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As just mentioned, the main use of the sweet potato is the alimentary one, where it finds ample space and use in the popular dishes of different regions; in fact, this vegetable is particularly rich in vitamin A and B9, as well as potassium, starch (up to 18%) and sugar. Vitamin A is responsible for the well-being of the tissues, maintaining healthy skin, intervening favorably in sight disorders and promoting bone growth; Vitamin B9, on the other hand, helps to resolve all those disorders concerning the gastrointestinal system and, thanks to the presence of folic acid, the sweet potato also helps to maintain mental lucidity and memory. As for the preparation and cooking of this vegetable, the sweet potato has different times and methods, depending on the recipe you intend to cook; if you want to use it lightly or to be crushed for the purè, the sweet potato must first be washed and finally boiled in cold water (never hot). If, on the other hand, you want to prepare a more tasty side dish such as French fries or baked potatoes, it is advisable to wash them, peel them, then cut them as you wish and finally cook them with oil (depending on the recipe). Regardless of which dish you want to prepare, it is advisable to keep the sweet potato soaked in cold water to prevent it from turning black.Although not many people are aware of it, the potato plant sweet is also widespread as an ornamental indoor plant, as it is easy to grow and does not require any special care or attention, even favoring those who do not have the so-called "green thumb"; first you need to get the tuber and dip it in a glass jar or glass and immerse it halfway in water, so that the upper part comes out of the container. After this operation, the sweet potato plant must be exposed to sunlight, even direct for a few hours, and kept in an environment with a temperature that is never less than 13 degrees; already after a few days it will be possible to see new roots sprouting inside the container and, on the outside, new shoots that will later become light green leaves. The sweet potato plant will reach its flowering peak after about a couple of months, with a rather high stem; the only care is to keep the pot and the roots of the plant well watered. The lifespan of the sweet potato plant is quite long, around one year, while in spring the leaves will begin to turn yellow.The sweet potato as a natural dye
As anticipated in the introductory part, the sweet potato can also be used as a natural colorant, to be used not only in the food sector, but also in textiles; this technique is particularly developed in South America, but it is finding ample space also in Europe. Obviously it must be specified that not all types of sweet potatoes are suitable for this use, but rather that of purple and red are particularly suitable for this purpose; for example, the red potato extract can be used together with lime as a natural fabric dye, a practice quite common in South America.