benefits of potatoes
. Potatoes are one of the most common and important food sources on the planet, and they contain a wealth of health benefits that make them all the more essential as a staple dietary item for much of the world
. Whether it is mashed, baked or made into French fries, many people often think of the potato as a comfort food. This sentiment probably inspired the potatos scientific name,Solanum tuberosum, sincesolanumis derived from a Latin word meaning soothing. The potatos name also reflects that it belongs to theSolanaceaefamily whose other members include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tomatillos.
. Potatoes originated in the Andean mountain region of South America. Researchers estimate that potatoes have been cultivated by the Indians living in these areas for between 4,000 and 7,000 years. Unlike many other foods, potatoes were able to be grown at the high altitudes typical of this area and therefore became a staple food for these hardy people.
Nutritional Valueof Potatoes
. The reason that potatoes have spread across the globe so quickly and has been so widely accepted is because they are astorehouse of energy and nutrition, including vitamins, minerals, andessential organic compounds. Their minerals include very good amounts of manganese, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous, and moderate amounts of iron, copper, zinc, and calcium. In terms of vitamins, a single serving of potatoes contains great amounts of vitami
. Potatoes are a very popular food source. Unfortunately, most people eat potatoes in the form of greasy French fries or potato chips, and even baked potatoes are typically loaded down with fats such as butter, sour cream, melted cheese and bacon bits. Such treatment can make even baked potatoes a potential contributor to a heart attack. But take away the extra fat and deep frying, and a baked potato is an exceptionally healthful low calorie, high
BloodPressure Lowering Potential
. UK scientists at the Institute for Food Research have identified blood pressurelowering compounds called kukoamines in potatoes. Previously only found inLycium chinense, an exotic herbal plant whose bark is used to make an infusion in Chinese herbal medicine, kukoamines were found in potatoes using a new type of research called metabolomics. Potatoes have been cultivated for thousands of years, and we thought traditional crops were pretty well un
Vitamin B6Building Your Cells
. If only for its high concentration of vitamin B61 medium potato contains over onehalf of a milligram of this important nutrientthe potato earns high marks as a healthpromoting food. Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions. Enzymes are proteins that help chemical reactions take place, so vitamin B6 is active virtually everywhere in the body. Many of the building blocks of protein,amino acids, require B6 for their synthesis, as
Potatoes and Pesticide Residues
. Virtually all municipal drinking water in the United States contains pesticide residues, and with the exception of organic foods, so do the majority of foods in the U.S. food supply. Even though pesticides are present in food at very small trace levels, their negative impact on health is well documented. The livers ability to process other toxins, the cells ability to produce energy, and the nerves ability to send messages can all be compromised
Potatoes Belong to the Nightshade Family
. Potatoes are one of the vegetables in the nightshade (Solanaceae) family, which includes eggplant, tomatoes and bell peppers. Anecdotal case histories link improvement in arthritis symptoms with removal of these foods;however, no casecontrolled scientific studies confirm these observations.
Processed Potato Products and Acrylamides
. Regularly cooked potatoes are not a concern when it comes to acrylamide, a potentially toxic and potentially cancercausing substance. Yet, fried, processed foods made with potatoessuch as potato chips and french friesare considered among the highest risk of foods when it comes to acrylamide exposure. This is yet another reason to avoid or minimize your intake of these foods. For more on acrylamides, see ourdetailed writeupon the subject.
. Potatoes are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid. The potato belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family whose other members include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tomatillos. They are the swollen portion of the underground stem which is called a tuber and is designed to provide food for the green leafy portion of the plant. If
InDepth Nutritional Profile
. In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an indepth nutritional profile forPotatoesis also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
. Potatoes are primarily made of carbohydrates and contain very little protein. This makes it an ideal diet for those excessively lean or thin people who desperately want toput on weight. The vitamin content includes vitaminC and Bcomplex, which also help in proper absorption of carbohydrates. That is one of the reasons that potatoes make up a large part of the diet of sumo wrestlers, as well as many other athletes who need large energy reserves to
. Since potatoes predominantlycontain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and facilitate digestion. This property makes them a good diet for babies or for those who cannot digest hard food, but need energy. However, remember that eating too many potatoes on a regular basis may cause acidity over time. Potatoes also contain a considerable amount of fiber or roughage, more in raw potatoes and cold ones than boiled or hot ones. This stimulates peri
. VitaminC andBcomplexas well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc are good for the skin. Apart from that, pulp obtained from crushed raw potatoes, mixed with honey, can work well in skin and face packs. This even helps to cure pimples and spots on the skin. Again, this pulp, if applied externally on burns, provides quick relief and faster healing. Smashed potatoes, and even water in which potatoes have been washed, are very g
. ThevitaminC present in potatoescan help prevent this disease, caused by a deficiency of vitaminC. It is characterized by cracked lip corners, spongy and bleeding gums, and frequent viral infections. Although it has been eliminated from most first and second world countries with ready access to vitamin C, it still exists in certain nations of the world, so the prolific presence of potatoes in the world helps with this problem.
