Whether mashed, baked or roasted, people often consider potatoes as comfort food. It is an important food staple and the number one vegetable crop in the world. Potatoes are available year-round as they are harvested somewhere every month of the year. The potato belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family whose other members include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tomatillos. They are the swollen portion of the underground stem which is called a tuber and is designed to provide food for the green leafy portion of the plant. If allowed to flower and fruit, the potato plant will bear an inedible fruit resembling a tomato.
Potatoes are deemed as a dangerous food item especially by weight watchers. However, nutritionists feel the other way round. They usually recommend potatoes as a healthy vegetable with a lot of nutrients.
Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity against free radicals.
Not convinced? Here are 8 strong reasons why you should be eating potatoes.
Nothing but potatoes
Vitamin D plays an important role in keeping bone related diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis. The vitamin also keeps immune system healthy. It works as a vitamin and a hormone produced by the body through exposure to sunlight. A disorder name seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is linked to inadequate sunlight and deficiency of vitamin D. The vitamin also plays a crucial role in perking up mood, energy levels and facilities building of healthy bones, nerves, heart, skin, and teeth. Thyroid gland is also supported by vitamin D.
The vitamin is crucial to reduce homocysteine, a type of chemical in your body that has been linked with degenerative diseases. It also prevents prevention of heart attacks.
Good Source of Carotenoids
The rich colour of potato comes from carotenoids such as ß carotene and many others. It is a precursor to vitamin A in the body. Carotenoids are important to help strengthen eyesight and boost immune system of the body. They are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging. Studies have revealed that consumption of carotenoid reduces risk of lung cancer and breast cancer.
Natural sugar in potatoes is released into the bloodstream slowly and guarantees a balanced and regular source of energy. There’s no sudden spike of glucose linked to weight gain and fatigue.
Although presence of vitamin C in potato is a known fact, only a few are aware that the vitamin is essential for tooth and bone formation. It is also helpful in digestion and blood cell formation. Vitamin C facilitates fast healing of wound, collagen production and youthful elasticity of skin. It is very important to cope with day to day stress. Some studies have revealed that the vitamin protects body against toxins linked to cancer.
The potatoes can be enjoyed in any way you wish to. You can have it pureed, as pan cakes, paranthas, roasted, steamed, baked, grilled, fried, and many other ways. Additionally, potatoes can be added to stews and soups. Grilled potato can be used in green salad.
Human body needs mineral iron to gather adequate energy. It plays crucial roles in human body including production of white and red blood cell, stress resistance, proper immune functioning and protein metabolism.
Magnesium works as a relaxation and anti stress mineral. It is also essential for artery health. The mineral ensures healthy blood, bone, heart, muscles, and nerve system.