Nutrition Assignment - Sweet Potato Essay Samples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Potato, Vitamins, Food, Soil, Nutrition, Health, Orange, Light

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2021/02/08

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The scientific name:

Sweet potato (lat. for Ipomoea batatas) (Encyclopædia Britannica).

Description of the vegetable:

A crunchy tuber plant with variable flesh color (may be of different tones of yellow, orange, red, brown and purple) and is white, light purple or light orange on the inside. The sweet potato plant has a branching vine, heart-shaped leaves that are spirally arranged, white to lavender flowers and enlarged roots (tubers) that may be of different shapes (mostly fusiform or oblong). It tastes sweet, but some people say that it has regular potato, pumpkin or squash taste (“What's New and Beneficial”).

Where is it grown:

As it originates from Central and South America and is adapted to light and friable soils, it may grow on sandy loams. Now it is widely grown in southern part of United States (the most significant are North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and California), tropical America, Russia, China, Japan and warmer islands of the Pacific (Encyclopædia Britannica).

The season it is grown in:

This vegetable needs a frost-free growing season that lasts at least from 4 to 6 months (usually planting season starts in May). The most suitable for growing sweet potatoes is tropical or subtropical climate, as this plant requires a lot of sun (Yetter).

Cultivation:

There are three different ways to grow sweet potatoes – from slips, tubers or cuttings. The most convenient way is to grow it from cuttings, as it requires less efforts and care. The cuttings should be planted in a separate deep holes spaced apart (30-45 cm) as in the process of growing they will cover the ground. Sweet potatoes cannot be grown on heavy and waterlogged soil, also it cannot stand cold weather and nitrogen fertilizers (in the end you will receive only big amount of leaves instead of tubers). To plant the sweet potato you should cut the 30 cm piece of a runner and remove all leaves except tip ones. The planted cuttings should be covered with the soil with leaves sticking out of the ground (“Sweet Potato”).

Selection and storage:

Choose sweet potatoes without any spots, cracks or other damages. The sweetest tubers have deep yellow to orange flesh color and are of average small to medium size. Avoid those that are bigger than the regular ones and that are stored in refrigerators or other cold places, since the low temperature influences the taste negatively. Store sweet potatoes in a cool, well ventilated dark places away from sources of heat (not more than ten days) (“What's New and Beneficial”).

Forms it is available in:

Sweet potatoes are available both fresh and frozen (but frozen have sufficient taste and vitamins loss), in noodles form and chips.

Vitamins it contains:

It contains such vitamins, as: Folates (11 µg), Niacin (0.557 mg), Pantothenic acid – Vitamin B-5 (0.80 mg), Pyridoxine – Vitamin B-6 (0.209 mg), Riboflavin (0.061 mg), Thiamin – Vitamin B-1 (0.078 mg), Vitamin A (14.187 IU), Vitamin C (2.4 mg), Vitamin E (0.26 mg) and Vitamin K (1.8 µg) (“Sweet potato nutrition facts”).

Minerals it contains:

It contains such minerals, as: Calcium (30mg), iron (0.61 mg), Magnesium (25mg), Manganese (0.258 mg), Phosphorus (47 mg) and Zinc (0.30 mg) (“Sweet potato nutrition facts”).

Phytochemicals it contains and their influence on health:

Sweet potato is the great source of ß-carotene (8.509 µg) and α-carotene (7 µg) which are antioxidants that help to prevent different heart diseases and cancer, have a positive impact on immune system and skin health (Bailey). Eating sweet potatoes keeps you healthy as it is fat- and cholesterol-free and is considered as health food for people who has diabetes as it can increase level of adiponectin in blood (it is a protein hormone, which is an important modifier of insulin metabolism) (“What's New and Beneficial”).
Also it contains oxalic acid, which may crystalize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract, but adequate intake of water will minimize stone risk (“Sweet potato nutrition facts”).

Works Cited:

Bailey, Wayne "Interesting Sweet Potato Facts ." Sweet potetoes Wayne E. Bailey Produce Company. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://www.sweetpotatoes.com/About/SweetPotatoFacts.aspx>.
"Sweet potato nutrition facts." Nutrition and you. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sweet_potato.html>.
"Sweet potato." Encyclopædia Britannica . 8 May. 2014. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/576854/sweet-potato>.
"Sweet potato." Plant Village. 10 Apr. 2015. <https://www.plantvillage.com/en/topics/sweet-potato/infos/diseases_and_pests_description_uses_propagation>.
"What's New and Beneficial about Sweet Potatoes." The Worlds Healthiest Food. 6 Apr. 2012. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64>.
Yetter, Elizabeth . "How to Grow Sweet Potatoes." eHow. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ehow.com/how_2043375_grow-sweet-potatoes.html>.

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