Published December 9, 2018 Sweet potatoes often get overlooked because they’re so common, cheap and accessible. But what I’ve learned over the years is that the greatest superfoods are usually not the most exotic or expensive — they’re actually hiding right under our nose! For example, applesauce is one of the most healing, affordable foods for leaky gut… and our good friend the sweet potato happens to be a master at removing the heavy metals we’re exposed to each day. The incredible thing about plants is that they’re hurting from environmental toxin exposure just as much as we are – and they’re able to respond by forming compounds that shield not only them, but us as well when we ingest them. In response to the presence of heavy metals in soil and air, sweet potatoes produce peptide substances called phytochelatins. When we consume these phytochelatins, they bind to the heavy metals within our bodies (such as cadmium, copper, mercury and lead) and safely remove them via the digestive tract. The phytochelatins in sweet potato interact with the mineral sulfur (which helps with liver detoxification) in order to complete this process. Therefore, sweet potatoes are best combined with sulfur-rich cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, garlic and onions. In fact, doctors in the Soviet Union used to combine cabbage with sweet potatoes or yams in a special prophylactic diet for factory workers who were constantly exposed to toxic chemicals and metals within their occupation (John Heinerman, Encyclopedia of Fruits Vegetables and Herbs). Heinerman goes onto say that if you live in a big city with a pollution problem, be sure to eat more of this food combination in order to protect yourself from accumulating or becoming ill from heavy metals in the air we breathe.