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Potato Benefits And Side Effects


Potato Benefits And Side Effects
Potatoes - like rice - belong to that kind of food that prepared in different ways satisfies most people. They are familiar because they like them since childhood and are part of popular dishes that elicit unanimous applause.

The qualities of the potato (Solanum tuberosum) have taken it to the top of world crops. Growing in different climates and being consumed by local populations, it is usually free of the commercial transactions that take other foods from one end of the planet to the other, which keeps its price low.

The plant is a nightshade, such as pepper or tomato. Its leaves produce starch, which travels to the underground stems and accumulates forming tubers.

In moist and nutrient-rich soil, a plant produces about 20 potatoes, which can weigh up to 300 grams. There is, therefore, no more productive plant food. Once the leaves and stems wilt, the tubers break off and from each one can leave two to ten shoots (the "eyes") of new plants.

The first potatoes were grown between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago in the Andes by the ancestors of the Incas (Tiahuanaco, Moche, Wari cultures ...). It must have been near Lake Titicaca, where they are still called mama jatha or "mother of growth."

Potato Properties

It is one of the most popular foods in the world and a very reasonable source of energy that gives us more vitamins and minerals and fewer calories than are normally attributed (80 calories per 100 g if boiled).

200 grams of boiled potatoes provide the 20% of vitamin B1 we need, 14% of vitamin B3 and 24% of vitamin B6.

They also offer an outstanding amount of protein and minerals. The 200 grams would cover 8% of daily protein needs, 40% of selenium, 22% of potassium, 20% of fluoride and 14% of iron.

Due to its nutritional characteristics and its starch richness, the potato is equated with cereals, because it is rich in carbohydrates (15 g / 100 g), and with a 2% protein composition.

Group B vitamins

The most prominent micronutrient in potatoes is vitamin B6. This vitamin is involved in more than a hundred known enzymatic reactions, such as those necessary to create new healthy cells - not carcinogenic - and tissues from amino acids; in numerous functions of the nervous system, and in the deactivation and elimination of harmful substances such as homocysteine, which increases the risk of a heart attack.

There is no lack of significant doses of other vitamins of group B. An average serving of cooked potatoes provides more than 10% of the daily needs of vitamins B1, B2, and folic acid.

As for minerals, potatoes are an abundant source of potassium, in addition to containing small amounts of magnesium and iron.

They do not inevitably gain weight

In recent decades it has been pointed out that the potato was one of the culprits of the excess of obesity and diabetes in rich countries. It is a mistake that science is clearing up.

The glycemic index(GI) tables have a part of responsibility in the misunderstanding, because they attribute to the cooked potato a GI of 70 and the instant mash, of 80, a figure that is only below the honey, the cooked carrot, the Whitebread and glucose, which with 100 marks the maximum. These figures suggest that the potato may favor excess blood sugar, obesity, and metabolic imbalance.

Potato Benefits And Side Effects
However, it is important to take into account the "glycemic load" of the diet, a more accurate data than the IG, since it considers the size of the portions and the the proportion of water, carbohydrates, fiber, and proteins of each food that is ingested throughout the day.

Thus, a complete and nutritious dish consisting of 200 grams of cooked potato, 75 of tofu and 100 of broccoli has as much glycemic load as a 50-gram slice of bread!

The way to prepare and consume potatoes also influences their effect. The main mistake is to take excessive portions of potatoes that have absorbed the frying or baking fat.

The same amount of potatoes can go from 80 calories / 100 grams if they are boiled, to more than 450 calories if they are fried. In contrast, steamed micronutrients are better preserved and represent energetic, digestive and healthy food.

In addition, if they are allowed to cool for a few hours, the sugars are transformed into resistant the starch that reduces the caloric intake of the potato by half and serves as food for the beneficial intestinal microbiota (thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer).

Potato health benefits

Boiled, roasted or steamed potatoes are effective in cases of gastritis, febrile conditions, and acetone. Raw potato juice is also a medicinal element in the case of acute gastritis and gastroduodenal ulcer processes.

Control the sugar

Cold potatoes not only do not increase blood sugar but help control it. They promote insulin sensitivity (lowers blood sugar rate) and lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Fights oxidation

For decades, it has been assumed that no substances of great nutritional or therapeutic value should be found in the white meat of the potato. However, more modern methods of analysis, such as liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, have discovered a large number of beneficial compounds in potatoes.

Potato Benefits And Side Effects
Roy Navarre, who has coordinated experts from the several US universities in an ambitious government-funded study have identified 60 substances, including phenolic compounds similar to those that give broccoli, spinach or Brussels sprouts healthy prestige and protects against cardiovascular, respiratory diseases and some types of cancer.

Some of these compounds are kukoamines, which until then had only been found in the famous goji berries and have a benefactor effect on blood pressure.

In addition, the potato contains other substances that collaborate with the immune system such as quercetin, carotenoids (in yellow meat varieties), anthocyanins (in violaceous and blue), chlorogenic acid and caffeic acids.

In general, it is considered an anti-inflammatory food that can relieve digestive discomfort associated with stress

Its pulp also becomes an excellent healing agent if used as a poultice.

The potato in the kitchen

The healthiest preparation of potatoes is steaming with skin. If you opt for a roast, it should be done without fat or with a small amount of olive oil, and with the oven low (less than 140ยบ C).

Potato Benefits And Side Effects
If they are to be cooked in water, the loss of potassium and Vitamin C and of group B can be reduced by boiling them with the skin.

To puree, it is important to chop the potato so that it absorbs more liquid, start to boil in cold water, without salt, and bring the heat to low.

In a stew, you can cut, fry and add at the end, or chop and add between 15 and 20 minutes before finishing. To make them fried and less caloric, they can be roasted first and then browned in oil.
The advantages of the new potato

The new potatoes, which are collected when the plant is still green, from late spring and during the summer, are sweeter and retain a solid, dense and moist texture after cooking.

They are suitable for steaming or in water. From the nutritional point of view, they contain less potassium and more vitamin C.

Potato Benefits And Side Effects
Old potatoes, which are harvested in autumn, but of red-skinned varieties (such as the Pontiac network) and white (Monalisa) have similar characteristics.

The other old potatoes have a more floury and dry texture. They are recommended for frying or roasting, and their glycemic index (how quickly they are assimilated) is higher.

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