Sweet potatoes contain fiber, vitamin A and calcium. But the way that scientists think they can make them even more healthful is literally shocking. Researchers found that giving a jolt of electricity to sweet potatoes increased the level of antioxidants known as polyphenols by 60 percent.
The investigators placed sweet potatoes in a solution of sodium chloride. They found that 0.2 amps of direct current gave the potatoes nearly one and a half times more antioxidants than potatoes that weren't shocked. The research was presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. [Kazunori Hironaka, Enrichment of antioxidant activity of sweet potato by electric treatment]
It seems that the electric zap stressed the potatoes into producing more polyphenols as a protective mechanism. And the treatment did not sacrifice flavor.
Previous research has shown that electrically supercharging white potatoes increases antioxidant levels. So perhaps it’s only a matter of time before other fruits and vegetables get shock therapy, too.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]