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The humble spud may not be so humble after all!

The humble spud may not be so humble after all! | Mr Vitamins
The Potato has been sidelined due to the popularity of low carbohydrate diets, but it really should be make a comeback. Potatoes are loaded with nutrition and when eaten in moderation can be healthy addition to any diet.

Health Benefits of Potatoes

  • Strengthens Immune System
  • Heart healthy
  • Brain food
  • Boosts cell production

What makes Potatoes so great?

Potatoes have been around since the 16th century and belong to the nightshade family. They have become one of more politically incorrect vegetables to eat due to their various preparation methods such as French fires, potato chips etc… In actuality when potatoes are properly prepared they have an amazing amount of nutrition to offer. One medium potato has 13 – 20% of your daily RDI of these: vitamin C, B6, B3, pantothenic acid, potassium, copper, manganese and phosphorus. They also contain:
  • Vitamin C Potatoes were kept aboard ships to supply the crew with a good dose of vitamin C to prevent scurvy. Either boiled or baked a large potato has between 35- 45 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Your body uses this antioxidant to fight disease, boost your immune system, prevent aging and enhance skin and hair quality.
  • Cardiovascular health Potatoes contain over 60 different vitamins and photochemicals that help keep both body and heart healthy. One of the more important phytochemicals is Kukoamine that, until recently, was thought to only be found in Goji Fruit. This phytochemical helps reduce blood pressure.
  • Vitamin B6 This vitamin is responsible for over 100 chemical reactions in your body. Many of your body's functions including: cell regeneration, brain and nervous system function, heart health and cancer protection all rely on vitamin B6. A medium sized potato has ½ milligram of B6.
  • Iodine This mineral is responsible for keeping your thyroid gland functioning properly and your metabolism on track. Eating fish or seaweed is the most common way to add iodine to your diet but potatoes have at least 40% of your recommended daily intake making them a great way to supplement. Potato iodine is concentrated in the skin of the potato.
  • Fibre Yes, potatoes have fibre, which is essential for keeping your digestive tract on track. A medium potato contains over 3 grams of fibre. Much of the fibre is also contained in the skin of the potato.

How to prepare potatoes

Potatoes should be baked, mashed (with skins on) or boiled for the most health benefits. One medium sized baked potato has 161 calories and 3 grams of fibre. Potatoes are a high glycemic index food but when paired with olive oil or butter, blood sugar spikes can be minimized. Try them cold as Potato  Salad with home made Olive Oil Mayonnaise and fresh herbs (parsley and dill are great!). Choose firm organic potatoes that are grown in rich soil with no pesticides. Store potatoes in a dry dark place, not in plastic containers. Potatoes are a comfort food that you can love all over again. 'Ask a naturopath' about more foods that can help you stay healthy.