Health Benefits of Potatoes
The potato is a popular vegetable which is liked by both adults and children. Russia is the largest producer of potatoes in the world.
- The highest nutrient in potatoes is starch;
A potato tuber is made up of an average of 79% water, 17% starch, 1% ash and 3% nitrogen compounds, including 2% of the protein;
- Potatoes also contain useful acids such as: pectin, oxalic acid, malic acid, citric acid and other organic acids;
- Potato dishes are high in carbohydrates, fiber and protein (globulin, albumin, protein and peptone);
- Due to the content of potassium, potatoes promote the excretion of excess water, neutralize excess acids that have accumulated in the body and normalize metabolism, the heart and the gastrointestinal tract. They are also useful against diseases of the liver;
- Contains phosphorus and vitamins: C, B1, B2, B6, as well as, vitamin A (in small amounts)
- The juice of young potatoes is a good remedy against stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastritis and heartburn.
How To Cook Potatoes
When cooking potatoes you should choose methods that allow them to preserve their natural, healthy substances.
- Peel potatoes just before cooking.
Peeled potatoes put in a bowl or pot filled with cold water and left in that state for a while will lose a lot of minerals. Organic acids and carbohydrates will go into the water. Vitamins C1, B1, B2 and PP will be destroyed by the water.
- If potatoes are young, it is healthier to cook them unpeeled, i.e. in their jackets.
Potato skins prevent washout of soluble substances during cooking. Potatoes baked in the oven and in their skins are particularly appetizing.
Please note! Frying potatoes in oil is the most harmful way of cooking them. Fried potatoes are harmful to the health because of the high content of trans fats.
Potatoes side effects and contraindications
One of the components of potato skins is solanine which can cause harm and severe poisoning of the body.
- Potatoes can cause harm if stored for more than three months.
- Consumption of old or green potatoes can cause: dizziness, nervous system disorders, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, convulsions, fainting, and other symptoms of illness.
- Pregnant women need to be doubly careful
Solanine is one of the strongest teratogens – harmful substances that can cause birth defects.
Picking and buying potatoes the right way
- Potatoes should not have green areas
If so, they were stored in the light and have a high content of solanine (see above).
- Potatoes must be free of sprouts, hard and tight!
If these requirements are not met, then they are old and not worth buying.
- The skins of young potatoes should not flake off (otherwise the potatoes are not ripe) but still be easy to remove
- Scratch a small piece of a potato with a fingernail, juice should not trickle down! If juice is released, then the potato contains a lot of nitrate.
- Buy small and medium sized potatoes as the nutrients in a large potato are about a third less than their smaller counterparts.
- In no way should technical potatoes such as, Amflora and Amadea, be consumed!
- These potatoes were originally not intended to be food, they were used in the production of adhesives, as well as, in the textile and paper industry. They look just like regular potatoes but need a longer time (1-2 hours) to cook! That’s how you can recognize them. Normal potatoes are cooked in no more than 30 minutes!
- Potatoes should be stored in the cellar or refrigerator, preferably at a temperature of 36-43° F (2-6°C).