There are some benefits of potatoes that a lot of us may not have known. As one of the most popular vegetables (yes, potatoes are vegetables!) around the world, potatoes have a lot of great nutritional goodness. Don’t even get us started on the endless list of different ways you can cook and enjoy your potatoes. Yummy!
Potatoes have come into the limelight in the last few years due to the interest in low carb foods. That notwithstanding, potatoes have been pretty much around from the earliest days, and it does not seem like they are going anywhere anytime soon.
Here are some interesting benefits of potatoes you may not be aware of before.
1. Potatoes Contain a Little Bit of Everything
The nutritional quality of potatoes is unmatched, just like eggs. They contain a little bit of everything. “Everything” in this sense denotes almost every nutrient you can think of (if not all) and more.
Have you ever seen anyone cook and eat their potatoes with the skin all intact? That’s because a great portion of these nutrients is found in the peel. Some of the nutrients found in potatoes are folate, magnesium, niacin, vitamins, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, protein, fats, calories, fiber, carbs, and so on.
2. Potatoes Decrease the Risk of Developing Chronic Diseases
A lot of the diseases you may have suffered may be as a result of the type of food you have in your diet (or the type of food you don’t). It is as a wise man once said, “let they food be thy medicine”. Making potatoes a regular part of your diet can help you fight off some chronic diseases like certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, etc; All thanks to the rich antioxidant content of potatoes.
Potatoes are rich in antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, etc. These compounds neutralize potentially harmful molecules in the body known as free radicals. There is really nothing you can do to stop these free radicals from accumulating in your body. But living a healthy lifestyle and eating organic nutritious foods like potatoes can help you get rid of them.
3. Potatoes Can Improve Blood Sugar Level and Control
One notable content of potatoes that makes it very efficient in controlling blood sugar levels is a type of starch known as resistant starch. The body cannot fully breakdown or absorb the starch. Rather, the starch proves to be very effective in the large intestine, serving as a source of nutrient to the good bacteria in the guts.
If you ever want to increase the resistant starch in potatoes (for whatever reason), you can boil your potatoes, store them in the fridge overnight, and eat them cold the next morning.
4. Potatoes are Good For The Bones
The bone structures and strength of the body are greatly supported by some of the nutrients found in potatoes. Calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc are all well represented in potatoes and they help in the development and maintenance of body tissues.
The elderly can benefit a lot from eating potatoes too since their bones tend to get weaker as a result of old age. Eating potatoes from a very early age also reduces the chance of having bone related issues at old age.
5. Potatoes Keep Inflammation in Check
If you suffer from excess acidity in your stomach, eating a lot of potatoes may be your saving grace. According to experts, potatoes sooth the stomach and prevents stomach ulcers by reducing the acidity of the stomach. They also play a notable role in relieving the inflammation associated with arthritis.
The anti-inflammatory effect of potato can be linked to its choline content. Aside from keeping inflammation on the low, choline also helps with muscle movement, mood, and brain health.
6. Potatoes Have Some Anti-Cancer Properties
Another very active content of potatoes is folate; a compound which plays a role in the repair and synthesis of DNA. Folate also prevents many types of cancer from developing as a result of mutations in the DNA. This is a very good one for cancer patients or anyone with a history of cancer.
7. Potatoes Help to Boost Metabolism
If potatoes are a regular part of your diet, your health will be top notch all the time. Eating potatoes on a regular basis helps to boost your metabolism. This means you’ll feel very alive and strong enough to take on anything life throws at you (maybe).
Potatoes are a great source of vitamin B6 which play a very vital role in energy metabolism. They breakdown carb and protein food particles into amino acids and glucose. This makes it easier for the body to access and utilize the energy within the body.
8. Potatoes are Good for the Brain
A good number of vitamins and mineral in potatoes positively affect the function of the brain. It maintains a healthy level of cognition and neurological health. Potatoes are rich in starch, which is a perfect source of energy for the brain. They also contain alpha lipoic acid, a coenzyme that helps to boost the overall cognitive health.
9. Potatoes Help to Promote Digestion
One thing about vegetables is they are high in different forms of fiber. Potato is a type of vegetable, and eating it regularly ensures that you get a constant supply of fiber. This means you’ll have a better chance at controlling your weight because fiber-rich foods get you filled up quickly and keeps you filled for longer too.
10. Potatoes Promote Sleep
The final benefit of potatoes on our list (but not the least) is the ability of potatoes to promote sleep. Potato contains a natural sedative known as Tryptophan. This sedative does not only promote sleep, but it also makes the sleep worthwhile (if you know what I mean).
Aside from Tryptophan sedative, the potassium content of potatoes also acts as a muscle relaxant which brings about more restful sleep.
These are just 10 out of a really long list of the benefits of potatoes. The point remains that there is more to potatoes than meets the eye. If you want to enjoy the numerous benefits of potatoes, it is best you bake, boil it, or use the juice. Deep frying potatoes can strip it of its great benefits.
Also, the nutritional qualities of potato peels must not be ignored (do not be irked, they are really good!!!). For the best interest of your health, it is always better to eat potatoes without taking off the skin.