The impact of steaming is particularly interesting, since only two minutes of steaming have been show to deactivate peroxidase enzymes that might otherwise be able to break down anthocyanins found in the sweet potato.
Soybeans have glycinins, potatoes have patatins, yams have dioscorins, and corn has zeins.
While researchers have long been aware of sporamins—storage proteins in sweet potato—only recently has research shown some of their unique antioxidant properties.
Among these categories are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients.
Each category brings with it valuable health benefits.
That's because scientists have now identified the exact genes in sweet potatoes (Ib MYB1 and Ib MYB2) that get activated to produce the purple anthocyanin pigments responsible for the rich purple tones of the flesh.