If you are growing potatoes in your garden this year, you are growing an incredible source of protein, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.
According to this article from UC Health, potatoes are the fourth largest crop grown globally (wheat, rice and corn are the top three). Of the four, potatoes are the most nutrient dense, and it grows almost anywhere, including high altitudes.
"...gram for gram, potatoes sport more potassium than bananas and except for dried beans, pack more protein than most any other vegetable." - UC Health
Russet potatoes (shown in photo above) contain more protein than many other potato types - one medium Russet potato has 4.55 grams of protein. They are virtually fat-free, making them a low-calorie food option.
While they have sometimes been associated with being unhealthy due to their high carbohydrate content, potatoes offer a range of essential nutrients and health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
- Macronutrients: Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, which are the body's primary source of energy.
- Vitamins: A medium-sized potato provides about 45% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in immune function, collagen synthesis, and antioxidant activity. Potatoes also contain B vitamins like folate, which is essential for cell division and the production of DNA.
- Minerals: Potatoes are a good source of potassium, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and proper muscle function. They also contain significant amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
- Fiber: Potatoes are a decent source of dietary fiber, especially when consumed with the skin. Fiber promotes healthy digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and contributes to satiety, making you feel fuller for longer periods.
- Antioxidants: Potatoes contain flavonoids and carotenoids, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals. These antioxidants may contribute to reducing the risk of chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer and heart disease.
- Resistant Starch: Potatoes contain 'resistant' starch, a type of starch that resists digestion in the small intestine. Instead, it reaches the large intestine, where it acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Resistant starch has been associated with improved digestive health, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and increased satiety.
Resource: Black Forest Garden Club Potato Growing Guide - click here.