Have you ever wondered what are benefits of eating potatoes daily and why are potatoes so common these days?
I have. Potatoes are eaten all over the world. They can be cheaper in some places or easily available in other places making them so popular. This can all be reasons why you heard of them since your childhood (and of course you love them. Especially the French fries).
For me, there are times when I ate a lot of French fries and maybe it was the reason I gained weight. I have now decided to switch to boiled ones though.
There are a lot of factors to consider on how you take potato meals on you table. Mashed, boiled, fried, baked or raw(or the raw juice). First let’s move in steps and see the history of potatoes.
History of potatoes.
I took some time to think why the potatoes so called Irish potatoes were named that way. Did a research and want to know what I found? Okay.
Here is it. The potatoes were natively from Andes mountains; the Bolivia and Peru to be exact. But they were taken to Europe by Spanish explorers. And cutting the story short, in the 1800s they because an influence to Ireland farmers and a staple food to Ireland. Later, their dependence on potatoes led to the potato famine. I think that’s where the name Irish potatoes came from. Funny, huh?
Before knowing the benefits of eating potatoes daily. What exactly are potatoes?
Potatoes are vegetables from the nightshade family which comprises of tomatoes, eggplants and bell pepper.
They can be brown, red, yellow and violet on the outside and yellow, white or purple on the inside. This can depend on where exactly they are planted from. I guess there are over a hundred varieties in this world.
So what exactly are benefits of eating potatoes daily?
1. Helps in fighting cancer.
Cancer has been common recently. There are many types of cancers and most arise due to our ways of living.
So where are the potatoes coming in? Potatoes are rich in chlorogenic acid which is a phytochemical. These are powerful antioxidants which are helpful in preventing cancer.
Some research as that done in Penn State university shows that colourful potatoes as purple potatoes which were used during research when baked then consumed. The potatoes had tend to suppress cancer cells and cut down cancer spread mostly colon cancer.
Jairam K.P. Vanamala, associate professor of food sciences, Penn State and faculty member at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute said,
“Our earlier work and other research studies suggest that potatoes, including purple potatoes, contain resistant starch, which serves as a food for the gut bacteria, that the bacteria can covert to beneficial short-chain fatty acids such as butyric acid,” Vanamala said. “The butyric acid regulates immune function in the gut, suppresses chronic inflammation and may also help to cause cancer cells to self-destruct.”
2. This also brings the advantage of anti inflammation and helps in digestion problems.
3. Lowers blood pressure.
As known they are rich in potassium and low in sodium. This helps to fight hypertension that leads to cardiovascular diseases by lowering the blood pressure.
4. Potatoes are rich in fiber.
There are specific nutrients that the potatoes are common for. Vitamin B6 and C, potassium and also rich in magnesium. This fiber has potentially been found in the potato skins.
This helps to control digestion and prevents constipation.
5. Helps in weight loss.
Oh! I know what you are thinking. There are people who stopped eating potatoes and after they did, they lost weight. I’ll tell you about this later on.
Here the thing that works is, the potato is low in calories and has a high glycemic load. Eventually, helping in losing weight. Stay tuned to see why you are gaining weight even after eating them.
6. Promotes healing and prevents burns from infection.
Some places use this technique as a natural remedy. Making a potato peel dressing on the wound has proved effective although this has not been proved why.
7. Potatoes also act as a source of energy.
Potatoes are carbohydrates and produce natural sugar. This has been found to be a good alternative to commercial carbohydrate gel for athletes and helps to increase the power to exercise.
But not everything is useful a hundred percent. There are benefits of eating potatoes daily but there are also some side effects of potatoes (only a few to consider).
Side effects of potatoes.
Toxic. Have you heard of solanine? This is a chemical found in green and sprouted potatoes. This can lead to circulation and respiratory depression. It is also advisable to dig out the potato eyes because they contain high concentration of solanine.
Weight gain. Yes. Potatoes lead to weight loss but also to weight gain. Asking how? The way you take your potatoes will determine how fat you get.
Here’s the reason I reduced my French fries intake(‘reduced’ Because I find them irresistible. But still trying ). If you take them when fried, with butter, sour cream or as potato chips, you are going to gain weight.
Which mean these foods increase calories together with potato calories you take. Be careful, you might be at risk to acquire obesity.
How should I eat potatoes to get the benefits?
Its easy. Don’t complicate the recipes and spice it too much. You can bake, steam, heat in microwave. Or take it in broth. This helps to preserve the nutritious value of the potatoes while still benefiting you.
A research done by the American chemical Society show that poor preparation is what causes people to stop taking potatoes. Although they don’t know how nutritious potatoes are and with a lot of benefits. Joe Vinson, Ph.D., who headed the research said.
“Mention ‘potato’ and people think ‘fattening, high-carbs, empty calories’. In reality, when prepared without frying and served without butter, margarine or sour cream, one potato has only 110 calories and dozens of healthful phytochemicals and vitamins. We hope our research helps to remake the potato’s popular nutritional image.”
You should actually prepare potatoes in the correct way. How? We only have to change our food habits and switch to healthy ones.
There are a lot of benefits of eating potatoes daily. A very good reason we should take them daily even if in a pie. The only thing to consider is buy the correct ones, prepare them in the correct way and enjoy your meal. You won’t absolutely regret it. Tell me how you like your potatoes prepared and what have you achieved from them down in the comments.