Camote tops are the vines of sweet potatoes. We can see them growing in vacant lots and on the roadside all year round. No matter what we call them – either camote tops, camote leaves, or sweet potato leaves, eating them have been associated with amazing health benefits to our body such as improving eye health and bone health, providing antibacterial, antioxidant, and anticoagulant effect, boosting the immune system, preventing bowel movement problems and heart diseases, treating dengue fever, and a lot more.
So, what really makes camote tops good for our bodies? Well, these leaves are excellent sources of impressive amounts of fiber, along with calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and potassium. And here’s more – this common vegetable in the Philippines is also a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamin A and C, riboflavin, thiamin, folic acid, and niacin.
How Do Camote Tops Benefit Diabetics?
As compared to other leafy green veggies, camote tops contain more dietary fiber and nutrients that may be ideal for people who want to lose weight, including diabetics. A fiber-rich diet is particularly important for diabetic people as fiber helps encourage fullness thereby preventing cravings for unnecessary or too much eating. According to studies, camote tops work by stabilizing blood sugar levels, improving insulin resistance, and modulating glucose and blood lipid metabolism.
In a study published in July 2014 in Food and Function, researchers have found that Japanese sweet potato stems and leaves may possibly help control diabetes symptoms when consumed regularly. This effect was mainly attributed to its polyphenols and antioxidants which may help manage blood glucose and decrease the long-term risk for cardiovascular disease, which is of particular concern for people with diabetes. Sweet potato leaves seemed to contain even higher polyphenol levels, according to a study published in May 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition.
Several Ways To Consume Camote Leaves
Tender camote leaves can be chopped and added to various recipes or simply sauté them with butter and garlic, then splash the hot greens with soy sauce or vinegar and a dash of salt.
Steam the leaves by placing them on top of steeping rice and eat with some salty dip.