Potato: health benefits and harms, facts, research

Presently it is almost impossible to imagine a menu without potatoes. This vegetable is so familiar for us now, and for many, potato dishes are classified as “loved ones”. According to statistics, every Russian on average eats 140 kg of potatoes per year. We are the world leaders in potato consumption per capita. Surprisingly, the fact that once our ancestors easily did without this vegetable, moreover, they even resisted cultivating it on their farms.

The homeland of potatoes is South America, where you can still see its wild-growing species. The introduction of potatoes into the culture through the exploitation of wild thickets was begun about 14 thousand years ago by the Indians of South America. They not only consumed potatoes for food, but also worshiped him as a spiritualized being.

Europeans first discovered potatoes in 1536-1537. in the Indian village of Sorokota (now Peru). They called the found tubers truffles for their resemblance to the corresponding mushrooms.

Potatoes were brought to Spain in 1565. They did not like the new fruit. This is no wonder since they tried raw tubers.

Then begins the journey of potatoes throughout Europe. In the same 1565, potatoes came to Italy. For about 15 years, it was cultivated as a garden vegetable and only since 1580 was it widely used. The Italians first called the potato “Peruvian peanuts”, and then for the resemblance to truffles - “Tartuffoli”. The Germans subsequently turned this word into "potato", and then into the generally accepted one - "potato".

In Germany, potatoes took root only in the middle of the 18th century. This was facilitated by the famine caused by the war of 1758-1763.

In France, potato was known as far back as 1600. The French called the potato “earth apples”. This name was kept for some time in Russia, where the potato got in the middle of the XVIII century.

At the beginning, “earthen apples” did not find recognition in France, as, indeed, in all other countries. French doctors claimed that potatoes are poisonous. And the parliament in 1630 by a special decree banned the cultivation of potatoes in France. Even the famous "Great Encyclopedia", which was published in 1765 by the most prominent scientists of France, and she reported that potatoes are rough food, suitable only for undemanding stomachs.

It’s impossible to say exactly when and how potatoes appeared in Russia, but they associate this with the Petrine era. The most common version is that at the end of the 17th century Peter I, being in the Netherlands on ship affairs, became interested in this plant, and "for brood" sent a bag of tubers from Rotterdam to Count Sheremetyev. To accelerate the spread of potatoes, the Senate only in 1755-66 considered the issue of introducing potatoes 23 times!

An interesting fact: since the first time potatoes in Russia was considered a strange exotic vegetable, it was served as a rare and tasty dish at palace balls and banquets, and then they sprinkled potatoes with salt and sugar.

The Old Believers, who were many in Russia, opposed planting and eating unfamiliar vegetables. They called it “the devil's apple”, “the devil’s spit” and “the fruit of the harlot”; their preachers forbade their co-religionists to grow and eat potatoes. The confrontation between the Old Believers was long and persistent. As far back as 1870, there were villages near Moscow where the peasants did not plant potatoes in their fields. They considered it a sin to consume a foreign vegetable also because the potato was called the “damn apple” because of the consonant German “craft toys” (damn power). There were also numerous poisonings, as peasants sometimes ate green poisonous potato berries, not tubers. Therefore, under pain of hard labor, Russian peasants refused to plant potatoes.

The history includes mass unrest of peasants called "potato riots." These unrest lasted from 1840 to 1844 and covered the Perm, Orenburg, Vyatka, Kazan and Saratov provinces. The “riots” were preceded by a large crop failure in 1839, covering all areas of the chernozem strip. In 1840, information began to come to Petersburg that seedlings of winter crops had died almost everywhere, starvation had begun, crowds of people were walking along the roads, robbing passers-by and attacking the landlords, demanding bread. Then the government of Nicholas I decided to expand the planting of potatoes without fail. The published decree prescribed: “... proceed to the cultivation of potatoes in all villages that have public plowing. Where there are no public reserves, planting potatoes under the Volost Board ... ". Distribution of potatoes to peasants for planting was provided for free or at low prices. Along with this, an unquestioning demand was put forward to plant potatoes at the rate in order to get 4 measures per capita from the crop.

With the development of capitalism, potato production in Russia grew from year to year, and its purpose and use became wider and more diverse. At first, potatoes were used only for food, then they began to use it as feed for livestock, and with the growth of the starch-syrup and distillery (alcohol) industries, it became the main raw material for processing into starch, molasses and alcohol.

Gradually, Russian people learned more about the benefits of potatoes. More than 200 years ago, in the journal Compositions and Translations, for Employees' Benefits and Amusement, an article on potatoes stated that “earth apples” is a pleasant and healthy meal. It was indicated that from potatoes you can bake bread, cook porridge, cook pies and dumplings.

