Potatoes are #1! Literally. Potatoes are the #1 vegetable crop in the United States. They are also the fourth most consumed crop in the world, right behind rice, wheat, and corn.
I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again. Potatoes are amazing. While potatoes usually get a bad reputation for being unhealthy, it’s generally because people layer them with cheese, bacon, sour cream, salt, etc. Potatoes can be healthy, if eaten in the right way. Potato chips and french fries will always be bad for you, but baked potatoes don’t have to be.
Around the 1950’s, processed potatoes likes french fries have become popular. This is why it’s becoming even more necessary to eat them right.
A medium sized potato contains about 110 calories, only. On top of that, potatoes provide vitamin C and vitamin B6, along with calcium, fiber, and iron. The vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, which may prevent cell damage. Potatoes also may help with digestion, heart health, blood pressure, and cancer prevention.
The fiber found in potatoes can help lower cholesterol. They also have A TON of potassium, even more than bananas! Potassium can also lower blood pressure, due to its actions as a blood vessel widener.
Brain Functioning and Nervous System Health
The B6 vitamin in potatoes is critical to maintaining neurological health. It helps to create useful brain chemicals, like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals help with depression and stress.
Vitamin C can prevent illnesses like the common cold, and potatoes have a ton of it. 45% of the daily recommended intake can be found in one potato.
Potatoes have a lot of fiber, which makes them key to helping with digestion. Due to the high level of carbohydrates, potatoes are also easy to digest.
The Healthiest Way to Eat Them
Potatoes are healthiest when kept in their whole, unprocessed form. Baking a potato in the oven or the microwave is healthiest. Steaming is also a healthy way to cook a potato. These methods help to maintain the nutrients in the potato. Methods like boiling cause a significant amount of nutrient loss.
Attempt to eat the skins, as well. The skin contains more nutrients, along with most of the fiber, than the rest of the potato.