Shocked sweet potatoes offer ample antioxidants

By Shayna Brouker • Published: November 21st, 2012
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

You might already know that sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber. They’re versatile, can be served savory or sweet and taste delicious to boot. They can be baked, broiled, mashed, steamed, grilled, candied, of course … and now electrified? Here’s some shocking news, indeed. Sending an electric current through this favorite Thanksgiving Day staple could boost its level of antioxidants by as much as 60 percent.

Sweet potatoes are already packed with polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help sweep up cancer-causing free radicals. University of Scranton scientists thought that giving the tubers an electric shock could amplify these anti-cancer properties, much like microwaving and similar processes in the body. That doesn’t mean you should electrify your sweet potatoes for your Thanksgiving feast. More research is needed about shocked sweet potatoes first, but there are many other innovative ways to enjoy them.

These roots have roots dating to America’s settlement days, when Native Americans, homestead settlers and Revolutionary War soldiers alike relied on them for nutrient-packed nourishment. Besides flavor, sweet potatoes boast a bevy of vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin C. One humble sweet potato has a whopping 438 percent of the daily value for vitamin A, which helps fight infection. It has 38 percent more potassium than a banana to help hydration. And its beta carotene makes skin glow.

Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed year-round, not just on Turkey Day. Try them in place of plain old white potatoes in hash for a bright way to start your morning. Slide a slice under a poached egg for a sturdier base. Roast them for a sweet addition to salads. Slice and bake for healthier homemade chips. Just hold off on shocking them until the pros have perfected the preparation.