Imagine if Potatoes vanished from the face of the earth, what would be our plight? There would no chips, fries, patties and delicious mashes! Half of the world would starve without Potatoes, as they are a staple in many countries. Along with its versatility in cooking, Potato benefits our health in numerous ways. Packed with Vitamin C, Carbohydrates and other key nutrients, Potato does plenty of good to your body, if consumed in moderate amounts. In this article, we shall learn about the Potato benefits, along with its nutrition and side effects.
What Is Potato?
Potato is a starchy, tuberous vegetable that was originally cultivated in the European Nations. It was later introduced to the rest of the world by the Spanish and is now the fourth-largest food crop on the globe. Potatoes are indispensable to many cuisines and are widely used for making different varieties of foods due to their versatile nature.
Different Types Of Potatoes:
You will be surprised to know that there are 200+ varieties of Potatoes grown all over the world. Listed below are some of the popular ones, along with their key characteristics:
- Russet Potatoes: The conventional potatoes with brown skin and floury texture.
- Red Potatoes: Have red skin and waxy texture. Used in soups and stews for their sweet taste.
- White Potatoes: Come with White coloured skin and low sugar, medium starch.
- Yellow Potatoes: Have a yellow skin, with a waxy texture and buttery flavour.
- Purple Potatoes: Deep purple-skinned potatoes with an earthy flavour.
- Fingerling Potatoes: Shaped like a human finger and come with red, orange or purple skins.
- Petite Potatoes: Also called Baby potatoes with more concentration of flavour.
Are Potatoes Good For Health?
Potatoes are usually labelled as “bad foods” to the body. This is, however, a myth! If consumed in limited portions, Potatoes can be beneficial to your health. Here are some of the top reasons why Potatoes are incredibly good for you:
- Contains more than 70 % of Water.
- Low-Calorie vegetable.
- No Bad Fat components.
- Sodium-free and Cholesterol-free food.
- Rich source of Potassium.
- Have good amounts of Vitamins like B6.
- Mineral-rich food.
- Loaded with antioxidants and dietary fibre.
Potato Nutrition Facts:
Check out the breakup for the nutritional value of Potatoes per 100 gms of Serving:
- Total Calories: 77
- Total Carbohydrates: 17 gm
- Dietary Fiber: 2.2 gm
- Sugar: 0.8 gm
- Sodium: 6 mg
- Potassium: 421 mg
- Protein: 2 gm
- Vitamin C: 32 %
- Iron: 4 %
- Vitamin B6: 15 %
- Magnesium: 5 %
- Calcium: 1 %
Amazing Health Benefits Of Potatoes (Aloo):
Here we enlisted 19 wonderful aloo benefits for skin, hair and health. Let’s have a look into them.
1. Instant Energy Booster:
For more energy and power, having potatoes every day would be good, say sources. This is because the tuber has plenty of nutrients, minerals and vitamins in it, and along with that is a powerhouse of essential organic compounds too. The minerals found in potatoes have a lot of manganese, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium in it. Apart from that, research has shown that the tuber has enough of zinc, copper and iron which helps the body function normally too.
2. Helps Gain Weight:
Would you like to put on some weight and that too the healthy way, if yes, please have potatoes? This is because the tuber is filled with carbohydrates and less protein, making it ideal for those who are underweight to put on weight. The vitamins found in potatoes help absorb the carbohydrates the right way too. If you check the diet plans of wrestlers, they have a lot of potatoes in them, because they need a lot of energy to burn.
3. Improves Digestion:
Potatoes can help the digestive tract too because it has carbs which can be digested easily. Babies and senior citizens that have problems digesting food would need energy, which the potato would provide, say experts.
4. Gut-Friendly Food:
Not much but just a little every day would keep the digestive tract happy since the fibre in the tuber would help with peristaltic motion and helps the gastric juices work wonders too. The colon too would be kept safe from cancers, and the cholesterol would be scraped out of the blood vessels and arteries too.
5. Potato Benefits For Skin:
For those who need help with their skin, the vitamins in potatoes can help especially vitamin C and B complex. The minerals too found in potatoes can work wonders for the skin. It is true that the paste of the potato when mixed with honey and used as a face pack, can help nourish the skin and removes dark circles too. The same paste can be used for nicks, cuts and wounds as well, and they heal sooner, say holistic experts.
See More: Potato Juice Benefits
6. Treats Scurvy:
One can get rid of scurvy because of the vitamin C in the potato, say doctors. Even rheumatic pains can be done away with, thanks to the magnesium, calcium and vitamins found in the potato. Even if you use the water in which potatoes have been boiled as a syrup or topically, relief from the pains and the inflammations can be brought down to a large extent.
7. Anti-Cancer Properties:
Studies have shown that there are certain breeds of potatoes which can help fight cancer, especially russet and red potatoes that have plenty of carotenes, vitamins and antioxidants in them. The havoc created by free radicals can be brought down and there would be lesser chances of cancers or tumours happening in the body too.
