08 July, 2011
Sweet potatoes are known as “kamote” in the Philippines, according to the CGIAR.org website. This vegetable is used in many different cultures and countries as a nutritional food in a variety of different dishes. Diets consisting mainly of kamote-based dishes may be tastefully pleasing to many people, however the vegetable can also be an excellent source of energy when eaten. Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist for more information on the benefits of kamote.
According to the website of CGIAR, a global agriculture research agency, kamote is actually not related to the potato family, despite being commonly referred to as “sweet potatoes.” The vegetable is more likely related to the morning glory plant family and is characterized by features similar to peppers, eggplants, or tomatoes. Many colors are present in the flesh of kamote, resulting in a yellowish-orange color tone overall. Kamote dishes are common in Asia, Africa, and other South Pacific cultures.
As CGIAR.org suggests, over 95 percent of the global kamote crop is harvested in developing countries. The vegetable is produced in more than 100 countries overall, with 80 percent of the crop coming from China. Nigeria and Uganda are also major harvesters of kamote and contribute substantially to the world’s 9 million hectares of kamote agriculture annually. While typically eaten in whole form, kamote is also used in the feed of livestock, as starch for noodles, and as an additive to many alcohols.
According to an article published by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, or FNRI-DOST, starchy foods such as kamote were found to be low on the glycemic index. Diabetics or other patients who are sensitive to blood-sugar levels can benefit from consuming foods with a low-GI index similar to kamote's. Furthermore, low glycemic diets are known to help to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Starchy foods such as kamote contain other nutrients that can be helpful to the promotion of good health, including protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C, according to the FNRI-DOST. Your metabolic processes and energy levels can be balanced by the consumption of these foods, which can be helpful for patients of diabetes or gastrointestinal medical conditions.
While kamote is seen as a highly nutritious vegetable, there is no scientific evidence to suggest it can help you lose weight. In fact, the high carbohydrate content in kamote may lead to an increase in weight when consumed in large quantities. Kamote diets should not be used as an alternative to traditional medicine for the treatment of any health condition.
- kschulze/iStock/Getty Images