Potato Power: 8 Healthy Reasons To Indulge In The Tuber
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One of the first foods people on a weight loss journey or handling any ailment related to metabolism completely cut off from their diets is potatoes. The idea that potatoes can not only cause weight gain but are one of the unhealthiest foods in the world has solidified so completely in our heads that we have all accepted the notion that the tuber is simply too unhealthy to be a part of a healthy, balanced diet—and that cutting it off is the only way we can improve our health. Of course, this notion isn’t science-backed and potatoes have plenty of health benefits to provide. 

Don’t believe us? Well, the first thing to note here is that like all vegetables, especially root vegetables, potatoes are also nutrient-rich. What actually makes potatoes unhealthy is not the crop or its nutrient constituents but the way we cook it. Making fried or deep-fried snacks with potatoes does not make potatoes the culprit behind indigestion and weight gain, but the total sum of ingredients and cooking method used. But that’s not all. 

According to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Molecules in 2021, potato is one of the major food crops in the world and is an excellent source of not only carbohydrates but also protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The study says that this makes potatoes rich in many metabolites that our body cannot naturally synthesize. This makes potato not only a delicious crop with plenty of culinary potentials but also with health benefits to provide. 

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Wondering what these health benefits are? Here are all the benefits of adding potatoes to your diet. 

Nutrient-Dense Food 

Potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse loaded with protein, carbohydrates, vitamin C, vitamin B6, dietary fibre, minerals like potassium and also antioxidants. As a food, potatoes are therefore nutrient-dense enough to provide you with plenty of nutrients you need for regular bodily functions and a balanced diet. Of course, make sure the cooking method used for potatoes are healthy. 

Potassium Benefits 

Did you know that potatoes are so packed with the essential mineral potassium that even a medium-sized potato can provide you with 20% of the daily recommended intake of the nutrient for adults? Crucial for healthy blood pressure levels, managing the sodium levels in the body and aiding the function of blood vessels, potassium contributes immensely to overall heart health. 

Vitamin C Powerhouse 

While potatoes have trace amounts of vitamin B6, they are actually loaded with vitamin C. As an essential antioxidant, vitamin C is known to boost the immune system, aid collagen production, improve wound healing capacity and also help skin health. So, load up on potatoes for vitamin C when you don’t have citrus fruits. 

Digestion Boost 

Potatoes are quite rich in dietary fibre and this, as you may already know, spells quite the boon for the digestive system. Not only does the dietary fibre in potatoes add bulk to stool and improve bowel movements, but it also promotes a healthy gut microbiome and prevents constipation. What’s more, if you have diarrhea or any stomach ailment, eating simple mashed potatoes can really help. 

Weight Loss 

Yes, believe it or not, potatoes can actually help with your weight loss diet as long as you have them in their simply cooked avatar instead of fries. Nutritionally speaking, potatoes are low in fat and calories, which means it ca easily be a part of your weight loss diet. Potatoes are also known to improve satiety, fill you right up and prevent any cravings—which are just added benefits for your weight loss journey. 

Prebiotic Power 

When cooked and cooled, potatoes become rich in resistant starch, a type of dietary fibre that does not get dissolved in the stomach or intestines. Instead, studies show that resistant starches like potatoes actually reach the colon, where they act like prebiotics that promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. So, this is just another unique way in which eating potatoes can improve your digestive health indirectly and for the long term. 

Skin Health 

As mentioned before, studies show that potatoes are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene. Thes antioxidants play a huge role in protecting the skin cells from oxidative stress, wrinkling and other signs of premature ageing. So, potatoes can not only provide you with glowing skin now but also help maintain skin health in the long run. 

Bone Strength 

Did you know that potatoes are a source of minerals like calcium and magnesium, both of which have a huge role to play in bone health? Calcium and magnesium are crucial for strong bones and teeth and so, eating potatoes can help you build bone strength now. Further, eating potatoes can also help you prevent age-related bone decay and issues like osteoporosis.