Published: 07/01/2012 - Updated: 05/26/2016
Did you know that tubers like potato has among its properties a dangerous element that can damage our health and put us at risk of gastrointestinal infection and in extreme cases can become fatal?
Not doubt that the potato is rich and nutritious food, but if it is exposed too long to light at 16 ° C for 24 hours, solanine, which is one of its natural components, increases to protect the tuber, but harming us.
Solanine is a glyco-alkaloid and bitter toxic present in potato, tomato and nightshade. It is a fungicide and pesticide from the potato itself, but if it is consumed in high concentrations can cause us symptoms like diarrhea, food poisoning, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, even in some severe cases hallucinations, fever, paralysis and delirium.
Symptoms usually occur between 8 and 12 hours after ingestion, but symptoms can occur up to 30 minutes after an ingested meal with high concentration of solanine.
This is not something to be alarmed and avoid the consumption of potatoes, but to learn and recognize when solanine is present in toxic amounts.
Solanine is evident
If you are going to prepare fries, mashed potatoes or a casserole, make sure that potatoes don’t have seeds and a green color. Those are the two evidences that the solanine is present.
In this case it is better to get rid of potato, because even though you peel it, there will always be a percentage of solanine. It is known that the skin has between 30 to 80% and only frying can be effective in reducing these levels, if performed to levels greater than 170 ° C.
The microwave oven can do little or nothing to remove the substance and cooking as well.
It is better to keep the potatoes always in a dry, cool and dark place without light. The light and humidity make that solanine content increase, even four times a day.
Don’t trust if you see a green color, thinking that they lack maturity, that color is chlorophyll simply warning that there are high levels of solanine.
What you can do is take away the green parts and keep only the parts that do not have that color.
All this does not diminish the benefits of eating potatoes. Remember that this tuber consumed in sanitary condition brings to our bodies, water, starch, minerals and vitamins B11, B2, B6, A, C, H and K.
Moreover several studies have confirmed that 37.5 kilos of potatoes are required to produce just 45 grams of fat equivalent to: 1.5 eggs, 11.2 breads, 3.5 packets of biscuits, 54 grams of butter, and 69.4 grams mayonnaise.