Even at the beginning of the 19th century, potatoes were still little known to Russian chefs. The most educated people of that time treated him with apprehension. Thus, in 1810, V. A. Levshin, recognizing the high nutritional value of potatoes, wrote: “Raw, freshly dug out potatoes from the earth are also unhealthy ... The medical power of this plant is unknown.” Until the second half of the 19th century, despite the formidable decrees of the government, potatoes did not occupy a worthy place in the nutrition of the people.

And only in the second half of the 19th century did mass cultivation of potatoes begin.

So Russia became the "second home" of potatoes. Now, perhaps, there is no longer a popularly beloved “Russian” vegetable. In modern Russian cuisine there are many thousands of the most varied dishes with its use. It is also widely used not only in cooking, but also in folk medicine, due to its healing properties.

About 20-25% of the weight of tubers is carbohydrates (starch), about 2% is protein and 0.3% is fat. Tuber protein is rich in various amino acids and belongs to complete proteins. Potatoes contain a lot of potassium (568 mg per 100 g of wet weight), phosphorus (50 mg), a significant amount of magnesium, calcium and iron. Vitamins C, B, B2, B6, B PP, D, K, E, folic acid, carotene, and organic acids: malic, oxalic, citric, coffee, chlorogenic, and others were found in tubers.

Useful properties of potatoes

Due to the high potassium content, potatoes help to remove water and salt from the body, which helps to improve metabolism. Therefore, potatoes are considered an indispensable product in diet food. Baked potatoes are especially rich in potassium, preserving the maximum of useful substances. It is even recommended for use in hypertension, atherosclerosis, and heart failure.

Potato shows very useful properties in the fight against gastritis with high acidity and peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum. Unlike many other products containing protein, potatoes have an alkalizing effect on the human body, which is very important for people suffering from high acidity. In addition to starch, potatoes have proteins, ascorbic acid and many vitamins. And although their content is not very large, but due to the fact that people eat potatoes in decent portions, a sufficient amount of these substances enter their body.

It was the bright side of the potato, now the hidden (or hidden) truth.

Potato harm and contraindications

Given the useful qualities of this vegetable and its nutritional value, it is worth remembering that in some conditions, its tubers can be harmful. One of the constituent components of a potato peel is solanine, and it is it that is capable of harming and causing severe poisoning of the body. This is due to the duration of storage or exposure of tubers to sunlight. Their germination and greening, indicates an increase in them harmful toxic substances. Sprouts contain 30-100 times more solanine than non-sprouted tubers.

Potatoes can be harmful if stored for more than three months. Eating old or green potatoes can cause dizziness, an upset nervous system, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, cramps, fainting, and other signs of malaise. Pregnant women doubly need to be careful, because solanine is one of the strongest teratogens - harmful substances that cause birth defects.

Due to the high carbohydrate content, potatoes have a rather high calorie content - almost 2-3 times higher than other vegetables. Therefore, people prone to fullness should limit their addiction to potatoes. However, everyone else should not abuse potatoes. The starch contained in it in its pure form is not absorbed by our body, and therefore nutritionists advise to eat potatoes no more than several times a week.

Today, all potato dishes can be divided into three categories: baked potatoes, fried (or french fries) and boiled potatoes (in their uniform and without). The specifics of the effect on the body in each case is different. Consider each case.

Despite the useful properties baked potatoIt is also the most insidious way to harm the body. The glycemic index of baked potatoes is 95. This is higher than that of sugar and honey combined. That is, almost instantly, baked potatoes increase the sugar content to the maximum possible. Excess sugar triggers the “fat deposition” process. So the body regulates the amount of glucose. Studies have found that excessive potato intake can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes in women. The studies were carried out for about 20 years and about 85 thousand women took part in it. At the end of the study, the authors suggested that women still limit the use of this product and pay more attention to legumes and whole grains, as well as all products where fiber is present.

Fried potatoes and french fries. The most severe blow to the body. During the frying process, moisture evaporates from the potato. It is replaced by fat. The calorie content of potatoes begins to rise and often surpasses the mark of 400 (carbohydrates). Against the background of fast digestibility, obviously, all this fat will be under your skin. In addition, chips and chips contain high levels of acrylamide. What is acrylamide? Acrylamide is a chemical substance, better known as a carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) and as a mutagen (causes not only cancer, but also other diseases, affecting the genetic apparatus of cells). Acrylamide is formed naturally when starch-rich foods are processed at high temperatures, such as chips, chips, fries. For information, french fries and potato chips are usually cooked at a temperature of 190 C - enough to cause the formation of acrylamide. Studies have shown that in fried potatoes, potato chips and French fries acrylamide is about 300 times more than the established norm.

