Benefits of Potatoes

Benefits of Potatoes

A multipurpose root vegetable, potatoes are a common household staple. 

They are a type of underground tuber that develops on the Solanum tuberosum plant’s roots. 

In general, potatoes are cheap, easy to grow, and packed with nutrients. 

Fibre, which helps you lose weight by keeping you fuller longer, is found in potatoes. By controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels, fibre can help avoid heart disease. Additionally, potatoes are a great source of vitamins that support healthy bodily functioning and antioxidants that fight disease. 

Nutritional benefits

A medium portion (175g) of boiled potatoes (flesh and skin) provides:

  • 119kcal / 509kJ
  • 3.1g protein
  • 0.2g fat
  • 26.1g carbohydrate
  • 1.9g sugar
  • 3.1g fibre
  • 12mg vitamin C

Additionally, potatoes can enhance your health in the ways listed below:

Bone health

The iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and zinc in potatoes all help the body to build and maintain bone structure and strength.

Iron and zinc play crucial roles in the production and maturation of collagen.

Phosphorus and calcium are both important in bone structure, but it is essential to balance

the two minerals for proper bone mineralization. Too much phosphorus and too little calcium result in bone loss and contribute to osteoporosis.

May Be Easy to Digest

Since potatoes may predominantly contain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and they may also facilitate digestion. This property might make them a good diet for babies or for those who cannot digest hard food, but need energy. However, remember that eating too many of them on a regular basis may cause acidity over time.

Lower Blood Pressure

Baked potato skin is a great source of potassium and magnesium. When you don’t have enough potassium in your diet, your body retains extra sodium, and too much sodium raises your blood pressure. A potassium rich diet can help decrease blood pressure, protecting the heart and reducing the risk of stroke.

May support blood sugar management

Being rich in resistant starch, potatoes may benefit blood sugar control and help manage appetite. Animal studies have linked resistant starch from potatoes with better insulin sensitivity, lower fat accumulation and less weight gain. A study showed this appears to be replicated in healthy humans. It’s worth remembering that you can increase the resistant starch  content of potatoes by boiling, cooling and storing them in the fridge before eating.

Potatoes are also a useful source of a type of fibre called pectin, which helps slow stomach emptying, keeps you fuller for longer and helps lower the blood sugar effects of a meal.

May Aid In Skin Care

Vitamins C and B-complex, as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, may be good for the skin. Apart from that, the pulp obtained from crushed  raw potatoes, when mixed with honey, may work well in skin and face packs. This might even help with pimples and spots on the skin. Again, this pulp, if applied externally on burns, may provide quick relief and faster healing. Smashed potatoes and even water in which they have been washed may also be very good for softening rough skin, especially around the elbows.

Source of protective antioxidants

Potatoes are a useful source of plant compounds that have a protective antioxidant effect. The flesh of the potato is a source of carotenoids including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial for the eye. Potatoes are also a source of polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, the predominant of which are catechin and epicatechin.

Highly Versatile 

Potatoes are not only flavorful and adaptable, but also nutritious. 

Boiling, baking, and steaming are just a few of the many ways to prepare potatoes. However, if you use a lot of oil when frying potatoes, their calorie count may go up significantly. 

As an alternative, consider chopping potatoes and roasting them in the oven with a little extra virgin olive oil and rosemary. 

The majority of the nutrients are found in the potato skin, so avoid removing it. This will guarantee that you get the most nutrients possible from the potato.

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