Coenzyme Q10 is a component of the mitochondrial chain complex, which is basically the internal powerhouse of the cells in the body.  Mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to be one possible contributor to migraine headaches.  Some studies have shown that the daily use of CoQ10 for migraine headache prevention can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches in up to 50% of patients. CoQ10 can be obtained from dietary sources, particularly in animal liver and animal heart (but these are high in fat).  Plant based sources of CoQ10 include broccoli, soybeans and sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are delicious and have a low glycemic index when they are boiled, but if you bake sweet potatoes the glycemic index doubles (watch out!).  Sweet potatoes are a good plant based source of CoQ10. Why not try mashed sweet potatoes as a healthier side for dinner tonight?

Here is how Dr. Howe eats her sweet potatoes!


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, cleaned-peeled-chopped into 1” pieces
  • ½ white onion, minced
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • ½ tsp pepper (to taste)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil
  2. Add sweet potato pieces and boil for 15 minutes, until tender
  3. While the potato is cooking, add olive oil, garlic and onion to a pan and sautee until the onion is tender
  4. Drain the sweet potatoes and empty into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Hand-mash the potatoes to desired consistency.
  6. Add onion, garlic and drippings from sautee pan to potatoes and fold in.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Amy Lindsay Howe, M.D.