When we mention the content of vitamin C when talking about the benefits of potatoes, it is worth making a reservation that vitamin C begins to break down at a temperature of 50 degrees. Cooking potatoes begins at a temperature of 100. That is, by the end of cooking, there is no trace of vitamin.

It should also be borne in mind that potatoes have a weak, unbalanced, uncertain energy, an energy of doubt. After eating this vegetable, the body becomes lethargic, lazy, sour. The hard energy of potatoes is called starch, which in the body does not respond to alkaline-acid processing, is poorly excreted from the body, sharply reduces the speed of thought, blocks the immune system. Also, it does not combine with any products. If it is, then separately, it is desirable to cook in its uniform. In the peel and immediately below it is a substance that helps break down starch.

Everyone who is interested in healthy eating knows that potato is a very mucus-forming product, and mucus is practically not removed from the body, but is deposited, causing many diseases!

Now potatoes are considered "national root crops." He has become so integrated in our lives that it is hard to imagine that once, not so long ago, he was not in Russia. Now many are concerned about how to hide the crop, so that it is enough for the whole year. But is it necessary? And is it indispensable?

For example, a turnip from a daily food product, useful for strengthening health, has become a rare and piece product on the Russian table, although it can be successfully prepared using all the methods that we used to cook potatoes. In addition, it can be eaten raw.

Another worthy and healthy substitute for potatoes can be Jerusalem artichoke (earthen pear). Jerusalem artichoke tubers, in addition to a wide range of vitamins and mineral salts, contain proteins, sugars, pectin, organic acids, and, most importantly, the plant-based analog of insulin - the inulin polysaccharide. If you start to eat Jerusalem artichoke, you can forever refuse potatoes, if this has become relevant for you.

Be sanity and be healthy! Om!

Potato Health Benefits

Potatoes have more nutritional benefits than they often think. Eating fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related diseases.

This is a healing product. About 20-25% of the weight of tubers is carbohydrates (starch), about 2% is protein and 0.3% is fat. Tuber protein is rich in various amino acids and belongs to complete proteins. Potatoes contain a lot of potassium (568 mg per 100 g of wet weight), phosphorus (50 mg), a significant amount of magnesium, calcium and iron. Vitamins C, B, B2, B6, B PP, D, K, E, folic acid, carotene, and organic acids: malic, oxalic, citric, coffee, chlorogenic, and other acids were found in tubers. Read more about its nutritional value below.

Useful properties of potatoes

Due to its high potassium content, potatoes help to remove water and salt from the body, which improves metabolism, which is why potatoes are considered an indispensable product in dietary nutrition. More details in the article: “The Importance of Eating Potassium Rich Foods.” Baked potatoes are especially rich in potassium, preserving the maximum of useful substances. It is even recommended for use in hypertension, atherosclerosis, and heart failure.

Due to the high carbohydrate content, potatoes have a rather high calorie content - almost 2-3 times higher than other vegetables. Therefore, those who are inclined to be full should limit their addiction to potatoes. However, everyone else should not abuse potatoes. The starch contained in it in its pure form is not absorbed by our body, and therefore nutritionists advise to eat potatoes no more than several times a week.At the same time, potatoes show very useful properties in the fight against gastritis with high acidity and peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum. Unlike many other products containing protein, potatoes have an alkalizing effect on the human body, which is very important for people suffering from high acidity. In addition to starch, potatoes have proteins, ascorbic acid and many vitamins. And although their content is not very large, but due to the fact that we eat potatoes in decent portions, a large amount of these substances enter our body.

Below are some of the potential beneficial qualities of potatoes for human health:

1) The benefits of potatoes for bone health

Iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and zinc in potatoes contribute to the construction and maintenance of the bone structure and its strength.

Iron and zinc play a crucial role in the synthesis and maturation of collagen. Although phosphorus and calcium are important in bone structure, a careful balance of these two minerals is essential for proper bone mineralization - consuming too much phosphorus and too little calcium can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.

2) The benefits of potatoes with blood pressure

Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure, however, increasing your dietary intake of potassium can be just as important due to its vasodilating effects.

In addition, potassium, calcium, and magnesium present in potatoes lower blood pressure.

3) Heart Health Benefits

Potato fiber, potassium, vitamin C, as well as the content of vitamin B6 combined with the absence of cholesterol, all contribute to supporting heart health.

Potatoes contain a significant amount of fiber, which helps to reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. In one study, those who consumed 4.069 milligrams of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of dying from coronary heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium (about 1000 mg per day).

4) Anti-inflammatory effect of potatoes

Choline is an important and universal nutrient present in potatoes, it helps with sleep, is important for muscle contractions, supports the structure of cell membranes, helps in the transmission of nerve impulses, helps in the absorption of fats and reduces chronic inflammation.

5) Potato against cancer

Potatoes contain folic acid, which plays an important role in the synthesis and repair of DNA, thereby preventing the formation of cancer cells from mutations in DNA.

