Potatoes. Is there a more versatile, more delicious vegetable? They are relatively cheap, easy to grow, and packed with nutrients. Potatoes have protein, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, and folate. These nutrients make it an incredibly beneficial root vegetable to the body.
Potatoes are rich in compounds that function as antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals that damage cells and when they accumulate increase the risk of chronic diseases. One study found that the antioxidants present in them may suppress the growth of liver and colon cancer cells. To get the most out of potatoes, eat them with the skins on. Also, pick more colourful varieties. The more colour in the potato, the more antioxidants it contains.
May improve gut and digestive health
The starch in potatoes acts as a prebiotic. A prebiotic refers to food that is good for the bacteria in the large intestines. Prebiotics improve overall gut health. The fibre in them helps prevent and treat constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Since they predominantly contain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and may also facilitate digestion.
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May lower blood pressure
Baked potato skin is a great source of potassium and magnesium. Potassium deficiency leads the body to retain sodium which raises blood pressure. A potassium-rich diet decreases blood pressure protecting the heart and reducing the risk of stroke.
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May reduce inflammation
They may be effective in reducing both internal and external inflammation. They are rich in vitamin C which repairs tissue wear and tear. Potatoes have potassium and B6 which may relieve inflammation in the intestines and digestive system. This makes them great for people with mouth ulcers.
People who suffer from arthritis and gout stand to gain from its anti-inflammatory properties. They just need to be cautious because potatoes depending on how they are prepared can lead to weight gain which may exacerbate their conditions.
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May promote weight gain
Potatoes constitute a large part of the diet of sumo wrestlers because of their ability to promote weight gain and energy. They also have vitamin C and B-complex vitamins which help in the proper absorption of carbohydrates which are energy reserves.
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Potatoes are naturally gluten-free. While most people experience no adverse reaction to gluten, people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity can experience severe discomfort from eating food containing gluten.
Aside from being nutritious, potatoes are also incredibly filling. This feeling of fullness prevents overeating and curbs hunger making it a natural way of regulating appetite. This is beneficial for people trying to lose weight.
They can be baked, mashed, roasted, made into french fries, potato pancakes, tater tots, potato salad, and more. They are versatile making them easy to incorporate into meals without compromising on taste and preferences. There’s something for everyone.
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