Sweet Potato Leaves (talbos ng kamote)
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Sweet potato tops (kamote tops or talbos ng kamote) are the shoots and leaves of the sweet potato plant that contains protein, lipids, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins A and C. It is excellent source of anti-oxidative compounds, mainly polyphenolics, which may protect the human body from oxidative stress that is associated with many diseases including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It is relatively low in calories and has no fat and has the highest content of total polyphenolics among other commercial vegetables studied. Studies also indicate that it can also be used as a cure for diabetes particularly the purplish form.
Research also shows that the nutritional content of kamote tops or sweet potato greens can counter attack the downfall of the platelet count of anyone hit by dengue fever by drinking its juice. It boosts the immune system of our body helping our body’s defenses against this sickness. The juice is also great for people with hemorrhaging problems like internal cervical bleeding and intestinal bleeding. It is prepared by boiling the leaves adding a little salt, sugar, or kalamansi to make it easier to drink.
Since it is easy to grow, you can find these leaves anywhere and in the Philippines. In less than a month from planting, you can start harvesting the tops and leaves thus it is usually organic and safe making it more healthy and nutritious.
While it is usually added as vegetable to dishes like sinigang, it can be eaten fresh in salads or with shrimp paste or fish sauce. It can be cooked in vinegar and soy sauce and served with fried fish (Adobong talbos ng kamote). It can also be sautéed in place of spinach adding them to stir-fries or a replacement to another well known green in the Philippines called Kangkong.