Antioxidant Vegetables: Sweet Potato Leaves

Sweet potato leaves contain a variety of nutrients, such as carotene, lutein, vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and cellulose. (Image: Aris Riyanto  via  Wikimedia CC BY 3.0)
Sweet potato leaves contain a variety of nutrients, such as carotene, lutein, vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and cellulose. (Image: Aris Riyanto via Wikimedia CC BY 3.0)

Sweet potato leaves contain a variety of nutrients, such as carotene, lutein, vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and cellulose. The Compendium of Materia Medica notes that sweet potato leaves have a sweet taste and can replenish qi with mild medicinal properties, and have functions such as moisturizing, nourishing, nourishing blood, and stopping bleeding.  Sweet potato leaves have the following benefits:

  • Help to prevent cancer: Sweet potato leaves contain carotene, lutein, vitamins A, and C, which can resist oxidation and fight against free radicals that cause cancer.
  • Maintaining cardiovascular health: Sweet potato leaves can remove excess triglycerides in the blood, lower cholesterol, and prevent hypertension.
  • Preventing constipation: Sweet potato leaves are rich in cellulose, and thereby eating more sweet potato leaves and drinking more water can prevent constipation.
  • Improving the symptoms of menopause: If women eat sweet potato leaves with soy products, protein, or other foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, their menopause symptoms will improve.
  • Maintaining vision: Eating sweet potato leaves regularly can strengthen your vision and avoid myopia.
The Compendium of Materia Medica notes that sweet potato leaves have a sweet taste and can replenish qi with mild medicinal properties. (Image: Wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

The ‘Compendium of Materia Medica’ notes that sweet potato leaves have a sweet taste and can replenish qi. (Image: Wikimedia / CC0 1.0)

Sweet potato or yam leaves are the plant leaves of the genus Ipomoea in the family of Convolvulaceae, which can be eaten as a vegetable. In early times, farmers who planted sweet potatoes made the best use of them, and so most of them were cut and cooked.

Sweet potato leaves have so many benefits, but how to choose them? First, the color of sweet potato leaves must be dark green, bright, and smooth. Sweet potato leaves with wider leaves and long stems will taste sweeter and crisper. Do not select those that look black, dehydrated, wrinkled, damaged, or yellowed, and pay more attention to whether there are pesticide residues. Following these guidelines, the sweet potato leaves you picked should be beautiful, healthy, and safe.

How to cook sweet potato leaves is also important. If you do not cook them well, nobody will want to eat them, and it will be a pity to waste such a good vegetable.

The color of sweet potato leaves must be dark green, bright, and smooth. (Image: eatstayfarm.com / CC0 1.0)

The color of sweet potato leaves must be dark green, bright, and smooth. (Image: eatstayfarm.com / CC0 1.0)

Due to the high iron content of sweet potato leaves, many people stir-fry sweet potato leaves until they are soft, overcooked, and turn black because of the iron. As a result, sweet potato leaves look bad and lose their fresh and tender taste, and nobody likes to eat such a dark mass! So here is another simple method to cook sweet potato leaves.

Prepare 200 g sweet potato leaves, 5 garlic cloves, 10 g ginger, and seasoning: a little salt, a little white pepper, 1 tsp of sesame oil, and 1 tsp of rice wine. Take a pot, pour salad oil and sesame oil into it, add ginger and garlic, and fry until slightly golden.

To fry crispy sweet potato leaves, the pot must be hot enough. Add sweet potato leaves, add a little bit of hot water and rice wine, cover the pot, and then simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute until completely cooked Open the lid, add salt and white pepper powder, stir quickly, and then serve on a platter. If fried this way, sweet potato leaves must be eaten quickly.

Translated by Joseph Wu and edited by Helen

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