You Say Potato...

November 24, 2010

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Photo: Courtesy of Suat Eman

For years we’ve been taught that potatoes are bad for you.
Their presence at the top of the Food Guide Pyramid is attributed to their
starch content and somewhat high glycemic index. But what if the health
benefits of potatoes outweighed their downfalls? Certainly potatoes shouldn’t
be eaten daily to a sugar freak or diabetic, but they are quite healthy and
actually beneficial to others if eaten in moderation. Here are some of the
nutritional benefits of potatoes…

  • Potatoes
    contain all 22 amino acids to form complete proteins 
  • Potatoes
    are a high source of potassium (higher than bananas)
  • Potatoes
    are rich in minerals and Vitamin C and B
  • Potatoes
    contain 60 different kinds of phytochemicals in the skin and fles
  • Some
    potatoes contain high amounts of folic acid, quercetin and kukoamine
  • Potatoes
    are antioxidant dense

Potatoes are also ecologically
friendly as they can be grown in a small area all year round and it only takes a few to make a meal. Many experts suggest
that if they were to only choose one food for survival, it would be potatoes.
What’s important to remember is to keep your potatoes healthy. Don’t fry the
potatoes because that can add unwanted fats to the meal. Bake, boil, or sauté
your potatoes for easy cooking and healthier eating.

So the next
time you’re making a family meal, don’t shy away from potatoes for fear of
their glycemic index. Mash them up, skin on, and serve them with your favorite
vegetable and meat. Always remember to prepare your potatoes in the healthiest
manner (avoid frying), include the skins, and to eat them in moderation. The
nutritional components of the potato could help save your life.

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