Potatoes are rich in antioxidants and contain beneficial vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. They can be good for your digestive health.
Potatoes can be used as a root vegetable or as a staple food in many households. Potatoes are cheap and easy to grow. They can also be packed with a variety of nutrients.
Here are 7 benefits of potatoes for your health and nutrition.
1. Packed With Nutrients
Potatoes are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals.
One medium baked potato (17.3 ounces or 173g) includes the skin
- Calories: 161
- Fat: 0.25 grams
- Protein: 4.3 grams
- Carbs: 36.6g
- 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 have an impact on how much nutrition you get. Red potatoes contain higher nutrients. Frying potatoes, on the other hand, adds more calories to them than baking.
Flavonoids, carotenoids, or phenolic acids are abundant in potatoes. These compounds act as anti-oxidants in your body by neutralizing potentially dangerous molecules known as free radicals. The risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can be increased if free radicals are present.
One example is the test-tube study that found that the antioxidants in potatoes might suppress the growth and spread of colon cancer cells.
3. It May Improve Blood Sugar Control
Resistant starch is a special type of starch that potatoes contain. This starch is not completely absorbed by your body. It reaches your large intestine, where it provides nutrients for beneficial bacteria.
Research has found that resistant starch is linked to many health benefits. It reduces insulin resistance, which in turn increases blood sugar control.
4. May Improve Digestive Health
The resistant starch in potatoes can also be beneficial for digestive health. It becomes food for beneficial bacteria once resistant starch reaches the large intestine. The bacteria digest it and then turn it into long-chain fatty acid.
The starch resistant to potatoes is most often converted into the short-chain fatty acid butyrate — a 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.
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, and rye.
Most people don’t experience any side effects from gluten consumption. Gluten-sensitive people or celiac disease can experience severe discomfort if 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.
6. Incredible Filling
Potatoes are highly nutritious. In one study, 11 participants were given 38 common foods and asked how filling they were. The highest level of fullness was achieved by potatoes.
Croissants were the least filling food, with potatoes being seven times as filling as potatoes. You may lose weight by eating filling foods.
A certain potato protein, called potato proteinase inhibit 2 (PI2) in some studies, is believed to curb appetite. This protein seems to increase the release of cholecystokinin(CCK), which is a hormone that promotes fullness.
7. Extremely Versatile
Potatoes are healthy and delicious. There are many ways to prepare potatoes, including boiling, baking, and steaming. You should not fry potatoes if you are using a lot of oil.
Instead, you can slice potatoes and roast them in an oven with extra virgin olive oil and rosemary.
The potato’s skin is where most nutrients are. This will ensure that the potato contains the most nutrients.