The tubers are characterized by their nutritional contributions and their variable uses in gastronomy. They are recognized throughout the world and provide incredible health benefits, since their underground stem is responsible for accumulating all the reserve nutrients for the plant.

In the following article, we will talk about the most consumed and widespread tuber worldwide, the potato. Highlighting what are its main benefits, nutritional properties and forms of consumption.

What is the potato?

The potato or known by its scientific name as Solanum tuberosum L., is one of the tubers with the greatest reach worldwide, in addition to being considered a source of high-quality   carbohydrates and proteins .

There are different types of potato thanks to its biodiversity, where there are organoleptic differences such as color, shape and flavor. The diversity of potatoes that are currently known worldwide, are an adaptation over time of the domestication of their crop, faithfully maintaining their main characteristics.

To highlight: The potato is an easy to obtain and recognized product , due to the amounts of food it provides with little demand for land, unlike many other crops.

What benefits does the potato bring?

The potato, thanks to its nutritional quality and its important molecules, has the ability to confer incredible benefits to the health of its consumers. They will be mentioned and explained below to allow their knowledge and use:

1. Strengthens the body’s defenses

The potato contains about half of the necessary daily requirement of vitamin C , so it benefits the body’s defenses and greatly reduces the risk of contracting infectious and viral diseases. Strengthens the cells of the immune system and therefore allows greater defense and protection for the body. (1)

You should know: Potatoes also provide antioxidants within their nutritional composition, which allows the protection of cells and slows down oxidation processes that may affect our health. It is important to note that antioxidants play an important role in the immune system and its defenses.

2. Improves blood circulation

Among the benefits of the potato, its ability to reduce cardiovascular conditions, improve circulation and reduce blood pressure levels stands out. This is due to its contribution of chlorogenic acid, which acts as a diuretic and natural detoxifier. These compounds also have antioxidant and antiviral properties. (two)

3. Control blood pressure

The potato, thanks to its potassium content, confers benefits to the reduction and control of blood pressure, demonstrating through scientific studies its ability to reduce the tension in the walls of the blood vessels and therefore obtain an antihypertensive effect. (3)

Note: The potassium deficit in the body can lead to critical conditions of hypertension and structural disorders , which could put health at risk. 

4. Regulates cholesterol and blood sugar

Initially it is important to note that the potato is a food free of fat and cholesterol content. However, it is also characterized by keeping blood cholesterol levels controlled, especially thanks to the consumption of potato peels. (4)

To highlight: Its fiber content reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the bloodstream, and also the activity of glucose, allowing an effective intervention in the health of its consumers, in addition to benefiting digestion and allowing us a prolonged feeling of satiety .

5. Decreases joint inflammation

The potato contains anti-inflammatory properties, so it is recommended to reduce the symptoms of joint conditions that are not pathological, since in these cases the presence in the potato of a compound called solanine could aggravate the pain. (5)

6. Improves digestive disorders

Monitored studies have shown the usefulness of potatoes to alleviate stomach disorders, mainly due to its antacid and sedative effect. It is also important to note that the potato benefits the intestinal microbiota thanks to its contribution of resistant starches. (6)

You should know: The potato is a food that provides dietary fiber , which benefits motility and intestinal transit, which reduces the risk of suffering disorders such as constipation and chronic fatigue.

7. Fights anemia

The potato has a potential ability to reduce the risk of anemia and also combat it. This is due to the fact that it is an important and quality nutritional source, being a carrier of energy, vitamins and iron, which is why it is considered a potential food used to reduce deficits in these micronutrients. (7)

8. Increases physical energy

Thanks to its carbohydrate content, potatoes are an important source of energy for the body, which benefits its proper functioning and the ability to perform more activities or physical efforts. For this reason, it is considered a useful source of daily energy.

9. Soothes skin conditions

Its content and component of vitamin C, positively influences the regeneration of tissues in our body, also contributing to the formation and synthesis of a protein that has an important activity in the production of tendons, blood vessels and scar tissue. 

Note: All this is also due to its thiamine content, which allows cell regeneration and production. (8)

10. Protects against some types of cancer

Its content of vitamins and antioxidants allow the protection of health and therefore reduce the risks of developing cancer or the reproduction of these cells. However, there are many studies that mention the opposite, due to the presence of a molecule called acrylamide. (9)

Potato nutritional properties

The potato contains important quality molecules within its nutritional composition, from which the properties and benefits for the consumer’s body and therefore, their health are obtained. We mention the main ones below:

1. Vitamins

Potatoes provide vitamins such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C, which allow proper development and functioning of our body, as well as important antioxidant activity that protects our cells.

2. Minerals

Among the minerals found in the potato, its iron and potassium content stands out , providing the greatest amount of benefits to its consumers. Similarly, it also contains calcium and phosphorus.

3. Other compounds

The potato is a fairly complete food, rich in carbohydrates, fiber and protein , which does not provide any fat or cholesterol. It contains at least 75 calories per 100 grams of potato and a significant content of folic acid , especially when cooked.

How should potatoes be consumed?

The potato is characterized by having a wide variety in its consumption, since it is a very versatile and delicious food. In this sense, the potato can be cooked boiled, baked or fried , to make purees, salads or be the ideal accompaniment to some meals.

To highlight: All the methods of preparation are adapted to the different types of potatoes offered by its biodiversity , allowing the inclusion of sweet, neutral and characteristic flavors that can be added to our diet and to our dishes. 

What harm does the potato do?

The potato is a food that, like all, in excess can lead to undesirable consequences that compromise our health. It can even lead to poisoning due to excessive consumption, where symptoms such as stomach upset and fever occur.

You should know: It is important to mention that there is also a risk of weight gain and intestinal obstruction, as possible damage and consequences of a constant intake of this food.

Key Findings

  • The potato is a tuber that provides a large number of benefits thanks to its nutritional composition, where it is rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as an important contribution of calories.
  • The benefits of the potato are reflected in the health of its consumers, allowing to strengthen the defenses of the immune system and benefit the digestive process.
  • Potatoes are vegetables with the ability to combat and prevent anemia, in addition to providing folic acid and helping the skin with the recovery and treatment of rashes, burns and irritations. 
  • Potatoes are also involved in reducing the absorption of cholesterol and glucose in the blood.
  • One of the reasons for the popularity of the potato (consumed mainly in juice), is that there are recommendations to reduce inflammation of the joints and improve the diets of patients.

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