Potatoes – Nutritional information
Potatoes – they are among the most popular vegetables and are eaten by people all over the world. After all, who has not enjoyed a delicious portion of French fries? Yes, we know that the French fries are not very good for our health but potatoes can be made into other delicious dishes, which are much healthier.
They are a root vegetable that is one of the most important energy sources among all foods.
Potatoes can be easily grown and are relatively cheap which further ads to their popularity.
However, they are also full of various important nutrients and have plenty of health benefits.
Per 100g raw potatoes
|Vitamin A||2 IU|
Potatoes help the regulation of blood pressure. If they are well prepared (and, yes, French fries do not count as well prepares but you can make yourself baked or mashed potatoes) they can balance the levels of sodium and, thus, help with water retention and promote the healthy blood pressure. In addition, they can lower the high blood pressure for they contain the specific chemicals anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid.
This vegetable can reduce the inflammation due to containing potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Moreover, it is good against mouth ulcers. Potatoes are beneficial for people with gout or arthritis. However, remember to balance their consummation for they may promote weight gain.
They also promote the health of the brain. The proper functioning of the brain is ensured by the glucose level, the supply of oxygen, the vitamin group B and particular amino acids, hormones and fatty acids. Potatoes contain almost all of those things. Their high carbohydrate content promotes good glucose level in the brain, which keeps high cognitive activity.
They also contain iron – an element that is a constituent of the hemoglobin, the carrier of the oxygen in our body.
Thus, the iron content in this vegetable promotes healthy flow of oxygen to the brain. Other nutrients in the potatoes are also helpful for proper brain functioning – such as phosphorus, vitamins of the B group and zinc.
Potatoes may be beneficial for those with kidney stones, as well. Now, kidney stone are cause by too high levels of uric acids in one’s blood. If you suffer from this condition, you should avoid foods high in protein, calcium and iron. However, although the potatoes contain those, they also have magnesium – this mineral inhibits the calcification (deposition of calcium) in the kidneys.
They contain carotenoids, too. Those nutrients are important for the proper functioning of some of our organs, including the heart. However, again, be careful with the consumption of potatoes for they can increase the levels of glucose in the blood and may lead to obesity if overconsumed or eaten in unhealthy meals.
There are specific types of potatoes – russet and red potatoes – that contain lots of vitamin A and flavonoid antioxidants which have protective properties against various types of cancer. Potatoes also contain quercetin – this compound also has anti-cancer effect.
They can also improve the health of your digestive tract for they contain resistant starch. It is used for food by the beneficial gut bacteria when it reaches the large intestine and is turned into short-chain fatty acids, mostly butyrate. Some studies have linked butyrate to reduced colon inflammation and reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
In addition, butyrate may be helpful for people who suffer from inflammatory bower disorders – a diverticulitis or Crohn’s disease, for
example. Still, this is not fully supported because there is not enough research on the topic.
Potatoes are gluten-free which means that they are really good nutrient source from people suffering from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease – conditions which are characterized by severe stomach discomfort after consumption of foods containing gluten.
With what foods we can eat potatoes
Potatoes go well with plenty of other foods. You can eat them with pork, calf, lamb, chicken or other meat. On the other hand, you can consume them by themselves by frying them up, baking them or making a delicious mashed potato salad. You can even make yourself some BBQ chips.
Mashed potatoes are delicious when combined with turnips, carrots and parsnips. They can also be mixed with seasoning.
Potatoes can also be cooked with regular cheese, yellow cheese and eggs. Alternatively, you can combine them with peas.