Sweet Potato …Leaves?

   This week, in spirit of trying something new, my nutrition mantra , I went out on the “vine” and ordered some sweet potato leaves.  When the big bag arrived I showed the greens to my trusty advisor in all things relating to Chinese food, my ayi, to get her opinion. She gave me an odd look and said that Chinese people usually throw these away and just use the potato. She emphasized that even the country people don’t eat these greens.

However she was game to try them. The recommendation from the purveyor was that you should add them to your salad. I opened the bag and ripped off a few leaves to try.  Well…in my opinion I thought they tasted like dirt. In fairness the ayi did say I should have washed them first and she may have been right on that one. Not put off, I next tried the stem, which did have a very nice flavor, almost a bit sweet.  In the end we gave up on the salad idea and went right to the Chinese cook’s staple, stir fry with onion and garlic…very tasty!

Sweet potato leaves are another one of those overlooked nutrition gems. The leaves  are an excellent source of vitamin A and C , riboflavin and folate, two very important vitamins.  Riboflavin aka B2 is the body’s key to making energy, it starts the process that frees up energy from the carbohydrates we eat and as well as being the metabolic bridge that our bodies need to use niacin ( B3), very important to cardiac health .

Folate is vital for females of child bearing age as adequate folate levels reduce the risk of birth defects in any potential baby.  For the rest of us folate is an essential part of red blood cell production.

Being a dark green veggie automatically makes sweet potato leaves high in important antioxidants, substances that help protect us against all forms of chronic disease and promote eye health.  On top of  these nutrition benefits, sweet potato leaves are a great source of fiber  (automatic method of detox)  and a good source of protein. As an added bonus they are a very low GL  (glycemic load) food.

From a nutrition standpoint these greens should go in the super food category. From the Eat Well standpoint I think there are probably many creative ways to include them in your diet, even in your salad!

Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!


Eat Well Shanghai holds office hours by appointment twice a month at:

The Orange Room Center for Wellness

St.Laurent Building, #201,7B

3215 Hong Mei Lu ph. 6406 3642



This Week’s Thirst Quencher

  Ever since my personal flirtation with severe dehydration this summer I have been fairly vigilant about keeping the ‘ol water tank filled.  I try to keep water bottles strategically placed around the house, in the car and at work but sometimes plain water is just that… plain boring.

Today was one of those days where I needed  a bit more to lift my sagging spirit. So out came the blender and in went the watermelon, the ice, the coconut water, the luscious raspberries from Marks& Spencer (check the freezer section for  beautiful, whole raspberries) and finally a couple of good spritzes from calamansi limes. A few spins in the blender and voila! Your Thirst Quencher of the week. Full of vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants including flavonoids and ellagic acid.

With this concoction not only are you replenishing and rehydrating but you are giving your health a boost with these two antioxidants.   Flavonoids are helpful in lowering cholesterol, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease and ellagic acid is thought to reduce your risk of cancer  by assisting your liver in removing harmful toxins. Who knew health could taste so good? Now you do!

Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!

PS. The brand new 2nd Edition of the Eat Well Shanghai Guide to Eating Well at Home and on the Go will be available this weekend at the Expat Show. Find it at the Gluten Free Shanghai booth!


Eat Well Shanghai holds office hours by appointment twice a month at:

The Orange Room Center for Wellness

St.Laurent Building, #201,7B

3215 Hong Mei Lu  ph. 6406 3642


Please contact info@eatwellshanghai.com for more information and an appointment.