Health Benefits of Potato
Potatoes are one of the most common and important food sources on the planet, and they contain a wealth of health benefits that make them all the more essential as a staple dietary item for much of the world’s population.
These health benefits include their ability :-
- to improve digestion,
- reduce cholesterol levels,
- boost heart health,
- protect from polyps,
- prevent cancer,
- manage diabetes,
- strengthen the immune system,
- reduce signs of aging,
- protect the skin,
- increase circulation,
- reduce blood pressure,
- maintain fluid balance,
- reduce insomnia,
- and boost eye health.
Weight Gain :-
- Potatoes are primarily made of carbohydrates and contain very little protein.
- This makes it an ideal diet for those excessively lean or thin people who desperately want to put on weight.
- The vitamin content includes vitamin-C and B-complex, which also help in proper absorption of carbohydrates.
- That is one of the reasons that potatoes make up a large part of the diet of sumo wrestlers, as well as many other athletes who need large energy reserves to burn off in order to compete!
- Since potatoes predominantly contain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and facilitate digestion.
- This property makes them a good diet for babies or for those who cannot digest hard food, but need energy.
- However, remember that eating too many potatoes on a regular basis may cause acidity over time.
- Potatoes also contain a considerable amount of fiber or roughage, more in raw potatoes and cold ones than boiled or hot ones.
- This stimulates peristaltic motion and increased secretion of gastric juices, which eases digestion and prevents conditions like constipation and protects the body from more serious conditions like colorectal cancer.
- Fiber is also connected with scraping cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels, thereby increasing heart health.
Skin Care :-
- Vitamin-C and B-complex as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc are good for the skin.
- Apart from that, pulp obtained from crushed raw potatoes, mixed with honey, can work well in skin and face packs.
- This even helps to cure pimples and spots on the skin. Again, this pulp, if applied externally on burns, provides quick relief and faster healing.
- Smashed potatoes, and even water in which potatoes have been washed, are very good for softening and cleaning skin, especially around the elbows, and the back of the hands.
Burns, rashes and other skin irritations :-
- When applied on the skin, raw potatoes (cut into slices or juiced) have anti-irritating, soothing and decongestioning properties.
- It can be used to treat a wide variety of skin irritations and conditions, including burns, rashes, as well as skin redness, itching and dehydration.
Constipation and hemorrhoids :-
- Boiled or steamed potatoes promote the formation and passage of soft, hydrated stools.
- So they can be effectively used as a natural remedy to treat constipation, eliminate bowel straining and prevent hemorrhoids.
Gastritis and gastric ulcers :-
- Perhaps the most common use of raw potato juice is to treat gastritis, colitis, gastric and intestinal ulcers, due to its anti-acid and healing properties.
- In these cases, to get the maximum benefit from potato juice, it is advisable to drink a half glass of it 3 to 4 times a day, for at least one month.
Cancer Prevention :-
- Certain types of potatoes, particularly red and russet potatoes, contain high levels offlavonoid antioxidants and vitamin A like zeaxanthin and carotenes, they can protect you against many types of cancer.
- Also, research at the Agricultural Research service has shown that potatoes contain a compound called quercetin, which has been proven to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.
- Finally, the high levels of vitamin A and C both have antioxidant qualities that can protect your body from the devastating effects of cancer.
High Blood Pressure :-
- Since high blood pressure can occur for a number of reasons that include diabetes, tension, indigestion, nutrient balance, food content and many others, different treatments are required.
- Luckily, potatoes can alleviate multiple possible causes; potatoes can be used to relieve high blood pressuredue to tension.
- They can also treat indigestion due to abundance of vitamin-C and fiber within it, but they should be avoided if the high blood pressure is a result of diabetes.
- The fiber present in it is helpful in lowering cholesterol and improves functioning of insulin in the body, which aids in the lowering of blood pressure.
Brain Function :-
- Proper functioning of the brain depends largely on the glucose level, oxygen supply, various components of the vitamin-B complex and certain hormones, amino acids and fatty acids like omega-3.
- Potatoes cater to almost all the needs mentioned above.
- They are high in carbohydrates, and thereby maintain good levels of glucose in the blood.
- This prevents the brain from letting fatigue creep in and it keeps your cognitive activity and performance high.
- Next, the brain needs oxygen, which is carried to the brain by the hemoglobin in the blood; its main constituent is iron. Potatoes contain iron as well.
- Therefore, potatoes help deliver oxygen to the brain as well.
- There are a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in potatoes that positively affect the function of the brain, including phosphorus, zinc, and the B complex vitamins.
- The vasodilating properties of potassium have also been connected to stimulation of brain function due to increased blood flow to that essential organ.
Kidney Stones :-
- Kidney Stones, also known as Renal Calculi, are caused mainly due to increased levels of uric acid in the blood.
- In such cases, foods high in protein should be avoided, particularly animal proteins such as meat, turkey, shrimp, fish, eggs, and milk, as well as spinach, raw plantain, black grams and certain beans, which drastically increase the level of uric acid in the blood.
- Iron and calcium also contribute to forming the stones. Potatoes are rich in both of these so logically, they wouldn’t fit in as a preventative measure of kidney stones, but they also contain magnesium, which inhibits the accumulation or deposition of calcium (calcification) in the kidney and other tissues, thereby proving beneficial for treatment of renal calculi.
Potato Leek Soup :-
One of my favorites on a cold, rainy night, Potato Leek Soup is surprisingly simple and clearly offers more to your body than just a warm, satisfying meal! There are many versions of this recipe, but mine happens to opt for low-fat techniques to keep the calories down and the nutrients intact.
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 leeks, sliced (an onion can be subsituted)
- 4 cups Yukon Gold potatoes (any variety will do), sliced into 1/4″ rounds
- 6 cups Water or Chicken Broth
- Splash of milk
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a large pot over medium heat, cook leeks in olive oil until tender, stirring frequently (about 15 minutes).
- Add potatoes and water or broth until potatoes are just covered, bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, around 20-30 minutes.
- Add a splash of milk, and season with salt and pepper.
- For added yumminess, try adding in a little sherry or brandy before serving with some crusty, whole grain bread.