Potato benefits, nutritional value and risks

potato benefits
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Of the  thousands of varieties of potatoes  in the world,  the red, blue and yellow potatoes are the  most common.

Potatoes are the number one crop in the United States and the fourth most consumed crop in the world, after rice, wheat, and corn. Historically, Americans have eaten potatoes fresh.

Since the 1950s, processed potatoes, like french fries, have become popular. According to the US Department of Agriculture, processed potatoes accounted for 64% of all US consumption in 2000.

Potatoes are often considered a convenient food. You can season it with butter and sour cream, or fry it in vegetable oil. But when it comes to preparing potatoes in the ways we’ve described, you should expect weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other problems.

If you can prepare potatoes correctly (without butter, cheese or sour cream) you will be able to take advantage of their nutritional value. Potatoes are low in  calories  . One medium potato contains only 110 calories.

It is a good source of vitamins C and B6, manganese, phosphorous, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The following table shows  the nutritional value of potatoes  :

Potato nutritional value table

Serving Size: 1
medium potato
(5.3 oz / 148 g)

110
calories from fat 0

Percent Daily Value on a diet basis is 2000 calories.

AMT for every meal % DV * AMT for every meal % DV *
Total Fat 0 g 0% Total carbohydrates 26 g 9%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0% Dietary fiber 2 g 8%
Sodium 0 mg 0% 1 gram of sugar
Potassium 620 mg 18% Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 45% iron 6%

Potato Characteristics:

As you know, potatoes are rich in phytochemicals. These chemicals are natural compounds found in plants that can improve body health.

Phytochemicals found in potatoes include carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid.

The vitamin C  present in potatoes acts as an antioxidant. These substances may prevent or delay cell damage. These substances also help with heart health, digestion, blood pressure, and even cancer prevention.

  1. blood pressure:

Potatoes can lower blood pressure for several reasons. The fiber in potatoes can lower cholesterol by binding to cholesterol in the blood. Potatoes are a good source of  potassium  .

All potatoes are a rich source of potassium. It contains more potassium than bananas and most of the potassium in them is found in the skin.

The outer skin of the potato contains fiber. Potassium is a mineral that helps lower blood pressure.

Potassium also acts as a vasodilator and thus is able to lower blood pressure. Scientists at the Food Research Institute believe potatoes contain a chemical called kukoamines, which has been linked to  lowering blood pressure  .

  1. Nervous system health and brain function:

The vitamin B6  present in potatoes is very good for the health of the nervous system, and the vitamin B6 produce helps beneficial chemicals in the brain. These chemicals include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

This means that eating potatoes helps people who suffer from depression or stress. It can also help improve symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The high carbohydrate content in potatoes can have benefits for the human body.

For example, it can help maintain proper blood glucose levels, which are essential for proper brain function. A 1995 study found that a slight increase in glucose can help improve learning and strengthen memory. Potassium, which helps dilate blood vessels, helps the brain receive enough blood.

  1. immune system:

Vitamin C can help  prevent the common cold  . Potatoes are rich in this nutrient and eating a medium-sized potato can meet 45% of the body’s daily requirement for this vitamin.

  1. inflammation:

Some people believe that potatoes and plants in the nightshade family (such as eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers) make arthritis worse. However, limited scientific evidence supports such a hypothesis.

Research shows that people with arthritis can limit consumption of plants in the nightshade family for two weeks to see if that improves the condition.

Some studies indicate that these herbs may actually reduce arthritis symptoms. For example, a 2011 study found that eating potatoes reduced inflammation.

  1. digestion:

One of the most important benefits of eating potatoes is that they aid digestion. This is due to the fiber content in it. The high level of carbohydrates in potatoes can support digestion.

  1. Heart health:

Potatoes have a healthier heart due to their fiber content. Fiber helps remove cholesterol from the blood vessels. Vitamins C and B6 help reduce free radicals, and carotenoids can help improve heart function.

In addition, B6 plays a very important role in the methylation process.

The methylation process converts very dangerous molecules from homocysteine ​​to methionine, which is part of a new protein, and high levels of homocysteine ​​can damage the walls of blood vessels. High levels are linked to heart disease and stroke.

  1. Athletes’ performance:

Potatoes can help restore electrolyte balance. Sodium and potassium, found in the peel of potatoes, are two very important elements that athletes lose when they sweat. Electrolytes are useful for improving body functions.

  1. Skin care:

According to studies, vitamins C, B6, potassium,  magnesium  ,  zinc  and  phosphorous  in potatoes can contribute to health, suppleness and smooth skin. All of these nutrients are found in potatoes.

Potato potential side effects:

Potatoes are fat-free, but rich in carbohydrates and low in protein.

According to Harvard studies, the carbohydrates in potatoes are the type that the body can digest quickly and are very high in blood sugar. Therefore, its consumption can affect blood sugar and insulin levels. This causes people to overeat.

Rapidly rising blood sugar also increases insulin production. On the other hand, potatoes are an excellent source of fiber.

Its fiber content helps people stay full for longer. Experts recommend that people take into account the carbohydrate content of potatoes when planning  their diet  . Potatoes, even if cooked in a healthy way, can cause problems for diabetics and obesity.

It is rich in simple carbohydrates that can lead to  weight gain  . Harvard University tracked the diets  and lifestyles of  120,000 men and women in their 20s and found that people who eat a lot of fried, cooked, or mashed potatoes will gain weight.

The healthiest ways to cook potatoes:

As you know, cooking potatoes in sour cream or butter is not a good method. So the question now is how do we eat potatoes? What is the best way to cook it? The best way to eat potatoes raw  and whole.

Cooking potatoes is the  best way to prepare them . It loses fewer nutrients when cooked or in the microwave.

Another healthy way to eat potatoes is to steam them. If you boil the vegetables in water, you will lose more than 80% of the vitamin C in them. When you want to cook potatoes, wash their skin well and eat them with the skin after cooking.

Are potato eyes toxic?

The bumps on the potato are covered with buds called potato eyes. It can be eaten if the potato’s eye has not sprouted. If it grows, it is better to remove it before consumption.

Potato stems, branches, leaves, and fruits are toxic and contain alkaloids such as  arsenic,  chaconene, and solanine.

Solanine is highly toxic, even in small amounts. The toxin is also found in the green parts of potatoes. Plants turn green when exposed to a lot of sunlight. According to studies, green portions of potatoes should never be consumed.

Facts about potatoes:

Here are some facts about potatoes:

Like tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, potatoes are in the nightshade family. The potato is actually the swollen part of the stem of the permanent tuber. This part of the plant is called the tuber. The potato eye is called a bulge on it. The word potato in the English language is derived from a Spanish word called patata.

There are thousands of varieties of potatoes in the world, but not all potatoes are grown commercially. Common types of potatoes include red, white, yellow, blue, and rosette potatoes. In 2013, more than 1 million acres of potatoes were planted.

Americans eat an average of 56 kilograms of potatoes per year. Potatoes are traditionally used to make vodka. Today, however, vodka is mostly made from fermented grains such as corn or wheat.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest potato ever grown weighs 3.2 kg.

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