Consuming fiber from fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes, is associated with a low risk of colorectal cancer. Vitamin C and bioflavonoid quercetin are powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from damage by free radicals.

6) The benefits of potatoes for digestion and regular stool

Due to its fiber content, potatoes help prevent constipation and promote regular stool.

7) Weight and satiety management

Dietary fiber is usually an important factor in weight management and weight loss, functioning as a ballast in the digestive system. These chemicals increase satiety and reduce appetite, thereby reducing overall calorie intake.

8) Benefits for metabolism

Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin B6, which plays an important role in energy metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates and proteins into glucose and amino acids. These smaller compounds are more easily used to produce energy in the body.

9) The effect of potatoes on the skin

Collagen, the main structural element of the skin, depends on vitamin C, which works in our body as an antioxidant that prevents damage to the skin from the sun, pollution and smoke. Vitamin C also contributes to the properties of collagen to smooth wrinkles and improve the overall texture of the skin.

The nutritional value of potatoes

One middle tuber contains:

  • 164 calories
  • 0.2 g fat
  • 0 g of cholesterol
  • 37 grams of carbohydrates,
  • 4.7 g of dietary fiber
  • 4.3 g. Squirrel.

The same serving provides the following percentage of your daily nutrient requirements:

  • 2% calcium
  • 51% Vitamin C
  • 9% iron
  • 30% Vitamin B6
  • 12% magnesium
  • 25% potassium.

Potatoes also provide phosphorus, nicotinic acid, folic acid, choline, and zinc.

Unlike ready-made potato products, such as french fries and potato chips, in general, raw potatoes have very little sodium (only 13 mg is less than 1% of the daily limit).

Potatoes also contain a compound known as alpha lipoic acid, which helps the body turn glucose into energy, and is also an antioxidant.

Some evidence suggests that alpha lipoic acid can help control blood glucose levels, improve vasodilation, protect against diabetes mellitus retinopathy, and also preserve the brain and peripheral nerves.

Quercetin flavonoid found in potato skins, it has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and antioxidant properties that protect body cells from damage by free radicals.

How to include more potatoes in your diet

Choose potatoes that are smooth, and relatively smooth and round. Avoid potatoes that have any signs of rotting.

It is best to buy potatoes by weight and unwashed (premature washing removes the protective coating from the potato peel).

Optimal storage conditions for potatoes: air temperature +2 - +3 degrees and humidity 70–80%. If the room becomes warm in winter, the potato “feels the spring” and will sprout. When the temperature drops to zero, the starch contained in the tubers will turn into sugar. If the thermometer goes down far in the minus - the potato will freeze elementarily and deteriorate. Store better in the cellar or closet. Exposure to sunlight can lead to the formation of solanine.

Potatoes should not be stored next to onions, because these vegetables give off gases that cause spoilage of vegetables.

Since most of the vitamins, minerals and fiber content are greater in the skin, it is therefore best to consume potatoes with skin. Peel potatoes under running water and remove any bruises or deep eyes. Use with a stainless steel knife rather than carbon steel, thereby preventing the metal from interacting with the substances in the tuber, this can cause discoloration.

Try some of these healthy and tasty potato recipes:

  • Potato salad (Boil the potatoes, then cut into cubes and mix with eggs, celery, onions and mayonnaise).
  • Home chips
  • Fried potatoes

  • Stuffed peppers and mashed potatoes.
  • Fast and easy Mexican minestrone

Potential health hazards for potatoes

It is important not to eat potatoes that have sprouted or have a green color. These characteristics are indicative of the presence of solanine, a toxic compound that has been found to negatively affect blood circulation and breathing problems, as well as headaches, muscle cramps and diarrhea.

Studies have shown that in potatoes, when cooked above 120 ℃, a chemical known as acrylamide is formed. This compound, which is found in plastic, glue, dyes, and cigarette smoke, has been found to play a role in the development of certain forms of cancer.

Acrylamide has neurotoxic effect, and can also have a negative effect on genes and reproductive health. Fried potato products such as potato chips and french fries, fried potatoes with lard in a pan contain a significant amount of acrylamide, as well as fat and salt, so it’s better not to eat them.

Beta-blocker medications, most commonly prescribed for cardiovascular diseases, can cause an increase in the concentration of potassium in the blood. High potassium foodssuch as potatoes should be eaten in moderation when taking beta blockers.

High levels of potassium in the body can pose a serious danger to people with kidney or kidney disease, accompanied by a lack of their function. Damaged kidneys are not able to filter out excess potassium from the blood, which can be fatal. It is better to follow a diet characterized by a variety of diets than to focus on individual foods, this is the key to good health.