. There are two parts to the effect of potatoes on this condition. Vitamins like the calcium and magnesium in potatoes help to provide relief fromrheumatism. Also, water obtained from boiling potatoes can relieve the pain and inflammation of rheumatism. However, due to high starch and carbohydrate content, it tends to increase body weight which may have adverse effects on rheumatic people. It is a fine balance, so you must apply it as a helpful app
How to Select
. While potatoes are often conveniently packaged in a plastic bag, it is usually better to buy them individually from a bulk display. Not only will this allow you to better inspect the potatoes for signs of decay or damage, but many times, the plastic bags are not perforated and cause a build up of moisture that can negatively affect the potatoes.
How to store
. Potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator, as their starch content will turn to sugar giving them an undesirable taste. In addition, do not store potatoes near onions, as the gases that they each emit will cause the degradation of one another. Wherever you store them, they should be kept in a burlap or paper bag.
Tips for Preparing Potatoes
. The potato skin is a concentrated source of dietary fiber, so to get the most nutritional value from this vegetable, dont peel it and consume both the flesh and the skin. Just scrub the potato under cold running water right before cooking and then remove any deep eyes or bruises with a paring knife. If you must peel it, do so carefully with a vegetable peeler, only removing a thin layer of the skin and therefore retaining the nutrients that lie j
. Potatoes are very effective inreducing inflammation, both internal and external. Since it is soft, easily digested and has a lot of vitaminC (a very good antioxidant that repairs tissue wear and tear), potassium and vitaminB6, it can relieve any inflammation of the intestines and the digestive system. It is very good dietary element for those who have mouth ulcers as well. Therefore, people who suffer from arthritis and gout can use potatoes for
. Certain types of potatoes, particularly red and russet potatoes, contain high levels offlavonoid antioxidantsand vitamin A like zeaxanthin and carotenes, they can protect you against many types of cancer. Also, research at the Agricultural Research service has shown that potatoes contain a compound called quercetin, which has been proven to have anticancer and antitumor properties. Finally, the high levels of vitamin A and C both have antioxidant
High Blood Pressure
. Since high blood pressure can occur for a number of reasons that include diabetes, tension, indigestion, nutrient balance, food content and many others, different treatments are required. Luckily, potatoes can alleviate multiple possible causes; potatoes can be used to relievehigh blood pressuredue to tension. They can also treat indigestion due to abundance of vitaminC and fiber within it, but they should be avoided if the high blood pressure is
. Proper functioning of the brain depends largely on the glucose level, oxygen supply, various components of the vitaminB complex and certain hormones, amino acids and fatty acids like omega3. Potatoes cater to almost all the needs mentioned above. They are high in carbohydrates, and thereby maintain good levels of glucose in the blood. This prevents the brain from letting fatigue creep in and it keeps your cognitive activity and performance high.
. Apart from the vitamins (Bcomplex, C), minerals and roughage, potatoes also contain certain substances called Carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin). Carotenoids are beneficial for heart health and the functioning of other internal organs. Again, since potatoes raises the glucose level in the blood and overconsumption may cause obesity, which puts pressure on your heart, you must be careful about how often you use potatoes for this health benefit. This
. Kidney Stones, also known as Renal Calculi, are caused mainly due to increased levels of uric acid in the blood. In such cases, foods high in protein should be avoided, particularly animal proteins such as meat, turkey, shrimp, fish, eggs, and milk, as well as spinach, raw plantain, black grams and certain beans, which drastically increase the level of uric acid in the blood. Iron and calcium also contribute to forming the stones. Potatoes are ri
. Potatoes are an excellent component of an energyrich diet for those suffering from diarrhea, since it is very easy to digest andcontains mild roughage. However, eating too many potatoes can cause diarrhea due to the excessive ingestion of starch.
