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’s population.
These health benefits include their ability to improve digestion, reduce cholesterol levels, boost heart health, and protect from polyps. They strengthen the immune system, reduce signs of aging, protect the skin, increase circulation, reduce blood pressure, maintain fluid balance, and reduce insomnia.
The reason potatoes have spread across the globe so quickly and have been so widely accepted is because they are a storehouse of energy and nutrition, including vitamins, minerals, and essential organic compounds.
If you eat potatoes regularly, you ensure a good supply of water and ions in your body. This is because they are rich in potassium. The concentration is highest in the skin of the vegetable and just beneath it. So, eating the potato with its skin is always beneficial. They also contain calcium, iron, and phosphorus.
Potatoes are known for the large amounts of vitamin C present in them. Typically, a 100 gm serving will contain about 17 mg of vitamin C. In addition to this, they also contain vitamins A and B (source: USDA National Nutrient Database).
Potatoes are primarily made of carbohydrates and contain protein and are low on fats, according to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
When they team up with foods like cheese, butter or cream, it makes them an ideal diet for malnourished people who want to put on weight. The vitamin content includes vitamin C and B-complex, 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 in order to compete!
Potatoes also contain a considerable amount of fiber or roughage. This stimulates peristaltic motion and increases secretion of gastric juices, which eases digestion and prevents conditions like constipation. The vegetable may also protect the body from serious conditions like colorectal cancer due to its high fiber content.
Potatoes are very effective in reducing inflammation, both internal and external, according to a research paper published by Janet King and Joanne Slavin from the Oakland Research Institute, California.
Since they are soft, easily digested, and have a lot of vitamin C (a very good antioxidant that repairs tissue wear and tear), potassium, and vitamin B6, they can relieve any inflammation in the intestines and the digestive system.
They are a very good dietary element for those who have mouth ulcers as well. Therefore, people who suffer from arthritis and gout can use potatoes for their anti-inflammatory impact.
However, this humble vegetable can cause weight gain, which exacerbates these conditions, and are commonly eaten with meat and other rich foods that make gout worse, a fine balance must be struck.
High blood pressure can occur for a number of reasons including diabetes, stress, being overweight or obese, indigestion, and poor dietary choices. Luckily, potatoes can alleviate multiple possible causes and can be used to relieve high blood pressure due to stress.
Also, the fiber present in them is helpful in lowering cholesterol. Furthermore, the potassium found in potatoes (46% of daily requirement per serving) lowers blood pressure since it functions as a vasodilator.
Apart from the vitamins (B-complex and C), minerals, and roughage, potatoes also contain certain substances called carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin). Carotenoids are beneficial for heart health and the functioning of other internal organs. Again, since potatoes raise the glucose level in the blood and their over-consumption may cause obesity, which puts pressure on your heart, you must be careful about how often you use potatoes for this health benefit.