Potato harm is high risk diabetes development, GPs and family doctors warn that eating potatoes before pregnancy increases your risk of diabetes

A high starch content in root crops can cause gestational diabetes, researchers warn that a harmless vegetable can be dangerous.

Scientists initially believed that eating potatoes frequently means that people eat fatty fried potatoes, french fries ... But the high risk of diabetes is proven for all kinds of potato dishes.

High starch levels are believed to cause diabetes, which is especially dangerous during pregnancy and can lead to fatigue, recurring infections, and blurred vision. It also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

Chemical composition

Potato, or tuberous nightshade, is an herbaceous plant in the Solanaceae family, reaching about 100 cm in height. In fact, the fruit of a potato is poisonous, but its tubers, as we know, are precisely that important food product. Oddly enough, South America is considered his homeland. Potatoes came to our lands only at the end of the 17th century, and received popular recognition only at the beginning of the 19th (all because the peasants, not knowing how to properly use potatoes for food, often were poisoned with its poisonous berries).

The nutritional value of 100 g of this product is as follows:

  • proteins - 1.94 g,
  • fats - 0.39 g
  • carbohydrates - 16.27 g
  • dietary fiber - 1.38 g,
  • water - 78.11 g,
  • organic acids - 0.19 g,
  • ash - 1.09 g,
  • sugar - 1.29 g
  • omega-6 fatty acids - 0.07 g,
  • starch - 14.79 g.

It includes such vitamins:

  • retinol (A) - 2.98 mcg,
  • pyridoxine (B6) - 0.29 mg,
  • tocopherol (E) - 0.09 mg,
  • thiamine (B1) - 0.12 mg,
  • folic acid (B9) - 7.61 mcg,
  • Biotin (H) - 0.09 mcg,
  • riboflavin (B2) - 0.07 mg,
  • ascorbic acid (C) - 19.81 mg,
  • nicotinic acid (PP) - 1.75 mg,
  • pantothenic acid (B5) - 0.29 mg.

As well as the following macro- and microelements:

  • potassium - 567.22 mg,
  • aluminum - 859.01 mcg,
  • sodium - 4.89 mg,
  • chromium - 9.89 mcg,
  • molybdenum - 7.62 mcg,
  • iodine - 4.79 mcg,
  • phosphorus - 57.04 mg,
  • copper - 139.01 mcg,
  • boron - 114.81 mcg,
  • calcium - 9.81 mg
  • sulfur - 31.61 mg,
  • chlorine - 57.04 mg
  • magnesium - 22.78 mg
  • vanadium - 148.51 mcg,
  • zinc - 0.36 mg
  • cobalt - 4.79 mcg,
  • nickel - 4.78 mcg,
  • fluorine - 29.02 mcg,
  • selenium - 0.29 mcg,
  • lithium - 76.51 mcg,
  • rubidium - 499.68 mcg,
  • Manganese - 0.17 mg
  • iron - 0.85 mg.

As for the nutritional value of potatoes, then 100 g of this product contains:

  • in boiled (without peel) - 72 kcal,
  • in cooked “in uniform” - 74 kcal,
  • in fried - 157 kcal,
  • in the baked - 99 kcal,
  • in mashed potatoes - 108 kcal.

Useful and healing properties

Looking at the rich composition of potatoes, its benefits to the body become obvious, which is as follows:

  • Allows you to replenish stocks of biologically significant elements in the body and prevent the appearance of vitamin deficiency.
  • Due to the high content of B vitamins, dishes prepared from potatoes are indicated for use by people who have metabolic disturbances and disorders of the nervous system.
  • With the help of raw potatoes, traditional medicine advocates treat hemorrhoids. So, in the presence of this disease, it is recommended to drink half a glass of potato juice every morning, and insert a piece of raw tuber rectally at night.
  • Helps to get rid of prolonged cough by applying breast compresses from warm boiled potatoes.
  • It increases visual acuity and, in general, favorably affects the visual apparatus. For these purposes, a special tincture is prepared from the seedlings of this plant: they are washed, put in a glass container and filled with vodka in a ratio of 1:20. Then such a mixture is insisted for at least 14 days in a dark place, and after readiness take 3 teaspoons per day.

  • Improves memory and minimizes the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease in old age with regular use.
  • It relieves hematomas, burns, various dermatological problems. To do this, raw potatoes are triturated, wrapped in gauze and applied as a compress to a sore spot.
  • Helps to eliminate excess cholesterol from the body. Regular use of this product in boiled form reduces the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis and the appearance of other cardiac diseases.
  • Due to its high potassium content, it maintains normal blood pressure and is useful for those who suffer from hypertension or hypotension.
  • Freshly squeezed potato juice helps to cope with various diseases of the digestive tract (stomach ulcer, gastritis, etc.), as it has an enveloping and anti-inflammatory effect (read more about the diet for stomach ulcers).
  • Helps fight swelling under the eyes. For this, two thin slices of this product must be applied to carefully closed eyes for at least 20 minutes.

