Potato is one of the most common foods on the planet. Its scientific name is Solanum tuberosum. The English word potato comes from Spanish patata (the name used in Spain). The Spanish Royal Academy says the Spanish word is a hybrid of the Taíno batata (sweet potato) and the Quechua papa (potato). According to a research published by David Spooner in 2005, potatoes come from southern Peru. After that, they have spread around the world and become a staple crop in many countries. Potatoes are favored because they are not only delicious but also good for health. Potatoes are usually boiled, roasted, or fried. They are often used as side dishes or snacks
Potatoes are rich in vitamins C and B6, potassium, manganese, fiber, phosphorus, niacin (also known as vitamin B3, nicotinic acid, or vitamin PP) and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).
Surprisingly, they contain a few calories (a medium potato contains 110 calories). Potatoes have a lot of carbohydrates, but they are low in protein. Primarily, they do not contain fat.
Top 8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Potatoes
1. Strengthen Bones
The phosphorous, iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium in potatoes help your body to maintain and build bone strength and structure. In detail, zinc and iron play vital roles in the production and development of collagen.
Besides, calcium and phosphorus are essential in bone structure. However, it is essential for you to balance these minerals for proper mineralization of bones. In fact, too little calcium and too much phosphorus contribute to osteoporosis and lead to bone loss.
2. Stabilize Blood Pressure
The potassium in potatoes increases the elasticity of the blood vessels, which improves blood circulation and prevents the instability of blood pressure. For this reason, potatoes are medicine to stabilize blood pressure effectively. Besides, the presence of fiber in potatoes is helpful in lowering cholesterol and improving the functions of insulin in the body, which aids in reducing high blood pressure.
3. Be Good For Skin
Vitamin B-complex and C, as well as essential minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and potassium, are good for your skin health. Moreover, the pulp from crushed raw potatoes, as mixed with raw honey, can work wonders for skin and face masks. This also helps treat spots and pimples on the skin. Also, if you apply this pulp to burns, it provides fast relief and quicker healing. Using the combination of mashed potatoes and water helps to soften and clean dark skin, especially the dark elbows.
4. Help Prevent Cancer
In fact, certain types of potatoes, especially red and russet potatoes, have high levels of vitamin A and flavonoid antioxidants, like carotenes and zeaxanthin. They can protect you from many types of cancer. Moreover, according to the Agricultural Research, potatoes have a compound called quercetin. It has been proven to exhibit anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects. Besides, the high sources of vitamin C and A found in potatoes have antioxidant effects that can protect the body from the impact of cancer.
5. Stabilize Weight
When you eat potatoes, you will be full faster and longer because of its high fiber content, which makes you eat less. Moreover, the fiber in potatoes is good for digestion, and it helps to break down and metabolize carbohydrates and proteins into energy for the body. That is useful for the weight loss process.
Besides, potatoes are made of carbohydrates and include very little protein, which makes them an excellent diet for thin people who want to put on weight. Also, the vitamin C and B-complex in potatoes help the body to absorb carbohydrates properly. Therefore, potatoes are included in the daily diet of sumo wrestlers and other athletes who require vast energy reserves to compete.
6. Improve Brain Function And Nervous System
Vitamin B6 found in potatoes is necessary to maintain the health of the nervous system. Eating potatoes helps to reduce the risk of depression and stress. Also, potatoes contain a large number of carbohydrates, so they can maintain glucose levels in the blood and make the brain to work better. Furthermore, because potassium dilates the blood vessels, your brain is ensured to receive enough blood.
7. Be Good For Heart
The fiber content of potatoes helps reduce cholesterol in the blood vessels, while vitamin C and B6 in it help to reduce the number of free radicals. Moreover, potatoes have certain substances called carotenoids (zeaxanthin and lutein). As you may know, carotenoids are beneficial for the functions of internal organs and heart health.
Moreover, potatoes increase the glucose level in your blood, so over-consumption of potatoes may cause obesity, which will put pressure on the heart. Therefore, you should be careful about eating potatoes for this benefit. This benefit of preventing heart conditions is not highly recommended for diabetic or obese people.
8. Promote Digestion
Potatoes mainly contain carbohydrates, so they are very easy to digest, and they facilitate digestion. This value makes them a fantastic diet for babies or people who cannot digest hard foods but require energy. Nevertheless, remember that consuming too many potatoes regularly can cause acidity over time.
Also, potatoes contain a right amount of roughage or fiber, which is more in cold and raw potatoes than hot or boiled ones. This aids in increasing secretion of gastric juices and stimulating peristaltic motion, which helps ease digestion, prevent conditions such as constipation, and protect the body from some severe diseases such as colorectal cancer. Additionally, fiber is related to removing cholesterol from the blood vessels and arteries, which improves heart health.
We can deny the benefits of potatoes, but we must be careful when using potatoes. Although potatoes are rich in nutrients, they will be harmful to health when we do not know how to use potatoes properly.
- Sprouted potatoes:
Sprouted potatoes contain a lot of solanine and chaconine, two types of glycoalkaloids that can damage the nervous system.
- Green potatoes:
Potatoes turn to green because they are exposed to the light, which causes a higher level of solanine. When the level of solanine increases, it also creates a bitter taste for potatoes after cooking. However, you can cut off the green part and eat the rest.
- Preserve potatoes in the refrigerator:
You should not protect potatoes in the fridge because when they are below seven degrees Celsius, the starch in the potatoes turns into sugar. At this time the potatoes flavor are not as fresh and tasty as they were. It is better to leave them in a paper bag and place them in a place where there is no the sunlight.
How To Choose Potatoes
Smooth potatoes are excellent and delicious. Moreover, yellow potatoes are sweeter and more aromatic than white potatoes. You should choose the same tubers because it will be easy to prepare for your cooking purpose.
How To Cook Potatoes
As with other foods, the nutritional value of the potatoes depends on the processing. Fried or buttered potatoes can be very delicious but not good for health. You should grill, steam, or cook soup with potatoes, all of which will help take advantage of the nutritional value of the potatoes.
This guest post is by Emily Pham, a blogger with many years of experience in searching the best natural home remedies for beauty and health issue. All content provided is for informational and educational purposes. We recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine which method is appropriate to you.