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by inKin
23 Dec

The Best Superfoods A-Z: P is for Potatoes

If there were a ranking of the most popular root vegetables - potatoes would have taken the first place. The cultivation of one of the world's most consumed root vegetable started in the 16th century in Europe, although its origin goes back as far as 13 thousand years ago. The "marketing campaign" of this crop has been led by France's Royal family with Queen Marie Antoinette wearing the potato flowers in her hair during the dress balls.

 

But is this famous superfood healthy or not? That is the question. 

   

Myths and Realities About Potatoes:

 

Are potatoes healthy? This has been the topic of research for many years.

The first research on the nutritional aspect of potatoes was carried out in Paris in the 18th century showing their huge dietary value. Healthy carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins /especially vitamin C/ and minerals, and this is not the full list of all the nutritional benefits that potatoes have. 

 

However, nowadays, when everyone is obsessed with carb-free diets, potatoes are in the "blacklist" of many people. Besides they are also considered to have a high amount of calories, making them an outsider among the healthy foods. But are potatoes so bad for your health? The answer is NO. 

Potatoes do not add weight if they are cooked the right way. As most people prefer to eat them fried in oil and loaded with butter and cheese, this surely adds many unnecessary calories to them. Try to boil or bake them without peeling and top with Greek yogurt, hummus or pesto. And as a result, you get all the nutritional benefits and use only 100-150 calories /medium-sized baked or boiled potato/ of your daily diet. 

 

Besides they contain the so-called resistant scratch - a fiber type which prevents the calories from turning into fat. As for the high carbohydrates in potatoes, these are the so-called complex or healthy type carbohydrates. These carbs increase energy level and the satiety index in your body. However, if you have problems with blood sugar level, try to control the portions.       

 

Health Benefits
 

Metabolism 

Sweet potatoes are a wonderful treat for boosting your metabolism as they contain a high level of vitamin B6. One potato contains 10-15% percent of the recommended daily amount for vitamin B-6, which has a vital role in metabolism. Besides a prebiotic fiber in potatoes that pro­motes good bacteria and suppresses the bad, it also helps the digestive system. 

 

Immune System

Now more than ever keeping your immune system healthy and strong is essential. The antioxidants, as well as vitamin C and A in potatoes, can improve your immune system and keep your body healthy. In fact, one potato contains 20% of your daily vitamin C needs. A prebiotic fiber that promotes "good" bacteria in your digestive system will also help your immune system fight the diseases.  

 

Skin Care 

Did you know that you can add potatoes in your weekly skincare routine? They are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps slow down the ageing processes. Potatoes could also help to fight the dark circles under the eyes and exfoliate the skin. Just peel and mash potatoes, apply it on your skin and wash in about 20 minutes. 

 

Stress Relief 

Sweet potatoes contain an essential amount of magnesium. This mineral is often called "the original chill pill" as it reduces anxiety and stress, and its deficiency may cause depression. Besides, potatoes also contain starchy carbs that, according to several studies, help boost serotonin hormone level or the so-called "happy" chemical in your body. Thus adding potato in your diet will help in keeping your mood stable. 

 

Brain Health 

Potatoes are packed with B6 vitamin, which is essential for the proper functioning of the brain. This vitamin together with carbohydrates and oxygen, promotes the "good" glucose level in the body, creating several useful hormones, including serotonin and dopamine. Potatoes also contain iron which helps in delivering oxygen to the brain and keep the body active.     

 

 

Oven Roasted Potatoes with Garlic 

There are plenty of types of potatoes, and if cooked the right way, they are a rich source of all kinds of minerals and vitamins. The best way to preserve all the healthy nutrients of this superfood is to cook them without peeling and to avoid all types of high-calorie toppings. With all the above in mind, let's have a look at this simple potato recipe for a healthy, crispy and delicious dish. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium-size potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 °C
  2. Wash the potatoes, cut them into cubes /without peeling/ and put them on a sheet in a single layer
  3.  Drizzle with olive oil, add the chopped garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven for 50-55 minutes until golden and crisp
  5. Remove from the oven and add the chopped parsley. 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

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