Potato (scientific name – Solanum tuberosum) originated from South America, specifically in the Andean mountain region. It belongs to the nightshade or Solanaceae family whose other members include eggplants, tomatoes, Belladonna, tomatillos, peppers, and tobacco.
The Spaniards had given this tuber the name of ”batata” or ”patata” that later got transformed into ”potato” in English.
Red Potato Nutrition Facts
It is a good source of minerals (such as – iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese), vitamins (including C, K, B5, B6, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin), protein, dietary fiber, starch, and natural sugars.
Note – it has the highest score per dollar on providing fiber, potassium, vitamin C, protein, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, copper, and iron. For example, one serving will set you back only around $0.25.
A Nutritious Red Skin
They are very healthy, especially because of the thin, nutrient filled skins, that are a storehouse of B vitamins, dietary fiber, and minerals (such as – potassium and iron). In addition, the skin has about 200 percent more antioxidant content than white potatoes.
Free radicals are capable of damaging biologically relevant molecules, including the proteins, DNA, lipids, and carbohydrates. They are linked to various human disease, like – atherosclerosis, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others.
Extremely Low In Fat
Fat is high in calories, and the USDA says consuming too many calories ultimately leads to obesity. For example, in 2010 the obesity prevalence ranged from 30.3 percent for women and men aged 20-39 years to 35.4 percent and 39.5 percent, respectively, for women and men aged 40-59 years and ages 60 and over.
100g of this tuber contains 0,2g of fat.
Vitamin C is used to form a major protein (collagen) used to make tendons, skin, blood vessels, and ligaments. Moreover, vitamin C helps to heal your wound, and it forms scar tissue as well as it helps the body to absorb calcium.
100g of this tuber contains 12,6mg of vitamin C, that is 21% of the recommended daily intake.
Pyridoxine, better known as vitamin B6, is one of the vitamins included in the vitamin B complex. Vitamin B6 is essential for nervous, digestive, cardiovascular, muscular, immune system function. More importantly, pyridoxine seems to stimulate parts of the brain during rapid eye movement sleep, leading to a more restful sleep. A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to nerve damage in the feet and hands.
100g of this tuber has 0,2 mg of vitamin B6, which represents 11 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Potassium is the 3rd most abundant mineral in the human body. For example, there is at least twice as much potassium as sodium, with 95 percent of it located inside cells. This essential mineral boosts the central nervous system, muscle strength, electrolytic functions, metabolism as well as it balances fluids in the body.
Additionally, it helps to regulate the heart, that is triggered by potassium to contract, squeezing blood through the human body 100,000 times per day.
100g of this tuber has 545 mg of potassium, that is around 16% of the recommended daily intake.
Dietary fiber is an important component of a heart-healthy diet. There are 2 types of dietary fiber: insoluble and soluble. The soluble fiber attracts water to form a gel during digestion, hence, slowing the process. Insoluble fiber helps to push digested food through the large intestine, therefore increasing the bulk of the stool.
100g of this tuber contains 1,8g of dietary fiber, that is about 7% of the recommended daily intake.
Beneficial Before And During Pregnancy
If a woman has enough folate (also known as vitamin B9) in her body before and while she is pregnant, her baby is considerably less likely to have a major birth defect of the spine or brain (these birth defects usually occur in the 1st month of pregnancy, frequently before a woman knows she is pregnant).
100g of this tuber has 27mcg of folate, which is 7 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Lowers LDL And Total Cholesterol
Copper possesses certain beneficial properties for the body that helps in increasing HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL cholesterol. Because this trace mineral is a strong antioxidant, it also helps to slow the aging process.
A deficiency in this mineral can be caused by a diet which is low in foods containing copper or from consuming high doses of zinc or ascorbic acid (the synthetic form of vitamin C), both of which can obstruct copper’s absorption.
100g of this tuber contains 0,2 mg of copper, that is nearly 9% of the recommended daily intake.
Manganese is a mineral found in small quantities in the kidneys, bones, pancreas, and liver. It helps the human body to produce energy from foods as well as it is involved in bone formation and thyroid function. Manganese deficiency can lead to bone malformation, infertility, weakness, thyroid problems, and seizures.
100g of this tuber has 0,2 mg manganese, which is about 9 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Look for smooth, clean, firm-textured tubers with no bruises, cuts, or discoloration.
You can store them in a cool, dry place, away from the light, however, don’t refrigerate them. They stay best at temperatures less than 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Also, don’t wash them before storing.
How To Eat
Typical recipes using these tubers include casseroles, salads, and soups.
- The glycemic index may be medium to low when boiled and consumed whole, rather than mashed, and when they are eaten cooled, rather than hot. This happens because when you eat them cooled they contain some resistant starch, a type of dietary fiber that we can’t digest, but can be broken down by our healthy gut bacteria in the colon.
- Avoid peeling them before cooking them since the outer shell provides good protection against vitamins and other nutrients that are lost during the cooking process.
- The branches, stems, leaves, and fruits are toxic, containing alkaloids, including – chaconine, arsenic, and solanine.
- Avoid consuming these tuber fried, since frying destroys most of the vitamins, enzymes, and nutrients and increases the fat content notably.
There are no side effects as long as the skin does not show any signs of green, the 1st sign of the chemical solanine.