Other Benefits and Cautions
. Juice from potatoes is a good treatment for burns, bruises, sprains, skin problems, ulcers, effects of narcotics, prostate cancer, uterine cancer, and the formation of cysts or tumors. On the other hand, some care also needs to be taken while eating potatoes. Green potatoes are often poisonous, and so are potato leaves and fruits, as they contain alkaloids like solanine, chaconine and arsenic. An overdose of those chemicals could easily prove fat
Potatoes for Cancer
. Research has revealed that lectins like those present in potatoes inhibit cancer cell growth. Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important healthpromoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity against free radicals.
Potatoes for Weight Loss
. A study has demonstrated that people can incorporate potatoes into their diet and still lose weight. Researchers studied 86 overweight women and men over twelve weeks to determine how a reduced calorie diet with the addition of potatoes affected weight loss. The individuals were randomly allocated to 3 groups and each one had a diet that included 5 to 7 helpings of potatoes each week. The outcomes showed that all 3 groups lost weight.
Nutrients in Potatoes
. Potatoes are an excellent source of several nutrients, such as vitamins C and B6, potassium, pantothenic acid, niacin and dietary fiber. The protein in potatoes contain lysine, an essential amino acid generally absent in grains.
. Boiled potatoes are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, phosphorus, Bcomplex vitamins and vitamin C. They are low in calories and fat, and their high fiber content helps you feel full. Contrary to popular belief, potatoes are not inherently fattening. If you add butter or sour cream to potatoes, you increase the numbers of calories and fat grams significantly, so if you are trying to lose weight, season them with herb
Boiled in its skin
. Boiled in its skin, a large potato, weighing about 300 grams, has 261 calories, 5.6 grams of protein and .3 grams of fat. If you peel the potato before boiling it, you lose about a half gram of protein, but the calorie and fat contents remain similar. Peeled or unpeeled, the potato has 5.4 grams of fiber, about the same amount as a bowl of bran flakes cereal, and 2.6 grams of natural sugar.
BComplex Vitamins and Vitamin C
. A large, unpeeled boiled potato is rich in Bcomplex vitamins, which help your body form blood cells and make energy from the protein, carbohydrates and fat from the food you eat. A boiled potato provides more than half of the vitamin B6 you need each day, as well as about 30 percent of your recommended daily intake for thiamin and niacin. It is also high in vitamin C, giving you onehalf of your daily requirement for that nutrient. A peeled boiled
Magnesium Phosphorus and Potassium
. The potato is a root vegetable, it is rich in essential minerals that help you build strong bones and benefit your nerve and muscle function. A large potato, boiled in its skin, provides 1.1 grams of potassium, onefourth of the potassium you need daily. It also gives you about onefifth of the magnesium and phosphorus you need each day. If you peel the potato before boiling it, the potato loses some of its mineral content, providing onefourth of t
. Cooking a potato in water depletes it of some of its nutrients. A baked potato is more nutrientdense, providing 6.28 grams of protein and 6.3 grams of fiber. It has about 25 percent more magnesium as a boiled potato. It also contains 40 percent more phosphorus and potassium, as well as four times the amount of folate in a boiled potato. Pregnant women, who need an adequate amount of folate to prevent neural tube birth defects in their unborn chil
. lowcarb dietsgive regular potatoes a bad rap. They are not exactly good for you when dropped into a deep fryer, butpotatoes are packed with powerful nutrients and antioxidantscompounds that fight free radicals. The ORAC value (a measure of the total antioxidants in 100 grams) for a medium baked potato with skin is a healthy 1,680, while that of a baked sweet potato with skin is 766. Compare those with the values for carrots, either cooked (317) o
Good source of potassium
. One medium potato with skinprovides 620 milligrams or 18% of the recommended daily value (DV) per serving. Potatoes rank highest for potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and fruits. Potassium is a mineral that is part of every body cell. It helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of cells and in doing so, helps maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium is also vital for transmitting nerve impulse
. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (45% of the DV), which is more vitamin C than one medium tomato (40% DV) or sweet potato (30% DV).Vitamin C is a watersoluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant stabilizing free radicals, thus helping prevent cellular damage. It aids in collagen production; assists with iron absorption; and helps heal wounds and keep your gums healthy. Vitamin C may help support the body
. One medium potato with the skin contributes 2 grams of fiber or 8% of the daily value per serving.Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of the plant material that cannot be digested and absorbed in the bloodstream. Soluble fiber may help with weight loss as it makes you feel full longer, and research has shown it also may help lower blood cholesterol.
. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6 with one medium potato providing 10% of the recommended daily value. Vitamin B6 is a watersoluble vitamin that plays important roles in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It helps the body make nonessential amino acids needed to make various body proteins; it is a cofactor for several coenzymes involved in energy metabolism; and is required for the synthesis of hemoglobin
. Iron is a major component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Iron also has a critical role within cells assisting in oxygen utilization, enzymatic systems, especially for neural development, and overall cell function everywhere in the body. Thus, iron deficiency affects all body functions, not only through anemia, which appears late in the process of tissue iron deficits.
They contain Vitamin D
. They contain Vitamin Dwhich is critical for immune system and overall health at this time of year. Both a vitamin and a hormone, vitamin D is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight. You may have heard about seasonal affective disorder (or SAD, as it is also called), which is linked to inadequate sunlight and therefore a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin Dplays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to
Good source of magnesium
. Potatoes are a good source of mag?nesium, which isthe relaxation and antistress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function, yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the popula?tion in North America may be deficient in this important mineral.
. Potatoes were eaten by 19th Century English and Spanish sailors to fend off scurvy. Surprisingly rich in immuneboosting Vitamin C, a medium potato (150g) with the skin provides 27mg, almost half of the recommended daily intake.
. The Agricultural Research Service in Navarre, America, has identified 60 different kinds of phytochemicals and vitamins in potato skins.Many of these were flavonoids, which help protect against cardiovasculardisease by lowering levels of bad LDLcholesterol and keeping arteries fatfree. The B vitamins in potatoes also protect arteries. Vitamin B6, found in potatoes, reduces levels of a molecule called homocysteine which is involved in inflammation
. A single baked potato will provide nearly 12 per cent of the daily recommended amount of fibre, giving similar levels to whole grain breads, pastas and cereals. High levels of dietary fibre and bulking agents support healthy digestion and regular bowel movements, while giving a protective effect from colon cancer. While most potato fibre is found in the skin, some of the starch in potatoes is indigestible. Instead it passes through the gut intact
. Apart from being delicious when cooked, potatoes are quite nutritious. They have a high content of carbohydrates and vitamin C. Potatoes offer several health benefits. Of late, the cosmetic benefits of potatoes have also been recognized.
Removal of Dark Circles
. Potatoes are a natural under eye brightener and so, applying potato juice or potatoes directly on the affected area can banish dark eye rings. Peel and slice a raw potato into large pieces. Placing them in a cloth or handkerchief, stick them on your eyes for 1520 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Doing this regularly will reduce your dark circles considerably. You can also apply potato juice under your eyes with a cotton ball to fade away dark c
Treatment of Wrinkles
. Potato is considered as an effective antiageing beauty agent, particularly in warding off wrinkles. Regular application of potato juice imparts a healthy glow to your skin It also helps to soften your skin as well as keep wrinkles at bay.
Treatment of Dark Spots
. Potatoes are a natural way of fading away those dark spots. If you have black spots on your face, you can blend peeled potatoes in a blender. Next, apply them on your face. Give a gentle massage. Then do peeling for 5 minutes. Once done, rinse off with clean water.
Removal of Facial Blemishes
. Facial blemishes adversely affect your appearance and potato juice is a great natural way to get rid of them. Use cold potato juice as a daily facial rinse. This can help you get rid of your blemishes. It will help reveal clear and perfect skin.
Treatment of Sunburns
. Potatoes are wonderful for treating sun burnt skin. All you need to do is place cold potato slices on the affected areas. Alternatively, you can simply dab potato juice on the spot. This will give you a soothing and cooling sensation as well as diminish your suntan.
. Potatoes are a natural skin lightening agent. Apply a mask of grated raw potato on your face and rinse off with water after 30 minutes. Using this on a regular basis will make your face smooth, clean and bright as well as reduce facial swelling. You can also apply a mixture of lemon and potato juices to lighten your skin naturally. This acts as mild bleach for your skin and yields quick results.
Potato for Dry Skin
. If you have dry skin, potatoes will help give you that smooth skin feeling in minutes. Make a face mask by mixing a grated potato with half a teaspoon of curd. Apply it on your face for 20 minutes and then wash it off. This will act as an antiageing mask to hydrate your skin from within. It will also help to replenish moisture into dry skin to iron out fine lines effectively.
