Published: 10/03/2013 - Updated: 02/26/2018
Author: Miriam Reyes
The potato is not only very tasty but also very nutritious. It is a common tuber in the kitchen as part of various preparations that many of us tend to enjoy, whether they are from our childhood, a happy memory or a family celebration.
Its culture is one of the leading worldwide, growing in different climates and is usually consumed by the local population, so its price is stable and regularly accessible. It is estimated that the potato has been consumed for more than 8,000 years.
The potato plant is part of the Solanum family, such as tomatoes and peppers. Its leaves produce starch, which moves its underground stems to form tubers.
Although often has a bad reputation due to its energy content, potato can be very nutritious if it is prepared properly, here are some of its nutritional properties:
Carbohydrates: Approximately 14.2 % of the potato is carbohydrates, so it has been compared with cereals. However, the absorption of carbohydrates in the body may be delayed if combined with vegetables and a little olive oil. It is advisable to eat them with the skin on, since it provides essential fibre.
Proteins: A serving of 100 grams of potatoes can be covered up to 3-4% of the recommended daily ration of protein, being a good source of lysine and tryptophan.
Vitamins: When uncooked, it has vitamin C, but this tends to disappear after cooking, however, when steamed, potatoes can retain some of their vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamins, only 100 grams can cover 13% of the daily requirement of vitamin B6, 13% of the required daily dose of B1 and some 4% of the recommended amount of vitamin B2. This makes the potato very beneficial for the proper functioning of our nervous system.
Minerals: It is a rich source of potassium, a mineral that contributes to fluid balance in the body, regulating blood pressure. However, to avoid destroying these benefits, do not consume with salt. Potatoes also provide other minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper and even zinc.
As we have studied, various types of antioxidants have been found in potatoes. Among some of them are the kukoamines, which are also found in goji berries and have a regulatory effect on blood pressure.
Do not gain weight
The potato has contributed to the health and nutrition of many people throughout history, however, in recent years, has been identified as one of the culprits of causing obesity. This is due largely to what tables of Glycemic Index (GI) has classified the cooked and mashed potato as a high GI food, which means having the ability to raise blood sugars and therefore is related to both diabetes and obesity. However, potato combined with appropriate foods and in proper portions can be a healthy food.
Frying is not a highly recommended method to consume potatoes. If fried, it is suggested to do it with little oil and preferably olive oil. Oils like sunflower and corn oil are often sensitive to heat and release toxic compounds when they overheat, such as hydrocarbons and acrylamides. Instead, steamed potatoes retain many of their vitamins, and calories are the equivalent to rice and pasta.
Try to use potato in salads, steamed or raw, prepared without much oil and without adding too much salt. When eaten steamed, potatoes are good for digestion.
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