Potatoes are nutritional powerhouses, when they are not fried in grease, loaded with cheese, butter or smothered in sour cream. As per Mother Nature Network, just 1 medium potato contains about 100 calories and lots of vitamins C and B6, and has more potassium than a banana.
Potatoes are naturally cholesterol free, fat free and low in sodium. Also, they are a perfect source of vitamin C, and potatoes eaten with the skin on, are a good source of potassium. Here are the powerful health benefits of potatoes.
Health Benefits of Potatoes:
1. Blood Pressure Maintenenace
Bananas are known for their potassium, which is a mineral that helps control your blood pressure. But, while a banana contains 9% of your daily needs, a baked regular potato contains twice as much, which is about 20%, and a sweet one has 12%.
But be careful how you cook them, cubing potatoes before boiling can reduce its potassium by at least 75%. The best way to maintain it, is to bake with the skin on.
2. Bone Health
The phosphorous, iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc that are present in potatoes contribute to the maintenance and building of bone strength and structure. Also, zinc and iron play crucial roles in the maturation and production of collagen.
Though calcium and phosphorus are both important in bone structure, the careful balance of these 2 minerals is essential for proper bone mineralization, as consumption of too much phosphorus, but with too little calcium can result in bone loss.
3. Cancer Prevention
Certain types of potatoes, in particularly russet and red ones, contain high levels of flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin A, including carotenes and zeaxanthin. These can help in protecting you against many types of cancer.
Also, research that was conducted at the Agricultural Research service has reported that potatoes have a compound known as quercetin, which was proven to have anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties. The high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A, both contain antioxidant qualities that can help in protecting your body from the devastating effects of cancer.
4. Heart Health
The potato’s potassium, fiber, vitamin B6 and vitamin C content, and with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. Potatoes contain significant amount of fiber, which helps in lowering the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, therefore decreasing the risk of heart disease.
In a study, individuals who consumed about 4,069 milligrams of potassium daily, had a 49% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. This is compared with those people who consumed less potassium or about 1,000 milligrams per day.
5. Promotes Digestion
Potatoes predominantly contain carbohydrates, which are easy to digest and facilitate digestion. This property makes potatoes good diet for babies or for individuals who cannot digest hard food, but need energy.
But, remember that consuming too many potatoes on a regular basis may cause acidity over time. Also, potatoes contain a considerable amount of roughage or fiber, more in raw potato and cold ones, than boiled ones. This increases secretion of gastric juices and stimulates peristaltic motion, which eases digestion and prevents conditions such as constipation, and helps in protecting your body from more serious conditions like colorectal cancer.
Also, fiber is associated with scraping cholesterol out of the blood vessels and arteries, thereby increasing heart health.
6. Reduce Inflammation
Potatoes are highly effective in reducing inflammation, both external and internal. Since it is easily digested, soft and contains lots of vitamin-C, which is a very good antioxidant that helps in repairing the wear and tear of tissue, vitamin-B6 and potassium, it can relieve any inflammation of the digestive system and intestines.
Also, it is a very good dietary element for people who have mouth ulcers as well. Therefore, people who are suffering from gout and arthritis, can use potatoes for their anti-inflammatory impact. But, since it can add to weight gain, which exacerbates these conditions, and as this is commonly consume with meat and other rich foods that make gout worse, a balance must be done.
7. Skin Health
B-complex and Vitamin-C, as well as minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus are good for the skin. Aside from that, pulp obtained from crushed raw potatoes and mixed with honey, can work well in face and skin packs. Also, this can even help to cure spots and pimples on the skin.
This pulp, if applied externally on burns, can provide fast relief and faster healing. Smashed potatoes, and also the water in which potatoes have been washed, are good for cleaning and softening the skin, especially around the back of your hands and elbows.