Lifting of Dead Skin Cells
. Potatoes can also remove dead skin cells on the face. You can apply grated peeled potatoes on your face for 10 minutes. Once done, rinse with clean water. Doing this regularly will rejuvenate your skin. Potatoes have been cultivated for thousands of years, and we thought traditional crops were pretty well understood, said IFR food scientist Dr Fred Mellon, but this surprise finding shows that even the most familiar of foods might conceal a hoard
. Potato can be used as a natural facial cleanser. For this purpose, cut one cucumber and one potato into medium pieces. Now blend these in a blender for 20 seconds. Next, add one teaspoon of baking soda and a little water to the mixture. You can use this mixture to clean your face. This will make your skin more shiny and refreshed.
Treatment of Rashes Itching Sensation and Insectand Pest Bite
. In case of rashes, itching sensation and insect bites: Place a slice of raw potato on the affected area for a few minutes. This should be done several times a day for quick relief. A single baked potato will also provide you with over 3 grams of fiber, but remember the fiber in potatoes is mostly in their skin. If you want the cholesterollowering, colon cancer preventing, and bowel supportive effects of fiber, be sure to eat the potatos flavorful
Removal of Eye Puffiness
. Apply a mixture of cucumber and potato juice on your face, particularly around the eyes. Cucumber contains ascorbic acid and caffeic acid whereas potato has liquid starch and catecholase. These two ingredients work well in lightening your skin tone and treating puffiness of eyes.
Promotes Healthy Hair
. Potatoes are a great natural ingredient to help achieve healthy hair. Blend grated raw potato to make a smooth paste and squeeze water from it. Mix this water with one whole egg, 3 drops of lemon juice and curd (optional). Apply this on your hair from scalp to ends and wash off after 20 to 25 minutes. Use your normal shampoo and warm water to get naturally healthy and shiny hair. This mask should be used once in 20 days for best results.
Treatment of Grey Hair
. You can prepare your own hair tonic by boiling potato peelings in a pan in water that is just enough to cover them. Strain the water in a tumbler or a glass. Use this water to rinse your hair after shampooing it as usual. This will darken your hair back to its natural color. This should be followed religiously for every alternate hair wash to get best results. Alternatively, you can use normally boiled potato water if you are preparing any dish f
Potato for Hair loss
. To combat hair loss, you can make a hair mask comprising of potato and honey. For this purpose, peel the potato and press out the juice. Mix 2 tablespoons of potato juice with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera and 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply this mixture on the roots and massage your scalp with it. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave for 2 hours. Wash off with a mild shampoo. This mask should be applied twice a week for best results.
Beat Those Frequent Food Pangs
. Potatoes have low Glycemic Index ranking which makes it filling for the stomach. As the complex carbohydrates in it break down much slower than sugar, biscuits etc it is much more filling. Having a potato for lunch will keep your stomach full and will keep those food cravings away. Also it should be noted that the nutritional contents vary with the type of potato and the area of produce. The way the potato is produced also comes into account, but
Good for The Digestive System
. Potatoes mostly contain carbohydrates and do not contain fat or proteins which make it a good choice for those who cannot digest hard foods. Be careful as too much intake of potatoes can lead to acidity.
Keep Stress At Bay
. Potatoes have high amounts of Vitamin B6 helping in cellular repair. Adding it to your diet will result in greater cell renewal and will result in a good mood and less stress. Neurotransmitters, namely serotonin and dopamine are made with Vitamin B6 which is needed for the regulation of moods.
Tips for Usage Cookingand Eating
. Potatoes come in the category of the most delicious and filling vegetables that can match well with any ingredient. Not only are their skin edible, but also a great source of dietary fiber. Thus, they can be cooked with their skins to get the most nutrition value from this vegetable. Potatoes have high calories, but they are also quite a healthy vegetable.
. Potatoes can be cooked in numerous ways. Given below are some of the tips by which you can make several delicious potato dishes. New potatoes are delicious when boiled. They can be drizzled lightly with olive oil and then dusted with dill weed. Cooked potatoes can be pureed with roasted garlic and olive oil to make delicious garlic mashed potatoes and season with your favorite herbs. Potatoes can be paired with chunks of tuna fish and steamed gre
. Potatoes are exceedingly rich in Vitamin B6, a substance needed for cellular renewal, a healthy nervous system and a balanced mood. Just 100g of baked potato contains 21 per cent of the daily value of the vitamin. It is used to make neurotransmitters substances that deliver messages from one cell to the next.