Potatoes are far from bad for you. Anyone who is health conscious should certainly add potatoes to the list of things that are great to consume.
Potatoes are the number one vegetable crop in the United States and the fourth most consumed crop around the world. The popularity of the potato is certainly under no dispute - but what about its effects on your health? Well, it turns out that potatoes (and we are not talking French fries) are actually extremely good for you. Forget the butter and sour cream (additions like that can quickly turn potatoes into an unhealthy snack) - we're taking a look at the potato itself.
Potatoes are high in many nutrients that provide various benefits. To begin with, they are great for your heart for many reasons. One reason is that potatoes help naturally lower blood pressure via kukoamines and potassium. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in methylation, which (among its many other duties) is responsible for converting homocysteine (high levels of which indicate heart disease) into other substances that are not harmful. Fiber, of which 15% can be found in one cup, helps lower cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of plaque formation in the arteries. Potatoes also contain over 20% vitamin C per cup, an important vitamin which aside from boosting the immune system, acts as an antioxidant to fight free radicals that may contribute to heart disease and cancer development.
The high amount of fiber found in potatoes is not only good for the heart - it helps keep the digestive system in good working order as well. As if this wasn't enough to show that potatoes are good for you, there's more. Vitamin B6 has benefits beyond methylation, as it is also important for cell formation, the creation of amines, converting food into energy, and helping the body metabolize fats and proteins.
There must be a catch, right? Certainly, potatoes will make you gain weight, won't they? As it turns out, it's not likely. One medium potato only has approximately 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol and only a gram of sugar, while containing a fair amount of protein. The weight gain associated with potatoes comes from adding things like butter and sour cream, or deep frying them in oil. By themselves, potatoes certainly deserve mentioning as a super food.
Possible short-term side effects
- blood sugar spike
- boosts immune system
- decreases risk of heart disease
- decreases risk of cancer
- decreases blood pressure
- lowers cholesterol levels
- helps convert homocysteine
- helps neurotransmitter formation
- aid in cell formation
- promotes a healthy digestive system
- promotes a healthy metabolism very satiating (promotes weight loss)
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Written by Jeff Volling | 03-11-2016
Written by Jeff Volling
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