MyMT™ Blog

MyMT™ Kitchen: Improve your Blood Pressure with this Kumara (Sweet Potato) Mash

The health needs of women during their menopause and post-menopause years cannot be underestimated. For many of you, whether you are on Menopause HRT or not, or other medications, one of the main changes you can make to your diet is to include sweet potatoes.

If you can find the purple variety of sweet potatoes (kumara) and orange sweet potatoes, then please add them to your shopping list.

The purple pigments contain powerful Anthocyanins, which are now evidenced to improve the status of our blood vessels, which in turn improves blood pressure (Tsang, Smail et al, 2018). The pigments in Orange sweet potatoes, also provide one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, a carotenoid known for its eye health benefits and ability to reduce cancer risks.

Very few women understand that one of the main changes that occurs during the menopause transition, especially the transition from menopause to post-menopause, (when periods have ended for a year or more), is to the inside of the blood vessels and to the outside of the nerves (the myelin sheath). The changes occurring as oestrogen levels naturally decline, means that inflammation increases as does the loss of some of the elasticity of the blood vessels.

If you’ve been following my articles for a while, you will know that I often talk about a condition called ‘vascular stiffness’ (also known as ‘arterial stiffness’). 

Newer nutritional research suggests that Anthocyanins in sweet potatoes (and other purple foods), exert their beneficial effects through improvements in gut microbiota, oxidative stress and inflammation, and in the influence of nerve transmitting pathways. For those of you struggling with concentration, memory, brain-fog and anxiety, then please take note!

Making small changes to our diet offers powerful health benefits as we move through menopause. And no, sometimes it doesn’t suit family members and this is often why women feel that they can’t make changes to their nutrition in midlife. However, I’m sure that if you serve up this delicious kumara mash with either orange sweet potato or purple sweet potato or a combination of both, then the entire family will benefit and enjoy it too. 

Kumara Mash with Olive Oil

Serves 6 as a side

  • 4 medium Sweet Potatoes (chopped into small pieces)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (you may need less than this)
  • A handful of parsley or spring onions


  1. Boil a pot of water with a pinch of salt and add the sweet potatoes and garlic cloves to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook the sweet potatoes until they are soft enough to mash (approx. 15 minutes).
  2. Remove from heat and drain the boiling water. Add the olive oil slowly until you get to the right consistency of mash (you may not need the entire amount). Add parsley or spring onions and serve.


Neela S, Fanta SW. Review on nutritional composition of orange-fleshed sweet potato and its role in management of vitamin A deficiency. Food Sci Nutr. 2019 May 17;7(6):1920-1945. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.1063. PMID: 31289641

Panchal SK, John OD, Mathai ML, Brown L. Anthocyanins in Chronic Diseases: The Power of Purple. Nutrients. 2022 May 23;14(10):2161. doi: 10.3390/nu14102161.

Tsang C, Smail NF, Almoosawi S, McDougall GJM, Al-Dujaili EAS. Antioxidant Rich Potato Improves Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Adults. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2018 Sep;73(3):203-208. doi: 10.1007/s11130-018-0673-2.

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