The potato is a plant belonging to the nightshade family which is grown all over the world for its starchy tuber. The plant was first discovered in the Andes and brought to Europe by Spanish explorers.
Potatoes are often thought of as a nutritional powerhouse ingredient because of the fact that they are nutrient rich because of the many vitamins and minerals contained within.
Below are some interesting nutritional facts we should all be aware of:
- Roughly 46% of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C can be obtained by eating just one potato.
- Roughly 18% of your recommended dose of potassium can be obtained by eating just one potato
- Other important micronutrients contained in potatoes include zinc, thiamine, folate and iron.
- If you prepare a potato and leave the skin on, such as a baked potato, it will contain up-to 7g of dietary fibre
- Potatoes have probiotic properties; they boost colon health thanks to their elevated amounts of starch.
- Potatoes contain no fat and no sodium.
- Potatoes are free of gluten.
1. Potatoes Improve Digestion Through Their Probiotic Properties
Probiotics help improve our digestion, our immune system and our skin. Probiotics are live bacteria that live in our gut.
They are living organisms and you can have good bacteria and bad bacteria and helping balance the good with the bad is where probiotics come in.
Research into the benefits of potatoes has found that the resistant starch found in abundance in potatoes, acts like a probiotic for the gut. So the cheapest and simplest method of ingesting foods that act as a probiotic is to eat foods such as potatoes, rice and beans, green bananas and green plantain.
Studies have also shown that there are several benefits to eating resistant starch in our daily diets such as the benefits you find in the following list.
- Increased absorption of calcium and magnesium
- Decrease in absorption of toxic and carcinogenic compounds
- Increase in Bifidobacterium
- Eases insulin sensitivity
- Lowers blood glucose levels
- Produces feelings of satiety
Potatoes are rich in fiber, the fiber simulates peristaltic movement, it also increases gastric juices, both these actions promote good digestion, regularity and afford protection from colorectal cancer.
Key Takeaway: Potatoes improve digestion, prevent colorectal cancer, increase absorption of calcium and magnesium and act as a probiotic by increasing the good bacteria in the gut.