Who knew there were so many different kinds of potatoes? There are around one hundred varieties! Potatoes are in the nightshade family, and can offer you an abundance of nutrition. Potatoes have the ability to lower blood pressure. The Vitamin B6 is beneficial for supporting the growth of your body’s cells: in the nervous system, the brain, and the building protein to support DNA and the growth of new cells. The Vitamin B6 also helps to protect the heart, and provides long-term energy for athletes (The World’s Healthiest Foods, n.d.). Potatoes can also offer relief from burns, and aid in weight loss and stomach problems (WebMD, n.d.).
In order to get the great benefits of potatoes, the best way to consume these powerhouses is with the skin on and baked, roasted, mashed, or steamed. Frying increases the amount of fat and reduces the amount of valuable nutrients, especially Vitamin C. The potato skin has many benefits such as fiber, minerals, and protection of the nutrients in the flesh. To save the Vitamin C when steaming the potatoes, boil the water before adding the tuber (Organic Facts, n.d.). In red potatoes about 50% of the fiber content is in the skin (Brakke, 2015). So keep those skins on!
Purple potatoes have anthocyanians in them, which gives them the purple color. These antioxidants can prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, and help to prevent arthrosclerosis (Phytochemicals, n.d.).
Sweet potatoes have more fiber, more vitamins and minerals, and offer more color to your plate. While all potatoes have amazing benefits, sweet potatoes especially have beneficial qualities. Sweet potatoes rank higher than white potatoes in health (Cleveland Clinic, n.d.).
So next time you are at the grocery, pick up a potato or two and treat yourself to delicious health!
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