  • Copes with heartburn. To eliminate this discomfort, you need to eat 2 - 3 tablespoons of grated raw potatoes.
  • It is useful in boiled form with increased acidity of gastric juice.
  • When baked, it helps get rid of boils. To do this, baked tuber cut in half is applied to the affected area (it is recommended that the procedure be repeated every 2 hours if possible).
  • It is famous for its laxative properties (with prolonged constipation, you need to drink 3 sips of grated potato juice every hour).
  • It is used to treat diseases of the upper respiratory tract. To do this, bend over the pan with freshly cooked tubers and inhale their hot steam for about 15 minutes.
  • It makes the skin supple and velvety. For these purposes, a face mask of grated raw potatoes is applied to the face. To improve the effect, a small amount of honey and egg yolk are added to it.

Negative effects and possible side effects

When using potatoes, you still need to remember these warnings:

  1. This is a fairly high-calorie product that has a high starch content, and therefore they should not be "carried away" by people who are obese.
  2. With improper long-term storage in sunlight, the potato peel turns a slightly greenish tint, while a poisonous substance, solanine, is formed in their pulp. Be careful! Cooking dishes from green potatoes is strictly forbidden, since its use can lead to dizziness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, etc.
  3. Since this product has a rather high glycemic index, and therefore contributes to an increase in blood sugar, it is recommended to use it with great caution for people suffering from diabetes (read more about the diet for diabetes).
  4. Potato is, oddly enough, an allergic enough product, so people prone to allergic reactions should also be extremely careful when using it.

How to use and in what quantities

There are an incredible number of ways to cook potatoes, and all of them are unlikely to be listed in one article. We decided to tell you about how to cook potatoes in order to preserve its beneficial properties.

The greatest amount of nutrients will be stored in potatoes, if you bring it to readiness by boiling or baking in its uniform, as well as steaming. If you cook potatoes without a peel, then try to cut it as thin as possible.

As for the amount of potatoes consumed, nutritionists have nothing against its daily eating in boiled or baked form. In this case, a portion of 100 - 300 g per day is considered the norm. But from the daily use of fried potatoes or fries, you still need to abstain.

How to choose

The fact that the potato is of high quality is indicated by a number of signs:

  • its tubers are quite solid, even and with a uniform color,
  • there are no green spots on it,
  • if the tuber is slightly picked up with a fingernail, moisture should not ooze out of it (the presence of moisture indicates a high content of nitrates in the product).

How to store

In order to properly store potatoes, you need to know the following nuances:

  • it should not be kept together with other vegetables, as they can accelerate the rotting of tubers (a beneficial “neighborhood” is perhaps its storage with beets),
  • optimal temperature for storage - 5 - 7 degrees,
  • during the storage of tubers, it is necessary to periodically sort out and remove those on which there are processes or traces of rot;
  • potatoes cannot be stored in the refrigerator,
  • if the potato has turned green or wrinkled in places, it should never be eaten,
  • wet tubers cannot be stored, but if they are wet, they must be dried out, spread out at a distance from each other,
  • the best place to store this product is a wooden box with small ventilation holes,
  • it is best stored at an air humidity of approximately 80%,
  • potatoes should not be washed before storage,
  • In no case should you keep it in a place where sunlight would fall on it.

Subject to all conditions, potatoes can be preserved in proper form for up to 10 months.

Consumer Reviews


I love potatoes, but do not abuse it. My trainer told me that if you "hold a figure", then as a side dish potatoes more than 2 times a week are better not to eat.


Breathing over boiled potatoes is a common ritual of my childhood. But most importantly, it really helped with bronchitis.


I am very surprised that the potatoes are so healthy. As for me, the benefits of taking it inside are very doubtful. I try to eat it as little as possible. Anyway, I have heartburn from potatoes.

Is potato so bad?

The benefits and harms of potatoes depend on several factors.

  1. The condition of the tubers. Green and sprouted potatoes are dangerous. Under the influence of sunlight, toxic solanine accumulates in it, causing poisoning:
  • erythrocyte destruction, anemia with palpitations, hypotension,
  • GI upset with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,
  • damage to the nervous system, with symptoms of breath holding, cramps.

The concentration of poison in the peel and sprouts reaches 65-200 mg per 100 g, a little inside the tuber of poison - 2-4 mg. The content of 20 mg / 100 g is safe for humans, in addition, when heated, the toxin content decreases by 80%. So, poisoning will occur if you eat several kilograms of poisoned fruits at once, which is unlikely.

