Potatoes are easily the most popular vegetables eaten across the world. A study claimed that after rice, wheat and maize, potatoes are the fourth largest food crop grown around the world.
Potatoes are tubers, or fleshy roots, and grow underground. Like all tuber vegetables, like sweet potatoes and yam, potatoes are also choke full of essential minerals and vitamins.
Potatoes are very healthy for you, as long as you eat them right – boiled, baked or even grilled potatoes are far healthier than fried ones. In this article we will look at why potatoes are healthy for you.
Potatoes are rich in minerals
The various minerals found in potatoes are – Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc, Iron and Copper.
Among the top 20 frequently consumed vegetables, potatoes rank the highest for potassium content. Potassium is a very essential mineral in the human body, it helps in nerve stimulation and response, moderates muscle contraction and keeps a proper balance of water inside and outside the cells.
Make sure you eat most of your potatoes with the skin on, as the skin is very rich in all the minerals mentioned above.
Potatoes Contain Essential Vitamins
The potato is a great source of Vitamin B6 which is critically important for cardiovascular (heart) health. Potatoes also contain Vitamin C, Thiamin, Niacin and folate.
Potatoes are Good for Colon health
The potato is a rich source of carbohydrate in the form of starch.
When you boil a potato, the starch becomes digestible, but a small part of this starch (7%) remains resistant to digestion and is passed onto the large intestine intact.
This “digestion resistant” starch has a beneficial effect on the colon, similar to fiber. It offers protection against colon cancer, improves insulin sensitivity, reduces plasma cholesterol and creates a feeling of satiety.
The fiber content in a potato skin is equivalent to that of many whole grains. This dietary fiber also improves your colon health, and aids in reducing issues like constipation and improper bowel movement.
Potatoes Reduce Inflammation and Protect against Cancer
It has been found that potatoes contains several “phytochemicals” such as carotenoids and polyphenols, which act as antioxidants in the body and help get rid of free radicals (which can cause inflammation and cancer).
Potato Juice Can Heal Skin Related Problems
In fact, potato juice is considered to be a great tonic for your health with the capacity to detoxify the blood and heal the body. It has been found to heal acne and eczema!
You may not relish the taste of potato juice, so you can add a dash of lemon or apple juice to it. If you have skin blemishes or inflammations (like acne or pimples), try drinking potato juice in the morning on daily basis – it will leave you with a healthy skin resulting from a toxin free blood.
So potatoes are healthy for you even when taken as a juice.
Are Potatoes Fattening?
Most people seem to be afraid of consuming potatoes for the fear of putting on weight.
But in truth, a whole, large sized, potato contains around 150 calories (when baked or boiled), which is not a lot and these are healthy calories.
What makes potatoes fattening is the dressing or gravy used with it, like the various fattening sauces, creams, salsas and dips. Fried potatoes are fattening because of the oil used in the process.
Are Potatoes Bad for You in Any Way?
Avoid eating potatoes that have a green tint on their skin.
Such potatoes are irritating to the stomach and contain a certain chemical called solanine which will cause bitter taste and bowel disorder.
Deep frying potatoes, like French fries, causes the formation of a acrylamide (a toxic substance created when starch is processed at high temperature). This chemical can cause inflammation and create oxidants in the body.
So to keep the potatoes healthy for you be sure to cook them right way – boil, bake or grill. Consume these tubers with their skin to get the maximum health benefit.