China top supplier of sweet potatoes

China is the largest supplier of sweet potatoes, with a production of 130 million tons, i.e. 80% of the world's supply. Approximately 60% of the Chinese sweet potatoes are used to feed pigs. The rest is for human consumption and other products.

North Carolina is the leading state in the US production of sweet potatoes, supplying 30% of the country's production.

Sweet potatoes are fat free and cholesterol free, low in sodium and easy to prepare. They are rich in complex carbohydrates, fibre and beta carotene (a compound that the body converts into vitamin A, C, B6, manganese and potassium).

Sweet potatoes contain about half of the daily requirement of vitamin C. Along with beta carotene, this vitamin is one of the antioxidants that scientists believe can prevent heart disease and cancer, boost the immune system and even slow ageing. With only 120 calories per half sweet potato, they are a pretty complete package.

Despite their sweetness, sweet potatoes can be beneficial for diabetics and some studies with animals have shown that they can help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance.

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