8. Lowers Blood Pressure:
For those who suffer from high blood pressure, because of indigestion, tension, diabetes and lack of nutrients in the body, potatoes can be a boon. The tuber is known to bring down tension pangs and anxiety which would then work on bringing down the levels of blood pressure too. With plenty of vitamin C and fibre in it, the blood pressure levels would be kept in check. This is also a good option for those who want the fibre to manage and the digestive system too, which if left unchecked can create havoc with blood pressure levels.
9. Improves Blood Circulation:
The presence of vitamins, glucose, oxygen supply, amino acids, fatty acids etc found in potatoes and minerals too, helps with the normalcy of brain functioning. The tuber is high in carbohydrates but the levels of glucose in the blood would be maintained too. Fatigue would not affect the brain at all, hence the activity would be cognitive and all day long, with high performance being delivered at all times.
We know how important it is for the brain to have oxygen, and this is possible when enough of haemoglobin reaches the blood since it has a lot of iron in it. Potatoes have iron and that is why the transport of oxygen in the blood to the brain is possible, keeping the human body active all through the day.
10. Prevents Diarrhoea:
If you are experiencing symptoms of Diarrhoea like loose, watery stools, Potatoes can be an instant remedy. Being a starchy food, Boiled Potato benefits in controlling the frequency of these stools and lower the intensity. It is also easy to digest and provides good amount of energy for the body to recover.
See More: Potato For Hair Growth
11. Induces Good Sleep:
Research suggests that eating a baked potato can induce a good night’s sleep, after a tiring day. Potatoes are rich in potassium, which helps in relaxing your nerves. Magnesium presents it them can improve the GABA secretion, which is a nerve relaxer. So, they keep you full for long, which is needed for a long night of fasting.
12. Alleviates Premenstrual and Depressive Symptoms:
A lot of women experience mood swings, depression and fatigue before their menstrual cycle. Fortunately, this can be tackled with the help of Potatoes. Potatoes are rich in Magnesium, which can calm down your nerves. These tubers are sources of complex carbohydrates, with natural sugars to tame these symptoms and renew your body and mind.
13. Exfoliates Skin:
Raw Potato benefits to our skin are numerous. It works as a natural exfoliant to remove dead cells and smoothen your face. The skin lightening properties of Potatoes remove tan and pigmentation to reveal flawless skin. Just slice a potato and rub it gently on your skin in circular movements to notice the difference.
14. Treats Dry Skin:
If you are suffering from dry, cracked skin, try using Potatoes! They contain 70% of water, which can hydrate your skin and replenish the lost moisture levels. Potatoes can also offer soothing relief from itching and irritation of the skin, making it a popular home remedy for skin problems. Apply a face mask of Potato juice and keep it on your skin for a few minutes to feel good again! This is one of the best potato benefits for face and neck!
15. Treats Sunburns:
If your skin is damaged with sunburn due to UV radiation, Potato can offer great relief! Potato juice is a natural sunburn treatment, which reduces skin inflammation and keeps your skin moisturised. It can also give you a cooling effect on the irritated skin. Extract some potato juice and apply it on the burnt area for immediate relief.
See More: Potato For Dark Circles
16. Boosts Immunity:
Potatoes do much more to your body that treating your taste buds. The Vitamin C present in these tubers can strengthen the immune system and offer protection from common cold and cough. It can also shield your body against many harmful bacteria and virus which cause infections!
17. Improves Collagen Health:
Potatoes are abundant in many Vitamins like A, which are natural collagen boosters. Collagen is needed for retaining your skin’s elasticity and making it firm. It can also render a youthful look on your face by treating many signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and blemishes.
18. Treats Grey Hair:
Another natural treatment for premature grey hair is a Potato! The Potato peels can be used as natural dyes which lend a dark brownish colour. Using them over a period of time can cover all your grey hair into natural dark hair colour naturally. This method is also free from side effects.
19. Prevents Hair Loss:
Potato juice is considered to be an economical way to treat hair loss. It can stimulate hair growth by improving the blood circulation on your scalp. This results in activating even the dormant cells to allow the growth of new sprouts. Prepare potato juice and apply it on your scalp and massage well. Regular usage can give you visible results.
See More: Potato Face Packs
Potato Side Effects:
The “unhealthy” side of the Potato is not wrong altogether! Potato is healthy only if you retain its natural form in cooking and consume it in moderate portions. Here are some of the main disadvantages of Potato overdose:
- Increased Blood Sugar Levels
- Cholesterol increase (if taken in fried forms)
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Joint Pains
So, those are some of the best potato benefits for health, hair and skin! Potato is an eternal favourite with kids and adults alike. Whether it is in the form of a snack or in a salad, Potato can make you enjoy a delicious mealtime. Apart from its delectable taste, it is wonderful for your body too. Just avoid combining it with unhealthy oils, sauces or cooking techniques to get the most of this beautiful, starchy root!