Potatoes, read for true health benefits, mood regulator, reduces cholesterol, get your comfort here!

Potatoes

The Health Benefits of Potatoes

Potatoes are packed with Vitamin B6Vitamin C, caffeic acid, carotenoids, complex carbohydrates, copper, fibre, folic acid, kukoamines, flavonoids, manganese, potassium and quercetin

 WELLNESS

 The humble yet historic potato got a bit of a bad rap in more recent times, with many folks falsely assuming it is a less healthy vegetable in part due to the deep frying frenzy.  But in all actuality, this innocuous-looking spud is relatively low in calories and fat and absolutely laden with outstanding health benefits including but not limited to;

Anti-cancer properties Rich in fibre, eating a moderate amount of potatoes on a consistent basis will stimulate regular bowel movements and keep the colon clean and in less prolonged contact with toxic wastes that can result in colon cancer.   Anti-oxidant Vitamin C, in its role as an anti-oxidant, fights off cell-damaging free radicals and reduces one’s risk of developing cervical cancer, esophageal cancer, oral cavity cancer, pancreatic cancer, rectal cancer and stomach cancer.  Quercetin has been found to arrest tumor growth.

Arthritis Vitamin C and quercetin are anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants, which can alleviate the troublesome inflammation often associated with osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Asthma Vitamin C can calm an asthma attack by reducing wheezing.

Bone and teeth health Vitamin C is a must-have for healthy gums.  Vitamin C is also responsible for repairing bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.

 Digestive health People sometimes avoid potatoes because they are “too starchy,” when in fact, the starch therein is predominantly “indigestible,” which basically means it passes through the stomach whole, adds helpful bulk to the diet and aids in healthy bowel movements.

 Heart health Vitamin C can lower blood pressure and fight atherosclerosis.  B6 helps control levels of homo-cysteine levels in the blood, and high levels of homocysteine (an amino acid) have been linked to heart disease.  Potassium regulates the heart rate and blood pressure. Magnesium regulates the pumping of the heart and relaxes the blood vessels.  Adequate fibre can actually reduce cholesterol.

 Immune system health Vitamin C is vital in strengthening the immune system as a whole and staving off a wide range of diseases and infections ranging from the common cold to influenza the HIV virus.  It can also lessen the severity of symptoms if one is already afflicted.

Mood Vitamin B6 promotes a healthy nervous system and can regulate mood and promote peaceful slumber, as it is responsible for making neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.  Vitamin B6 also produces adrenaline and GABA.  Adrenaline enables us to react to and cope with stress in a healthy manner.  GABA is connected to relaxation and an overall sense of well-being.

Pregnancy Doctors often urge expectant mothers to take adequate amounts of folic acid in order to prevent neural tube birth defects in newborn babies.

BEAUTY

 Anti-oxidant properties The anti-oxidants in potatoes, namely flavonoid quercetin and Vitamin C, war against cell-damaging free radicals and protect our bodies from oxidative stress, which often causes the signs of premature aging including fine lines and wrinkles.  These powerful anti-oxidants also ensure strong hair and resilient nails, both of which are less prone to breakage.

BEAUTY FAST FACT; Apply thinly sliced Potato to the eye area to remove puffiness

WEIGHT LOSS

 Energy Vitamin B6 is a favorite amongst athletes as it converts the carbs you eat into energy, and potatoes are filled with complex carbohydrates and vitamin B6.  It’s a win-win situation for those seeking more sustainable energy to get through the day and still fit in a good workout.

Fibre One large potato has a munificent 6 grams of fibre!  This abundance of fibre will keep your belly full, your appetite saited between meals and your body flushed out on a regular basis, all of which will contribute to more steady weight loss.

Nutritional intake Potatoes, contrary to popular belief, are actually relatively moderate in calories with one large baking potato having approximately 278.  That same potatoes has less than 1 gram of total fat.

COOKING

 While, of course, very little else compares to a steaming bowl of mashed potatoes as comfort food, there are a multitude of unique potato-centric recipes out there for the savoring, the trick however is putting them with non fatty foods which in fact is possibly why its been given a bad rap!

For a sumptuous yet healthy bowl of soup, try making a low-fat version of a  Leek and Potato Soup.  In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of oil and add 2 minced shallots, 3 sliced leeks and 1 pound of peeled and cubed Yukon Gold potatoes.  Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of  chicken or veggie broth and 1 2/3 cups of skim milk.  Simmer on medium to medium-low heat for ½ an hour and then blend the mixture to a smooth consistency.  Serve in pretty soup bowls and garnish with chive snippets and add a handful of chai seeds for texture

Bake and fill with a greek yoghurt mix with mustard, fetta, avocado, smoked tomato and watercress for a tasty, healthy lunch

Roast with a little olive oil and sea salt as a snack with a little cumin and serve with a freshly made baba ganoush, beetroot dip or avocado or carrot hommus.

Fill your favorite winter chicken soup with pearl barley, laden with rich winter veggies and mashed potato dumplings and a delicious dollop of kale & parsley pesto!

 must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”  ~A.A. Milne 

1 and a half russet potato with sprouts. Slice...
1 and a half russet potato with sprouts. Sliced (left) and whole (right). About 4 1/2 inches (11.5 cm) in length. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Cassandra Austin

Kitchen Coaching, Nutrition and Well being

A Corporate Chef with extra qualifications in:

Diet and Nutrition, Food and Wellness, Food Psychology, Kitchen Medicine.

Vocational education trainer in Commercial Cookery, Dip Hospitality Management  & Business.

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