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The best benefits of potatoes for your health

 Potato is one of the most important and most consumed food in all parts of the world, and its origin is in the Andean highlands in South America, and it is considered one of the most important sources of starch in the human diet, and it is currently considered the fourth best crop in the world after wheat, rice and corn. This is due to its high crop yield and nutritional value, and potatoes are accused by many of being a cause of weight gain and obesity and not giving them health benefits, and therefore some people avoid eating them if they try to adhere to a healthy diet, and this also contributed to the spread of the desire to avoid carbohydrates. In the diet, on the other hand, some use potatoes for some health and therapeutic purposes, and this is why this article aims to clarify the reality of the health benefits of potatoes.

Potato Benefits:

It is a rich source of potassium:

As potatoes contain a high amount of potassium, which is important for muscle and nerve functions, in addition to that it helps regulate blood pressure and fluid balance through its opposite effect on sodium, and increased potassium consumption is associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

It's a good source of vitamin C:

Where the primary vitamin present in potatoes is vitamin C, it should be noted that the proportion of this vitamin decreases when cooking, and it can be preserved in potatoes by cooking them with their peel.

It is a good source of Vitamin B6:

Where vitamin B6 is available in most foods, and potatoes are one of them, and therefore, vitamin B6 deficiency is rare, and this vitamin enters the formation of red blood cells.

It is a rich source of antioxidants:

Potatoes are a good source of antioxidants. Especially flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids, which in turn contribute to reducing free radicals that cause cirrhosis from chronic diseases, and a study published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science in 2016 indicated that the activity of antioxidants found in colored potatoes is stronger than in white potatoes.

It is a rich source of resistant starches:

It is the one that has the advantage of not being destroyed, but rather absorbed by the whole body through its use as food for beneficial bacteria upon arrival in the large intestine. The digestive system is that the beneficial bacteria convert these carbohydrates into short-chain fatty acids called butyrate, which is the preferred food for beneficial bacteria that contribute to reducing inflammation, and thus these starches maintain the health of the colon.

Precautions for using potatoes:

Where there are some health conditions in which it is better to eat potatoes with caution and in reasonable proportions, and we mention from these cases the following:

  • People with diabetes are advised to eat potatoes with caution and in appropriate quantities, like any other type of carbohydrates, due to their carbohydrate content that can affect the level of sugar in the blood.

  • Consuming a large amount of potatoes is not good for people who suffer from obesity, due to their high content of simple sugars, and therefore it is preferable to eat them in moderate quantities because they are sources of carbohydrates, such as: rice and pasta.

  • Potatoes can interfere with the effect of one of the drugs that are prescribed to heart patients, which is beta blockers, as this drug may increase the level of potassium in the blood, and due to the high content of potassium, it is preferable to eat it in moderate proportions by people who take these drugs.

  •  People with kidney damage are cautioned against consuming a large amount of potassium sources such as potatoes, due to the inability of their kidneys to excrete the extra amount than the body needs, so it is best to take it in moderation to avoid this effect.

What are the benefits of potatoes for children:

 Potatoes contain a good percentage of energy, which is very important for children, especially those who have a high level of activity, in addition to being a source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals important for their growth, and it is worth noting that children should eat different types of energy-rich foods; Such as rice, bread, pasta, and other foods rich in carbohydrates, instead of focusing on one type of them such as potatoes, for example by eating one type of them with each main meal.