When you have no idea what to cook for the day, the good old potatoes come as a lifesaver. However, there has been way too many misconceptions about this root vegetable that makes many eaters developing inhibitions about it.
However, missing on potatoes means that you are missing out on a powerhouse of nutrients. Here are the ten ways how potatoes make a difference in your overall health.
Your Answer To Insomnia
Potatoes contain a lot of L-Tryptophan, an essential Amino Acid, which is known as a natural sedative and muscle calmer. Tryptophan also triggers the “feel good” hormones, thus acting as a mood uplifter.
Also, potatoes contain a substantial amount of potassium, which helps to relax your muscle tissues. So if you are suffering from insomnia or depression of late, then having potatoes on a regular basis might help. Potatoes have been especially helpful to treat restlessness among young children.
An Aid to Eat Less
There was a time when potatoes were among the first things that dieticians would avoid for those looking for weight loss. However, having boiled or baked potatoes in moderation can actually help you maintain a healthy weight. The secret lies in the fact that potatoes can be extremely filling for your stomach.
It thus helps you curb hunger for a long time. As a result, you can excuse yourself from hunger pangs and emotional eating. Researchers point out that potatoes have a certain type of protein, potato proteinase inhibitor, also known as P12, helps to keep you feel full.
Essential for Gluten-Free Diet
A number of people suffer from Celiac disease, a condition that inhibits people having any form of wheat or wheat-like crops including barley and rye. This is because of their allergy to gluten, a substance present in wheat, rye, spelt, barley and the like.
Potatoes are gluten-free and thus can be a true meal partner for those suffering from Celiac disease. However, you have to be careful about the way of cooking the potatoes. A number of potato preparations are made from gluten-rich ingredients. Now it’s easy to get healthier potato recipes at Corrie cooks.
Improve Your Digestive System
Having a bad stomach? Try potatoes. They contain a lot of resistant starch. On entering the big intestine, this resistant starch helps to activate the bacteria that improve gut health. Even if you are suffering from colon inflammation or irritable bowel syndrome, then keeping potatoes on your diet might help.
May Control Blood Pressure
There was a time when people suffering from diabetes were advised to avoid potatoes because of their high starch content. However, the resistant starch present in potatoes can also help to reduce insulin resistance.
This, in turn, helps to control blood sugar. The efficacy of potatoes to manage diabetes has been very successful in mice testing. Also, volunteers suffering from type 2 diabetes have confirmed that having potatoes in moderation have been beneficial for their health.
Give Your Brain a Boost
The co-enzyme, alpha-lipoic acid is present in potatoes. It helps to enhance the overall cognitive health of an individual. Again, it is a stories of phosphorus, vitamin B6 and zinc, which are essential for retaining the brain cells. This is why those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are often offered potatoes as an essential part of the daily diet.
Rich in Antioxidants
Potatoes are also rich is Carotenoids, Flavonoids, as well as Phenolic acid. Three of these substances have strong antioxidant properties. They work by neutralizing the harmful molecules present in our system. They are collectively known as free radicals.
These molecules, when accumulated together, enhance the possibility of development of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiac diseases and even cancer. A number of studies have revealed that the antioxidants in potatoes can be very helpful to suppress the colon and liver cancer cells.
In fact, scientists are of the opinion that colored potatoes, such as sweet potatoes and purple potatoes, can have more antioxidants than that of white potatoes. However, this fact is yet to be established scientifically.
Great for Skin Health
Potatoes can be your secret to soft and supple skin. Potatoes have a sufficient amount of collagen, which is the key to retain skin elasticity. It’s skin tightening properties help to fight premature wrinkles and fine facial lines.
You can make it simply by applying potato juice. You can also use it to treat puffy eyes and dark circles. Potatoes also have some reserves of Vitamin C, the vitamin which is beneficial for skin health.
Enjoy a Healthier Heart
It might sound incredible, but potatoes, in its purest form, is absolutely free of cholesterol. It is only after the addition of ingredients like oil and cheese that makes it unhealthy. This veggie also has no fat or sodium, which negatively affects heart health.
Sweet potatoes, in particular, have anthocyanin, a molecule which is beneficial for cardiovascular fitness. The fibre of sweet potatoes are also highly soluble, which makes it easy to digest, thus making it a fitting choice for those recovering from cardiac disease. Regular consumption of potatoes can also promote overall heart health.
A Treasure Trove of All Essential Nutrients
Last, but never the least, you might want to have a check on the nutritional benefits of potatoes:
A medium-sized, baked potato, which weighs about 170 grams, is likely to contain:
- 161 kcal of energy
- Only 2.0 gram of fat
- 4.3 grams of protein
- 3.8 grams of fiber
- 28 % of total RDI of Vitamin C
- 27 % of total RDI of Vitamin B6
- 26% of total RDI of potassium. In fact, potatoes have more potassium than that of an average-sized banana
- 19% of total RDI of manganese
- 12% of total RDI of magnesium
- 12% of total RDI of phosphorus
- 12% of total RDI of folate
- 12% of total RDI of niacin
You can say that potato can be your new super food and your best dietary partner. However, you have to know the recipes right to keep its nutritional benefits intact, or at least optimally preserved.