  1. The method of cooking. The health benefits and harms of potatoes change when they are cooked.
  • The calorie content of a fried dish is 3 times higher than that of a raw product; for overweight people, eating fried potatoes, as well as mashed potatoes from it, is harmful. But the benefit will be the use of once a day boiled (especially in the peel) potatoes without any fat.
  • The glycemic index - an indicator of the starch degradation rate - increases with heat treatment. For raw tubers, it is 40 units, in baked fruits and mashed potatoes it rises to 80-90 units. This means that carbohydrates obtained from food are quickly broken down and converted to fat. The habit of eating such foods leads to weight gain.
  • Cooking potatoes at temperatures above 120 ° C (chips, fries, potatoes in fat) is harmful — acrylamide is formed — a toxic substance with a negative effect on the nervous system, genes and genital functions.
  1. Contraindications Starch increases the level of glucose in the blood, with diabetes a lot of potatoes are harmful. Those who treat the heart with beta-blockers, a fascination with potatoes can provoke hyperkalemia and increase the burden on the kidneys.

Benefits of Raw Potato Juice

Of all the dishes, raw potatoes are most useful: all of its valuable substances enter the body with minimal loss. But not everyone can eat raw fruits regularly, even for medicinal purposes. But the raw tuber juice retains all its beneficial properties and is used in therapy.

  1. Gastrointestinal tract. Microelements in the fruits of potatoes are contained in the form of alkaline compounds, so its juice effectively reduces the acidity of the stomach and helps with gastritis, ulcers, intestinal disorders, flatulence, constipation. Drink juice on an empty stomach 30 minutes before meals, half a glass 1-2 times a day.
  2. Hypertension. Acetylcholine, found in the juice of this vegetable crop, helps to lower blood pressure.
  3. Gynecology. The wound healing, anti-inflammatory effect of the juice is manifested in the treatment of female diseases - erosion and inflammation of the appendages.
  4. Cosmetology. Juice masks and compresses help fight acne, freckles and age spots.

Experimental data indicate that the best material for making juice are varieties of pink and red potatoes. It should be fresh, because useful properties quickly decrease after 10 minutes. Juice should be taken no longer than 10-14 days, then the pancreas should be given rest. Potato juice can be treated from June to February; later, raw potatoes become harmful.

Potato treatment

Boiled potatoes also benefit in the fight against disease.

  1. Steam inhalation of jacket-boiled potatoes promotes expectoration of sputum and relieves inflammation in the throat and upper respiratory tract.
  2. When frostbite hands or feet, they should be held for half an hour in a warm broth of potato tubers.
  3. A mono diet is effective for weight loss: for 5-7 days, use only dishes from boiled potatoes without salt. Loss of 5-7 kg of weight will occur due to the action of potassium, which removes excess water from the body.
  4. Bruises under the eyes can be removed with daily 20-minute compresses from mashed potatoes.

The benefits and harms of raw potatoes

About 70% of nutrients are lost during the heat treatment of tubers. Supporters of natural nutrition believe that only raw potatoes bring maximum benefits and pose minimal harm to the body. Is it worth eating raw potatoes, and how is it useful?

  1. The largest amount in its tubers contains vitamin C, but already at a temperature of 60 °, it begins to break down. Only in its raw form can potatoes become a source of ascorbic acid - an antioxidant that protects tissues, bones, and vessels from destruction.
  2. Vitamins and trace elements are concentrated under the skin of potatoes in an easily digestible form. Eating 1 mashed unpeeled tuber per day is recommended for such problems:
  • chronic fatigue syndrome and weakened immunity,
  • metabolic disorder, swelling,
  • joint inflammation
  • rapid aging of the skin, hair loss.
  1. With periodontal disease, signs of scurvy, chew raw tuber for 15-20 minutes and spit out the contents.
  2. Raw potatoes strengthen immunity and give strength to patients with the development of systemic diseases and cancer, if for 3 months to eat a salad of 100 g grated potatoes with apples in the morning and evening.
  3. Candles from raw potatoes are effective for hemorrhoids: they are cut out from the tuber and injected into the rectum before going to bed.

Potato harm to the body manifests itself if consumed in raw form old, sprouted, greened tubers. If heat treatment reduces the content of solanine, then the use of raw tubers in the spring becomes especially dangerous for health. Such treatment is contraindicated in case of low acidity and diabetes.

What is potato good for?

After heat treatment, the benefits of eating potatoes are reduced, but it retains many valuable properties. People who understand the benefits of potatoes and when they cause harm try to consume them in accordance with their age and storage time.

