 mg, manganese 1 mg, carotenoids 11,552mcg, potassium 475 mg andmagnesium 45 mg. Compare that to a 100 g serving of white rice with:calories 361 kcal, water 10.2 g, total fat 0.8 g,dietary fiber 0.6 g,calcium 8 mg,phosphorous 87 mg, potassium 111 mg, sodium 31 mg, vitamin B1 0.07 mg, vitamin B2 0.02 mg, niacin 1.8 g, protein 6 g and carbohydrates 82 g.

6. Too much rice consumption can make you sick but kamote can bring you to
health and keep away some health problems. These have been proved medically.

In a medical documentary I watched recently on KBS World (the South Korean TV Network), I was awed by the results of the research the Koreans conducted on the nutritional and medicinal benefits of kamote (which they refer to as sweet potato). Few Filipinos realize that South Korean doctors are among the finest in the world. The Korean doctors have accomplished many key breakthroughs in the field of medicine. It was a Korean doctor working in Germany who was able to develop the successful liver transplantation protocol (and the Germans almost placed him in jail for having experimented at home with live animals). The Korean doctors enjoy the benefit of knowing both the Eastern and the Western methods to tackling diseases. They may be low key but their level of medical technology is world class. In that Korean medical documentary I watched (which I followed through the English subtitles), they presented the research findings on people with established health problems who were placed on a kamote/sweet potato diet. Believe it or not ? Kamote lowers hypertension, bad cholesterol and even blood sugar when eaten as SUBSTITUTE TO RICE! The purple sweet potato (kamote) is particularly effective for lowering hypertension. Not only that, the Korean medical documentary credits the sweet potato (kamote) as high fiber and is one of the best foods that one can eat to prevent cancer! For those who are only impressed by US doctors, listen to this: the North Carolina Stroke Association, American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association have all endorsed the sweet potato for its disease prevention and healing qualities.The Americans, the South Koreans ? both progressive nations ? have raised the kamote to a high pedestal. Many of them even call the kamote a "super food that heals."  And just how do we Filipinos regard the kamote? Remember how we like to call a loser as one who is nangangamote (Filipino term for lagging behind)?Truly, unless we unlearn many things, we will, as a nation, always be nangangamote.

How sweet it is for your health to eat sweet potatoes! Not only do they taste like dessert, here's the latest research on sweet potatoes surprising benefits.

Unique Proteins with Potent Antioxidant Effects
Sweet potato contain unique root storage proteins that have been observed to have significant antioxidant capacities. In one study, these proteins had about one-third the antioxidant activity of glutathione-one of the body's most impressive internally produced antioxidants. Although future studies are needed in this area, count on these root proteins to help explain sweet potatoes' healing properties.

A Sweet Source of Good Nutrition
Our food ranking system also showed sweet potato to be a strong performer in terms of traditional nutrients. This root vegetable qualified as an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a very good source of vitamin C and manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. How do these sweet potato nutrients support our health?

An Antioxidant-Rich, Anti-Inflammatory Food
As an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and a very good source of vitamin C, sweet potatoes have healing properties as an antioxidant food. Both beta-carotene and vitamin C are very powerful antioxidants that work in the body to eliminate free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that damage cells and cell membranes and are associated with the development of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, and colon cancer. This may explain why beta-carotene and vitamin C have both been shown to be helpful for preventing these conditions.

Since these nutrients are also anti-inflammatory, they can be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions where inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, which is needed to convert homocysteine, an interim product created during an important chemical process in cells called methylation, into other benign molecules. Since high homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, having a little extra vitamin B6 on hand is a good idea.

If you or someone you love is a smoker, or if you are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke, then making vitamin A-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes, part of your healthy way of eating, may save your life, suggests research conducted at Kansas State University.

Since the Philippines is an agricultural country, promoting the planting of kamote will help this country cope up with scarcity of basic food.

Rice maybe our staple food but not for long... in the coming decades rootcrops will dominate as the most basic need.

I am not Nostradamus or Madame Auring but I can see the future... KAMOTE will prevail!
.proooottt.... pprooooot..... ppproooooot....


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