Potatoes, a commonly misunderstood nutritional powerhouse

If you knew there was a vegetable which would help to support a large number of health aspects you would make sure it was a staple in your diet, right? 

This nutritional powerhouse helps the body’s immune system, reduces the risk of hypertension and stroke, helps maintain a healthy blood pressure, and turns the energy in your food into energy your body can use, as well as making you feel fuller for longer. So what vegetable offers such awesome health benefits? None other than the humble potato.

Over the last five years, potato consumption has drastically decreased. Potatoes received a bad reputation due to a large number of people believing that they contain ‘too much’ starch and carbohydrates.

In reality, they can be an incredibly healthy option depending on how they’re cooked. The starch in a potato can be easily turned into ‘resistant starch’ simply by cooking and cooling before eating. As the name suggests, after cooking and cooling, the starch resists digestion and doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin. By including resistant starch in your diet, you increase the feeling of fullness resulting in eating less calories throughout the day.

A lot of weight loss companies promoted that people should be avoiding carbohydrates and focusing on protein instead. Protein is important, but with carbohydrates being the body’s primary source of fuel it is essential that you don’t cut them out. The body converts carbohydrates into energy which gets you through the day. The amount of carbohydrates in a potato varies depending on the size, they have an average of 25g per serve. With so many additional vitamins and nutrients, it is worth making potatoes your first choice when it comes to carbohydrates.

Potatoes are packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients which help with a number of health aspects and should be a staple in any diet.

  • High in fibre; helps to improve lipid levels and regulates blood glucose. This helps you feel fuller for longer which can help with weight loss.
  • A great source of Vitamin B6; important in maintaining a healthy metabolism and helps turn the energy from food into energy your body can use.
  • An excellent source of Vitamin C; just one potato contains 30% of your RDI which helps support the body’s immune system.
  • Excellent source of potassium; reduces the risk of hypertension and stroke as well as maintaining a normal blood pressure.
  • Free from fat, sodium and cholesterol, potatoes are an ideal addition to any meal.

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