Let us face it! Hogging on french fries is one of our favorite things to do.
We are often used to eating potatoes in a form where they are deep-fried in most cases. Food items like chips, french fries, wedges, etc are all high fat and high calorie-containing.
But, we can make potatoes healthy too. Research says potatoes are one of the best low calorie and high in nutrient food items and are also suggested to eat for weight loss. Only if we don’t deep fry them.
In this article, we will see what potatoes are, some of their nutritional benefits, and at last, how we can make them healthy.
What Are Potatoes?
Originated in South American Andes around 8000 years ago, potatoes are a type of edible plant tuber around the world. They are scientifically called Solanum tuberosum. Potatoes belong to the nightshade family of plants.
We have come a long way since its origin. Potatoes are now cultivated in around 160 countries, in approximately 1500 to 2000 different varieties.
They can be consumed boiled, steamed, fried, baked, or roasted. But, before that, let us see some health benefits of potatoes.
Health Benefits Of Potatoes
Potatoes are one of the easily available and healthy food options. Let us see how:
1. High In Nutrients
Potatoes contain a magnificent amount of vitamins and minerals. One medium potato, about 173 grams, along with its skin contains:
- Calories – 161
- Carbs – 36.6 gms
- Proteins – 4.3 gms
- Fats – 0.2 gms
- Potassium – 26% of RDI
- Magnesium 12% of RDI
- Manganese – 19% of RDI
- Phosphorous – 12% of RDI
- Vitamin C – 28% of RDI
- Niacin – 12% of RDI
- Vitamin B6 – 27% of RDI
- Folate – 12% of RDI
The nutritional content depends on the variety of the potato. It also depends on how you cook it. Fried potato dishes will contain more fats and calories than baked ones.
Tip – The skin of the potatoes contains a variety of vitamins and nutrients. Peeling them can reduce their nutritional content.
2. Rich In Antioxidants
Potatoes contain a high amount of carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. These compounds act as antioxidants by neutralizing free radicals in the body. Free radicals increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, etc.
It was found out in a study that potatoes reduce the risk of colon and lung cancer.
3. Improves Blood Sugar Level
It reduces insulin resistance, as it contains a special type of starch called resistant starch.
In people suffering from diabetes, consuming a meal with resistant starch helps in reducing blood sugar levels after a meal.
Tip – If you want to increase the level of resistant starch, you can keep a boiled potato in the fridge overnight. And later, consume it cold.
4. Beneficial For The Gut
The resistant starch in potatoes helps in improving your gut health. Resistant starch when reached the large intestines, the beneficial gut bacteria consume on it. The bacteria after consuming it converts it into short-chain fatty acid.
5. Very Filling
Potatoes contain a special kind of protein called Potato Proteinase Inhibitor 2, which curbs appetite. This protein leads to the release of cholecystokinin. This hormone promotes the feeling of fullness.
You have now seen the many benefits of potatoes. Let us now look into how you can make potatoes healthy!
5 Healthy Potato Recipes
1. Bake The White Potatoes
First, take a few potatoes. Wash them nicely and then dry them completely.
Then, we drizzle some olive oil, either spray or normal oil. And then we sprinkle some salt and black pepper and give it a mix.
Next, we place them on butter paper and bake for approximately an hour at 425 degrees. Make sure you turn them when they are halfway through.
Use different low-calorie seasonings like broccoli, chives, etc.
2. Sweet Potato Fries
Have you seen the recent air fryer craze among people? We are hooked on it too!
What you can do is, cut the sweet potatoes into long strips. Then up next, soak them in cold water for 30-40 mins. After removing them from the water, dry them completely.
Spray or drizzle some olive oil and place them into the air fryer. Cook them for about 20 mins at 400 degrees. Take them out, sprinkle some rock salt and enjoy them with some homemade tamarind chutney.
3. Grilled Potatoes
It is one of the most simple methods to make potatoes the healthy way. All you have to do is, slice up some potatoes. Steam the potatoes a little, either o a steamer or microwave them for approximately 2 or 3 mins. Let them dry out for about 20 to 25 mins at room temperature.
Next, place them on a grill that has been well greased with olive oil and serve hot.
4. Roasted Fingerlings
All you have to do in this is, cut the potatoes in half. Spray some olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Keep them in the oven for about 20 to 30 mins until they are cooked nicely and are crispy on the outside.
These make a great side dish and also something you can snack on when hungry.
5. Sweet Potato Salad
Dice up some sweet potatoes and keep them to boil. Meanwhile, cut some vegetables like onion, carrot, capsicum. You can keep boiled corn, sprouted Brussels, or moong dal.
Take out the boiled sweet potato, and let it cool down. Add all the veggies into a bowl and add the cooled sweet potatoes. Top it with some salt, black pepper, and lime juice. You can also add some balsamic vinegar to your liking.
These were some of the healthy ways we make out potatoes and consume them. These dishes are low on calories and also maintain the nutritional structure of the potatoes.
Potatoes are a very nutritious, low calories food item. They first originated in South American Andres. They have several health benefits like being rich in vitamin c, phosphorus, niacin, rich in antioxidants, promoting better gut health, etc. Avoiding high fat and high-calorie food items and switching them with low calorie and highly nutritious food items like listen above, can make great changes to your health. Let us know if you have tried any of the recipes listed above. Also, if you have some additional healthy recipes for us, we would love to know them and try them out ourselves.
Whether you want to gain muscle sustainably, lose weight, or do both—Mirganshi is the person you reach out to! She has a B.Sc in Nutrition and Dietetics from Lovely Professional University (LPU) and certification from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute (GGFI). She grew up and completed her schooling in Jaipur, Rajasthan back in the early 2000s. Currently, she helps hundreds of individuals in correcting their diets, lifestyle habits, and physical health.
She currently lives with her husband in Navi Mumbai, and they have been happily married since 2017. She is also a fitness freak herself and has completed several marathons like TATA Mumbai Marathon, Pinkathon, and more! In her free time, she likes to listen to music while writing her journal. Discipline is her best friend, and she ensures to impart this virtue in her clientele as well.
Due to her impeccable grip on body nutrition and well-being, Mirganshi understands precisely what is right for your body and recommends/reviews products she only truly has faith in. Mirganshi is also a champion for mental health advocacy and understands how keeping your brain fit and mind sane is an essential part of well-being.