The top five health advantages of potatoes
1. Value for money in terms of nutrients Potatoes are a globally important staple because they have a better price-to-nutrient ratio than many other vegetables. They contribute to our intake of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, folate, and fiber in the UK diet. Potatoes are a good choice because they can provide food quickly on less land for a growing global population.
2. Low in fat Many people, including health professionals, have a negative opinion of potatoes. However, when boiled or baked, potatoes almost never contain any fat. Despite having a higher starch content than rice or pasta, tubers contain fewer calories. Additionally, in contrast to rice and pasta, they provide essential micronutrients like vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
Although potatoes don’t have much protein, the protein they do have is of high biological value, so it contains a wide range of essential amino acids.
3. Supports gut health Potatoes are a good source of fiber and some of the starch in them is especially good for the microbes in our gut. This is due to the fact that it is a “resistant starch,” which means that it cannot be broken down by our digestive bacteria, giving them the fuel they need to function and thrive.
The starch granules in potatoes become more difficult to digest as they cool and cook. There are a number of health benefits that have been shown to occur when we consume foods high in resistant starch, including improved digestion, a lower risk of some chronic diseases, and a lower risk of colon cancer.
4. May help control blood sugar Because they are high in resistant starch, potatoes may help control blood sugar and control appetite. Potato resistant starch has been shown in animal studies to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce fat accumulation, and reduce weight gain. This appears to be replicated in healthy humans, according to a four-week study that looked at the effects of 30 grams of resistant starch daily. Remember that boiling, cooling, and storing potatoes in the refrigerator before eating can increase their resistant starch content.
5. Protective antioxidants Potatoes are a good source of plant compounds that protect against free radicals. The tissue of the potato is a wellspring of carotenoids including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are useful for the eye. Polyphenols, such as chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, the most common of which are catechin and epicatechin, can also be found in potatoes.