Top 5 Health Benefits Of Potatoes
Potato is a member of nightshade family which includes tomatoes and aubergines. They are the underground energy stores (tubers) of the plant. There are many types of potatoes. But, from a culinary perspective, they can be divided into three categories: ‘floury, ‘waxy, and ‘new.
Maris Piper is a floury potato that’s packed with amylose starch. These starch grains swell when cooked and burst open to make the soft, fluffy mash. Waxy potatoes like Charlotte contain less amylose. This gives the potatoes a firmer texture which is excellent for roasting and making gratins. New potatoes, however, are young potatoes that have been picked before the season ends. They retain their structure during cooking, which makes them ideal for potato salads.
A medium portion (175g), of boiled potatoes (flesh & skin), provides the following:
- 119kcal / 509kJ
- 3.1g protein
- 0.2g fat
- 26.1g carbohydrates
- 1.9g Sugar
- Fiber: 3.1g
- 12mg vitamin C
How potatoes are prepared and cooked will affect their nutritional value. Whole potatoes are best cooked in their skins to retain fiber and important nutrients like iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Vitamin C and B6 levels decrease in cooking, while carotenoids (and some plant compounds called Polyphenols) increase. Cooking in cream, such as a classic dauphinoise or roasting potatoes, will increase their fat and calorie count.
Regular potatoes don’t count towards your 5-a-day contribution because we eat them as starchy carbohydrates to replace rice or pasta. They are often associated with high-fat diets.
Top 5 Health Benefits Of Potatoes
1. Value For Money In Nutrition
The nutrient-to-price ratio of potatoes is higher than that of many vegetables. They are a common staple in the world. They contribute to the diet with vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6 as well as fiber. Potatoes are a great choice due to their ability to provide food quickly on a smaller land area, which is a benefit for a growing global population.
2. Low In Fat
Many people, including health professionals, view potatoes negatively. But it’s important to remember that potatoes are practically fat-free when they’re boiled or baked. The starch in tubers is higher than that of rice and pasta, but they are lower in calories. They are also rich in micronutrients such as folate and vitamin C, which is something that pasta and rice don’t have.
While potatoes are low in protein, their protein is very valuable and has a high biological value. It provides a good distribution of amino acids that are essential for our health.
3. Supports Gut Health
Starch from potatoes is a good source of fiber and beneficial food for our gut microbes. This is because it’s resistant starch,’ meaning that it’s not digestible by us but can be broken down and used as fuel for our gut bacteria to help them function and thrive.
After potatoes have been cooked and cooled, starch granules become more resistant to digestion. Studies have shown that foods rich in resistant starch provide a host of health benefits. These include more efficient digestion, less chance of chronic diseases, and a lower risk of colon Cancer.
4. May Support Blood Sugar Management
Potatoes, rich in resistant starch may improve blood sugar control and reduce appetite. Research on animals has shown that potatoes have a higher insulin sensitivity and less fat accumulation, leading to less weight gain. A four-week study that looked at the effects of on healthy people 30 grams each day of resistant starch found this to be true. Remember that potatoes can be increased in resistant starch by being boiled, cooled, and stored in the fridge.
5. Protective Antioxidants
The beneficial antioxidant properties of potatoes are due to their plant compound. The flesh of potatoes contains lutein, zeaxanthin, and carotenoids that are beneficial to the eye. Also, potatoes are a good source of flavonoids and chlorogenic acid.