Potatoes can be used as a root vegetable or staple food in many households. They are underground tubes that grow from the roots of the solanum tuberosum tree. Potatoes are cheap and easy to grow. They can also be packed with various nutrients.
Here are health and potato nutrition facts:
1. Packed With Nutrients
One medium baked potato (17.3 ounces or 173g) includes the skin
- Calories: 161
- Fat 0.25 grams
- Protein: 4.3 grams
- Carbs: 36.6 grams
- Fiber: 3.8g
- Vitamin D: 28% RDI
- Vitamin D6: 27% RDI
- Potassium: 26% RDI
- Manganese: 19.5% of the RDI
- Magnesium :12% RDI
- 12% of RDI: phosphates
- Niacin: 12% RDI
- Folate :12% RDI
The variety of potatoes you choose and the way they are prepared can affect their nutritional content. Frying potatoes, on the other hand, adds more calories to them than baking.
You should also remember that potato skin contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals. It can reduce the nutritional content of potatoes by peeling.
2. Contain Antioxidants
Potatoes contain high levels of compounds such as flavonoids and carotenoids.
These compounds act as antioxidants in your body by neutralizing potentially dangerous molecules known as free radicals. The risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer can rise if free radicals are allowed to accumulate.
One example is the test-tube study that found that antioxidants in potatoes might suppress the growth of colon and liver cancer cells.
Studies also showed that colors like purple potatoes have three to 4 times more antioxidants per gram than white potatoes. This means that they may be more effective at neutralizing harmful free radicals
The majority of the evidence however comes from test-tube experiments. It is important to conduct more research on humans before making health recommendations.
3. May Improve Blood Sugar Control
The resistant starch is a special starch that potatoes contain.
This starch is not completely absorbed by the body. Instead, it reaches your large intestine and becomes a source of nutrients for beneficial bacteria in your stomach.
Research has found that resistant starch is linked to many health benefits. It reduces insulin resistance, which in turn increases blood sugar control.
Insulin resistance was reduced in mice fed resistant starch, according to an animal study. This means that their bodies were more efficient at eliminating excess sugar from the blood.
A study on type 2 diabetics showed that eating resistant starch made it easier to get rid of excess sugar after eating.
In another study, 10 people were fed 30g of resistant starch each day over 4 weeks. Researchers discovered that resistant starch reduces insulin resistance by 33%
It is possible to increase potato’s resistant starch. To do this, place boiled potatoes in a refrigerator overnight and serve them chilled.
4. May Improve Digestive Health
The resistance starch in potatoes could also be beneficial for digestive health.
It becomes food for beneficial bacteria once resistant starch reaches the large intestine. The bacteria take it in and convert it to short-chain fatty acids.
Potato starch resistance is mostly converted to the short-chain fat acid butyrate, which is the preferred food source of gut bacteria.
Butyrate has been shown to reduce inflammation, strengthen the colon’s defenses, and lower the risk of colorectal carcinoma.
However, patients with inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis may also benefit from butyrate.
However, most evidence regarding butyrate has been gathered from animal and test-tube studies. Recommendations should be based on more human-based studies.
5. Naturally Gluten-Free
The Gluten-Free Diet is one of the most well-known diets. It eliminates gluten, which is a group of proteins found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and spelling.
Most people don’t experience any side effects from gluten consumption.
Gluten-sensitive people or celiac disease can feel extreme discomfort when they eat gluten. You may experience severe symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, or skin rashes.
Potatoes are a good option for those who follow a gluten-free lifestyle. They are naturally gluten-free so you won’t experience any uncomfortable symptoms.
Although potatoes can be made gluten-free by following certain guidelines, many potato recipes are not. Some potato recipes, such as au gratin or potato bread, contain gluten.
You should read all ingredients before you eat potatoes if you have celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.