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What is the Best Carb to Eat? The Longest Living People Ate This

by Christal Burnette 03 Apr 2024 0 Comments


I don't know about you...

my fellow moai'in, but it is hard to believe when looking at this picture that this is one of the best, if not THE best, carb to eat for longevity.
In recent years, the purple sweet potato has gained significant attention in the culinary world and health-conscious communities. However, it has been around in Okinawa for much longer. Its vibrant hue and distinct flavor make it a delightful addition to various dishes. However, what truly sets the purple sweet potato apart is its impressive nutritional profile. It is high in fiber and has an abundance of antioxidants, allowing this potato to stand out as one of the best carbs to incorporate into your diet.
The Okinawan diet has long been studied for its association with longevity and overall health. Did you know that one of the key components of their traditional diet is the consumption of purple sweet potatoes, locally known as "beni imo"? The Okinawans have incorporated these vibrant potatoes into their meals for centuries, and it is believed to be one of the factors contributing to their exceptional health and longevity. Rice does not grow well in subtropical Okinawa so they did not have much of that. Nor did they have white potatoes as they didn't grow well in Okinawan soil. Also, oats, lentils, and the like were unheard of. Even to this day, I am bringing oatmeal to my Okinawan friends' houses to have them try it for the first time!

So why is the purple sweet potato so good?

Staple Food:

Purple sweet potatoes were considered a staple food in the traditional Okinawan diet. They were consumed in various forms, including boiled, steamed, roasted, and even made into flour. The Okinawans would incorporate them into a wide array of dishes, from savory stews to sweet desserts.

Abundance of Nutrients:

The purple sweet potato played a vital role in providing essential nutrients to the Okinawan people. These potatoes are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which contributed to the overall nutritional balance of their diet. The high fiber content aided in digestion and promoted a healthy gut, while the vitamins and minerals supported immune function, energy production, and overall well-being. Other carbs like white rice have little nutrition in comparison.


The vibrant purple color of these potatoes is due to the presence of anthocyanins, a potent group of antioxidants. The Okinawans valued the antioxidant properties of purple sweet potatoes, as they help combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body. These antioxidants are believed to play a significant role in the longevity and health benefits observed in the Okinawan population. Beni-imo is the only carb that has high amounts of antioxidants making it an incredibly healthy addition to your diet.

Low Glycemic Index:

This is an important one. One of the remarkable features of purple sweet potatoes is their low glycemic index (GI). The GI is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI provide a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream, preventing sudden spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. This property of purple sweet potatoes makes them an excellent carbohydrate choice, promoting stable energy levels and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. White bread, white potatoes, instant oatmeal, and white rice have relatively high GI indexes. Are you understanding why purple sweet potato is the best option, yet?

Culinary Creativity:

The Okinawans' culinary creativity with purple sweet potatoes allowed them to enjoy these nutritious taters in a variety of ways. They were used in both savory and sweet dishes, adding flavor, texture, and vibrant colors to meals. From purple sweet potato tempura and stir-fried dishes to traditional Okinawan sweets like imo-ten and imo-jiru, the versatility of purple sweet potatoes was fully explored in the Okinawan cuisine.
The Okinawans incorporated purple sweet potatoes, or beni imo, as a staple food in their traditional diet. Their consumption of these purple potatoes provided them with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and a low glycemic carbohydrate source. The Okinawans' creative and diverse use of purple sweet potatoes in their cuisine allowed them to enjoy the nutritional benefits while savoring delicious meals. By adopting the Okinawan approach to incorporating purple sweet potatoes into your own diet, even you can tap into the health-promoting properties of this remarkable tuber.
Purple sweet potatoes are sold at farmer's markets and are sometimes found in local supermarkets these days. Go on the search and find one! It will be one of the best things you can do for your longevity journey. Yutashiku!
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