Potatoes are among the most well-known and recognized vegetables in the world. Almost all folks like them including children. The food is notorious for its fattening reputation. It is widely believed that eating potatoes leads to weight gain, obesity and associated cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, strokes and heart attacks. The fact is that plain potatoes are not bad for health. If they are deep fried and converted into French fries or chips, then they are high in calories as well as cholesterol. Ordinary plain potatoes contain no cholesterol and very little amount of fat. Avoid taking it along high fat foods such as butter, sour cream, cheese or various meat dishes. Bake, steam or boil the vegetable instead of frying it. Potatoes should be consumed in moderation by obese people and heart patients as it has a high glycemic index.
We look at some of the health benefits of this food.
- Fights against cancer
Potatoes contain a flavonoid antioxidant termed quercetin that protects the human body from cancer. Studies show that eating this vegetable daily is effective against colorectal cancer. Some kinds of potatoes especially the red and russel varieties are rich in carotenes as well as zeaxanthin that fight against several kinds of cancer.
- Cures and prevents scurvy
Scurvy is a disease caused by the deficiency of Vitamin C. The classic symptoms of scurvy are bleeding gums, recurrent viral infections as well as cracked lips. Surprisingly this vegetable is rich in vitamin C. It is recommended to eat potato with its skin as the latter contains a lot of important vitamins and minerals.
- Decreases high blood pressure
Plain potatoes contain low levels of sodium and can be safely consumed by hypertension patients. The potassium and magnesium present in the food has been discovered to naturally lower blood pressure.
- Nourishes the brain and nervous system
This vegetable contains large amounts of Vitamin B6. This vitamin is instrumental in making amines a kind of nervous system neurotransmitter. B6 helps is creating serotonin which has anti-depressant properties. Another important amine is GABA which is essential for brain function.
- Relieves constipation
Potatoes are rich in fiber. The latter is excellent for the digestive system and helps in smooth bowel movements.
If you have experienced any other benefits of including this food in your diet, please share them with us so that others can benefit.