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  • Josie Barnes

Sweet Potatoes are SO good for you!

Updated: Apr 23

Okinawan Imo: A Supercharged Purple Sweet Potato

If you haven't seen Live to 100, Secrets of the Blue Zones on Netflix, you're missing out. Four simple episodes of half and hour each that will change the way you live and help you live to 100.

Okinawan imo, also known as purple sweet potato, is a traditional staple of the Okinawan diet. It is a supercharged version of the common yellow-orange sweet potato, with a higher nutrient content and a lower glycemic load. This cheeky little Japanese sweet potato, is simply the cornerstone of the traditional Okinawan diet, which is a cuisine synonymous with good health and longevity (watch it on Netflix). Yet this rockstar ingredient became the starch of choice on these islands not because it’s nutrient-dense or rich in antioxidants, but mostly by necessity.

Okinawan imo is a good source of complex carbohydrates (they ones you should be eating), fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. It is also high in antioxidants, including anthocyanins and sporamin. Anthocyanins are the compounds that give blueberries their blue colour, and they have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving cardiovascular health. Sporamin is an antioxidant that has been shown to have anti-aging properties.

Okinawan imo is a versatile food that can be eaten in a variety of ways. It can be steamed, roasted, boiled, or mashed. It can also be used in soups, stews, and salads.

Here are a few ideas for adding Okinawan imo to your diet:

  • Steam Okinawan imo and serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish.

  • Add Okinawan imo to a soup or stew, such as chicken noodle soup or lentil soup.

  • Make an Okinawan imo salad with quinoa, black beans, and vegetables.

  • Cook Okinawan imo porridge with milk, cinnamon, and fruit for a healthy and delicious breakfast.

  • Make an Okinawan imo risotto with mushrooms, onions, and white wine.

Where to Find Okinawan Imo

The best places to find Okinawan imo are Asian markets, but they are also sold through many online grocers. If you cannot find Okinawan imo, you can substitute any other type of sweet potato.


Okinawan imo is a nutritious and delicious food that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you are looking for a healthy and delicious addition to your diet, Okinawan imo is a great option. If you can't find it, just use purple sweet potatoes that we get in Australia everywhere :)

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