Medicinal values and health benefits of potato?

Potato is the commonest vegetable used in every Indian household. It is available in every part of India and is extremely affordable. But there are many valuable nutrients in potato. This article discusses the medicinal values of potato and the proper of way of cooking potato to get maximum benefits out of it.

Potato is the most used vegetable in every Indian household. Every Indian housewife from every corner of the country uses potato almost every day. Potato is boiled, fried and is used in curry. However, this extremely cheap vegetable (potato) also has many remarkable health benefits. In this article, we will discuss the medicinal values of potato.

Content of potato

One hundred gram of potato contains the following nutrients:
  1. 77 Calories
  2. Protein – 2 gram
  3. Carbohydrate – 17 gram
  4. Fat content – 0.1 gram
  5. Vitamin B9 (Folate)
  6. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
  7. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
  8. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
  9. Potassium
  10. Fibre
  11. Phytonutrients

Medicinal values

The medicinal values of potato are indicated below: -
  • Potato helps human body to absorb iron from other food items.
  • Potato contains anti-oxidants which protect cells from free radical damage. Thus potato helps in preventing cancer.
  • As potato contains Folate, it helps in normal blood formation and proper cell division.
  • It also improves the functioning of immune system in human body and reduces tiredness and fatigue.
  • As potato contains thiamine, potato is good for cardio-vascular metabolism, neurological and cardiac functions of human body.
  • Thiamine also helps to improve physiological functioning.
  • Presence of vitamin B5 in potato helps in food metabolism and reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
  • Due to presence of potassium, potato helps regulate fluid and mineral (sodium) balance in and out of human cells, and in this process, helps and counteracts the negative effects of sodium.
  • Potato contains dietary fibre, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. So, potato helps to keep bowels regular and prevents constipation.
  • Potato contains various Phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are a diverse group of compounds which have many health benefits. Some of the Phytonutrients available in potato are phenoics, flavonoids and carotenoids. The Phytonutrients contained in potato improve digestive health, bone health, anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritis effects and reduce the liver toxicity.

Ways to cook potatoes for maximising benefits

However, there are specific ways to cook potatoes for maximizing nutrition all benefits. The potatoes should be cooked with the skin on. Potatoes should not be chopped. Potatoes should be cooked whole or cut only in large pieces. This is because the cut surfaces may cause oxidation and loss of essential nutrients. Potatoes should be taken after baking or steaming because these methods don't use water. This reduces loss of nutrients by leaching into the cooking water. If consuming baked or steamed potato is not preferred due to lack of taste, then potato should be fried using vegetable oil instead of fats.

Concluding comments

We cannot ignore this easily available, affordable and very common vegetable. This simple potato has many medicinal values. We must be aware of benefits of consuming potato and the proper ways of cooking to extract maximum benefit out of it.

Article by Partha K.
“Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.” - George Gordon Byron

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