As an Indian when we think of the nutritional value of potatoes, the first thing that comes to our mind is the tasty potato sabzis, but the immediate next question that arises is “Are there potato benefits?”.
The answer is YES! However, it depends upon the other ingredients and quantity of potato used to make a complete dish. Read through to know about potatoes, like never before.
8 Health Benefits of potatoes
1. Potatoes can enhance Brain & Nervous Activity:
Potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, which plays a vital role in synthesizing certain types of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are basically some molecules that transmit messages among your nerve cells.
Neurotransmitters like serotonin, that can regulate depression or the neurotransmitters like epinephrine and norepinephrine, that respond to stress require vitamin B6 for their production.
So the vitamin B6 helps in enhancing nervous activity as well as brain functioning in the body.
2. Potato can lower blood pressure:
Studies have found that baked potatoes are helpful in lowering blood pressure. How? Well, potatoes contain high amounts of potassium and magnesium.
Eating foods with high potassium can help your body become more efficient in removing the excess of sodium. This helps in lowering blood pressure. Moreover, the magnesium in potatoes makes the blood flow in the body healthier.
Hence these two components of potatoes help in lowering blood pressure.
3. Potato benefits skin:
While you may have been trying every product in the market for a better skin, the solution may be just around the corner of your kitchen.
Potatoes can help in:
a) Lightening of skin: Potatoes contain natural bleaching agents. This helps in skin brightening.
b) Puffiness under eyes: Potatoes contain the enzyme catecholase that helps in reducing the puffiness under eyes.
c) Keeps the skin firm and smooth: The different nutrients and antioxidants present in potatoes help in keeping the skin firm as well as smooth.
d) Anti-aging: Raw potato if used with lemon juice can act as a great anti-aging method. The catecholase in potato also helps in providing anti-aging property.
4. Potato benefits hair:
The vitamin B, vitamin C, niacin and iron contents of potatoes help in proper hair growth. Moreover, these nutrients are also responsible for fighting hair problems like dandruff, hair fall etc. by cleansing the scalp and clearing the hair follicles.
Potato juice is majorly beneficial for promoting hair growth.
One of the easiest ways of applying potato juice in your hair is:
- Blend cut pieces of potatoes.
- Add some water to the blended potato puree.
- Take out the potato juice and apply to your scalp first and then to your hair, from roots to tips.
Interesting tidbits about Potato:
- Potatoes are the world’s 4th staple food.
- Did you know what were the first vegetables grown in space? Yes, Potatoes!
- About 20% of potato nutrition comes from its skin.
- The name potato is derived from the Spanish word Patata.
- Potatoes belong to the family nightshade. This also includes tomatoes, capsicum, egg plant and the deadly belladonna.
- Potatoes are virtually fat free.
5. Potato benefits heart:
One normal potato can give almost 8% of the recommended daily fiber value. Fiber helps in keeping the heart healthy by lowering the blood cholesterol level. The vitamin C in potato nutrition helps in protecting the blood arteries.
And the vitamin B6 found in potatoes helps in lowering the level of homocysteine, an amino acid whose high level can lead to heart strokes.
Moreover, studies show that the potassium content of potatoes can further lower risks of heart diseases. So all the more reasons to have potatoes. Provided they are cooked healthily.
6. Potato benefits weight loss:
Yes, contrary to the popular belief, potatoes help in weight loss. Provided, you are eating potatoes cooked using the right recipe! Potatoes have low Glycemic Index and also contain complex carbohydrates. These make them ideal for weight loss.
The complex carbs require more time to be digested. Therefore, eating a properly cooked potato will keep you full for a long time and thus help you combat the hunger pangs.
7. Potatoes can reduce cancer risks:
Potatoes are found to contain folate, an essential vitamin B. It is needed in repairing of body cells as well as preparing DNA.
It has been found that folate has to protect properties against pancreatic, esophageal and colorectal cancer. So, foods containing folate naturally, are considered healthy and beneficial for lowering cancer risks.
8. Potato benefits bone health:
For regulating a proper bone health, potato nutrients like iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and zinc play vital roles.
Iron and zinc are required intricately in the production and maturation of collagen, a protein that helps in providing strength to bones.
FAQs about potatoes:
Q. Do potatoes have any nutritional value?
A. Yes. Potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and pantothenic acid. They are low calorie and are also rich in potassium.
Q. Are red potatoes healthy for you?
A. Yes, they are. The red potatoes have nutrient filled thin skins which are very healthy. Moreover, the skin contains about half of the fiber content and is rich in vitamins, iron and potassium. Baked potatoes with the skin are found to be very healthy.
Q. Difference between Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes.
A. Although believed to be similar, potatoes and sweet potatoes belong to two different families botanically. Potatoes belong the Solanaceae family. They produce the poisonous solanine. Don’t eat their leaves or the potatoes that have gone green.
Q. Sweet potatoes belong to the Convolvulaceae family. They don’t contain any poisonous substance.
A. Both of them have nutritional differences such as; Sweet potatoes contain more fiber and vitamins while white potatoes have more iron, magnesium and potassium.
To know more check out the video below:
So, now that you know the different potato benefits, you must celebrate your potato love by cooking it healthily. And if you got any potato nutrition facts or any potato healthy recipe, write to us in the comment section below!