Quick Meals? Slow Meals?

The Sweet Potato’s Dastardly Secrets

Peeled sweet potatoes, slices of pears, an egg, and roasted pine nut sandwiches are my everyday packed lunch that I am never oblivious of bringing to school – alongside water to keep me hydrated. I remember the first day of college, I would pull out the lunch from my backpack at the library while studying some notes I made from the first eight o’clock lecture. Although I had a decent amount of breakfast earlier that morning, after having spent energy on learning new material, I was already feeling my abdomen craving food. Usually this would be the moment where I’m tempted to devour food full of glucose. However, sitting inside my backpack, waiting for me to unwrap at the moment were the healthiest, was a sweet treat that would stifle my craving for sugar.

Food is crucial in our lives, especially for us as college students coping with myriad of things inside and outside of school. For that reason, we don’t get sufficient time on our hands to reward ourselves with food packed with good nutrition. Further, it seems legitimately reasonable to opt for ready-to-eat meals which can get prepared in a snap by utilizing a microwave. In food aisles at a gargantuan grocery store, all types of enticingly packaged food sit on the shelves throwing us their ultimate punch line, “buy one get one free.” Then, we turn away to grab two packs of macaroni and cheese without even giving a solid five-second attempt to scrutinize the ingredients of the package on the label. We’re solely elated about this coming Friday night where we can cuddle in a comfy blanket on the couch, binge-watching Netflix with a warmed-up bowl of pasta and cheese. Yes, there can’t be anything more perfect than this to reward yourself for having worked hard in the past five days. But, in a sense, our body may be looking for some other types of rewards other than being delighted for this moment as much as our taste buds are. That is, when we’re craving for sweet or savory dishes as well as frozen meals, our body is craving for food rich in a healthier form of carbohydrates, A grouping of sweet potatoes. Photo Credit: USDA vitamins, minerals, calcium, potassium, fiber, and magnesium from our daily diet. It’s been said those important nutrients absorbed via food are more valuable than taking multivitamins and dietary supplements. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” says Hippocrates. Hippocrates’ famous adage has always been my favorite, and this is how I’ve been settled to this very important morning ritual: boiling a medium sweet potato – a phenomenal dietary addition high in all aforementioned nourishments.

Sweet potato is known to be loaded with fiber which relegates the daily intake of sugar to stabilize blood sugar levels. And the medium size I eat everyday contains fifteen-percent of the recommended daily fiber intake. A high amount of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene from colored sweet potatoes, is also the potent mercenary that drives away pernicious free radicals, lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer – not to mention any type of skin diseases. Antioxidants, in addition to the other bountiful nutrients of sweet potatoes, ward off oxidative damage in the brain all while contributing to the improvement of cognitive performance and memory. This may be the reason we all need to consider eating healthier food instead of choosing frozen meals that contribute to a lack of nutrition for our body. As we’ve learned some of the numerous health benefits our body could get from breaking down sweet potatoes we’ve ingested, now’s the time to be grateful for this great gift, amid other profound nourishments, scattered across all of nature.