  1. Young potatoes bring the greatest benefit, so in summer it should be consumed more.
  • It contains a lot of not only ascorbic acid, but also vitamins of group B. Vitamin B6 necessary for normal metabolism, protein synthesis, brain activity, hormone production, and the elimination of toxins are associated with it. Vitamin B deficiency6 dramatically reduces immunity and vitality. 100 g of young potatoes contains 18% of the daily requirement of the body. To preserve vitamins, cooking or baking it is best in a peel.
  • Each young tuber contains up to 3 g of dietary fiber. Boiled young potatoes will not harm people suffering from stomach diseases, because its fiber does not irritate the mucous membrane at all.
  • Starch in young tubers is less, and its caloric content is 10-30% lower than that of mature fruits. Diet for weight loss is optimal with young fruits, if they are cooked in their uniform and consumed without salt.

Other beneficial properties are preserved in ripe potatoes until spring:

  • As potatoes age, the starch content in it increases, and the energy value of all potato dishes increases.
  • When treating burns, starch in raw and boiled potatoes relieves pain and protects the wound from the formation of blisters, however, doctors do not recommend the use of alternative methods for serious skin lesions.

The nutritional value of potatoes

The nutritional value of raw, baked and fried potatoes is different: when cooked, vitamins are destroyed, calorie content increases. Cooking a potato dish changes its glycemic index. A high GI value indicates the rapid formation of fat from carbohydrates - such food causes increased appetite and contributes to obesity.

Potato composition

Potato is useful to humans, as it is a storehouse of valuable vitamins and the substances we need. There is no need to talk about the benefits of vitamin C - this is a powerful aid to our immunity, a weapon against free radicals, an assistant in the absorption of iron, an important component of the normal functioning of the circulatory system. It should be recalled and vitamins of group B, especially B6. Its presence makes ordinary potatoes an important assistant in the functioning of the cardiovascular and nervous systems, and is extremely useful for anemia, toxicosis, neuralgia and dermatitis.

The high potassium content has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the heart, improves metabolism, and reduces the level of "bad" cholesterol. Starch, which is abundant in this vegetable, helps to cope with irritation of the mucosa caused by the action of drugs. In addition, chemical compounds found in potatoes can lower blood pressure. We should not forget about the nutritional value of this vegetable: properly cooked potatoes provide us with useful substances, and in addition - it helps to cleanse the body and remove excess fluid.

The effect of solanine

Potato will bring harm or benefit - in many respects depends on the presence of a certain insidious substance called solanine in it. It is located in the peel, green areas and sprouts of potatoes, and if stored improperly - it penetrates under the peel and deeper into the vegetable. (Incorrect storage refers to saving the tubers too long and storing them in a bright place.)

If sprouts appear on the tubers, this is a sign that the level of solanine in the vegetable has increased significantly. It is better not to consume such tubers, and if necessary, cut the skin on them with a very thick layer.

A vegetable that contains this substance can cause serious problems with the digestive and nervous systems. The most serious contraindication to the consumption of sprouted potatoes concerns pregnant women, as well as young children. To avoid dangerous changes in the properties of potatoes, they should be stored in a cool and dark place (the best option is a cellar with a temperature of no higher than six degrees).

The benefits to the figure

There are a lot of calories in potatoes

This product is known for its calorie content (one hundred grams of the product contains 76 kcal) and a high starch content, which is why it is rarely seen on the list of allowed diet products for weight loss. And at the same time, he has the ability to remove water, cleanse the stomach, improve metabolism and perfectly satisfy hunger. Is calorie potato good for your body? It largely depends on the method of its preparation.

From the useful properties of potatoes, little remains if you cook it in deep fat, soak it for a long time in water or provide a large amount of fat during cooking. At the same time, the calorie content of fried potatoes can increase three, four, or even five times! In general, the product will not at all spoil the effect of your diet and exercise if you consume it sparingly, in baked or boiled form, without fats. This vegetable is not in vain called the “second bread” - this folk wisdom contains very useful advice: just replace the cooked tubers with flour products and your figure will not suffer at all.

Beauty Benefits

Experts argue not only the benefits of potatoes for our health, but also its importance for the beauty industry. Beauticians have long known the magical properties of young potatoes and its benefits for the skin of hands, neck, face, condition of nails and hair. Means from this vegetable have nutritious, regenerating, tonic and anti-inflammatory properties. Starch helps eliminate wrinkles and sagging, brightens the skin, tightens pores. What is important - it does not cause allergic reactions and is suitable for almost everyone.

In home cosmetology, raw potato juice is used, as well as mashed potatoes after cooking. With the help of simple components, you can prepare a variety of masks for the face, neck, hands, hair and nails - completely natural, healing and effective. (You can add milk, honey, egg white, lemon juice, olive oil, and other natural ingredients that enhance the action of potatoes to homemade cosmetic masks.) In addition, traditional medicine recommends using raw tuber gruel to treat not too old corns.

Watch the video: Sweet Potatoes: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts (January 2020).