Along with sweet potato, potatoes are not only one of the most widely consumed foods in practically the entire world, but they are also one of the most widely used home remedies for a wide variety of health disorders or problems. Even though it is a widely consumed food in our country, very few people know all the properties of the potato, which is why it is an essential food in a healthy and balanced diet.
Be that as it may, we are faced with a food that is widely used in the kitchen, since it is normal that there is an abundance of recipes and typical dishes from many countries in which, precisely, the potato appears either as the main ingredient or simply as a delicious and nutritious companion.
The potato is considered one of the basic pillars of the diet, due to its various benefits and properties.
What are potatoes?
Also known by the popular name of potato, we are faced with wonderful food that is part of the tuber family, just as we can also distinguish other foods such as sweet potato, yam, or cassava (to cite only a few very brief examples).
More specifically, it is the tuber that comes from a species of herbaceous plant that belongs to the genus Solanum (of the Solanaceae family, which as you probably know is native to South America), and is known scientifically as Solanum tuberosum.
It is known that, originally, this plant was domesticated by the inhabitants of the Andean altiplano (or Titicaca plateau) some 8,000 years ago, thus gradually becoming one of the most cultivated for its delicious and nutritious edible tubers.
It was not until many centuries later that the Spanish conquerors brought the potato to Europe, more as a mere botanical curiosity. Nevertheless, little by little its consumption was growing, until being cultivated in practically all the world.
Nutritional properties of the potato
From the very beginning, there is no doubt that the potato stands out as delicious food that is very rich in complex carbohydrates, which means that it becomes a fundamental food for keeping blood sugar levels at bay. Moreover, thanks to this complex carbohydrate content, it is also ideal for increasing our energy.
It has a low glycemic index, especially if healthier cooking options are chosen for consumption, such as baking or grilling.
As it is rich in vitamin C, it is interesting when it comes to increasing the defenses and boosting the natural immunity of our body. However, we must bear in mind that a large part of the vitamin C it contains is lost when we cook it.
Thanks to its potassium content, it helps control hypertension. And because of its high fiber content (which, incidentally, is unknown to many people), it has health benefits for our digestive system.
Most important potato qualities
Provides energy and satiety
It is an extremely wonderful nutritious food, since thanks to its high content of complex carbohydrates, it helps to provide us with energy slowly, little by little, not causing glucose to rise in the blood and form peaks.
In addition, it helps to maintain the proper functioning of the brain, providing us with energy if we are going to do any physical activity.
On the other hand, thanks to its carbohydrate content, it is also a food that provides satiety, making it an interesting option in slimming diets. Especially if, as we indicated before, for its cooking we opt for healthier forms, such as the oven (instead of frying).
High fiber content, ideal for constipation
Potatoes are also very rich in fiber, which means that it is an excellent food against constipation, as it positively helps to regulate – and improve – intestinal transit.
But this quality does not stop there, as fiber also helps to reduce high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, and provides satiety (so it remains equally ideal in slimming diets).
Prevent cardiovascular disease
Regular consumption of potatoes is particularly beneficial in preventing the onset of cardiovascular disease, thanks to their vitamin, mineral, and fiber content.
In this sense, as we mentioned in the previous section, it is especially useful in reducing high levels of blood lipids, especially both cholesterol and triglycerides.
Benefits of the potato, in summary
- Important content of vitamin C and potassium.
- To the content of complex carbohydrates.
- Useful to increase defenses.
- Controls hypertension.
- Helps increase energy and control blood sugar levels.
- Rich in fiber.
What can be done so that the potatoes do not cause indigestion?
If you’ve eaten potatoes on many occasions, it’s quite likely that at some point you’ll have found out for yourself that eating them quickly and quickly can cause a bit of indigestion.
If so, the key is to chew them up and salivate them well before swallowing. We must not forget something fundamental: the digestion of the potato, like that of many other foods, begins in the mouth.
The best way to cook them: always cooked and with skin
As we have mentioned at some point in this article, the best option when cooking potatoes is to cook them in water, and always with their skin on.
Why? Mainly because in this way we ensure that it will maintain all its nutritional properties, thus losing as few essential nutrients as possible (except for vitamin C, which will be lost). But something even more important: we will prevent it from breaking down during the cooking process.
In addition, we will be ensuring a much healthier way of cooking, which adds practically no calories to the dish, as other less advisable options would do, such as fried food.
And how can we eat the potatoes or water fries?
It’s quite simple. You just have to wash the potatoes well under the tap, so that you can try to remove any dirt that might have on the skin. Then put water in the pot or pan, and when it starts to boil, add the potatoes at the same time as the salt.
However, turn down the heat a little to prevent the potato skin from breaking from the heat. Cook the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes over low heat if they are medium and 30 minutes if they are larger.
Then, with the help of a fork or a thick needle, check the cooking point of the potatoes by pricking them a little. When they are ready, turn off the heat, remove the water and try to cool them down quickly.
This article is published for information purposes only. It cannot and should not substitute for consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.