Pass me the potatoes! Please….
Despite what you may have heard, potatoes represent good nutritional value for your money and merit some space on your plate! Like the avocado and banana, the potato is often maligned AND it doesn’t deserve to be.
New potatoes are fresh, natural and versatile, plus you know the whole family will enjoy them. Let’s face it – they taste far better than flavourless processed white rice or unappealing slippery pasta shapes. Nutritionally speaking, they punch above their weight too. They are a gluten-free coeliac’s dream and a better source of vitamin C, potassium and fibre than either brown rice or pasta.
In fact 150g of new potatoes provides about 24mg (out of our RDA of 60mg) of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which helps to stabilise or eliminate free radicals, which in turn helps to prevent cellular damage. Vitamin C is also important for collagen production, and wound healing. Finally, vitamin C assists the absorption of iron and may help support the body’s immune system. Although potatoes don’t have anywhere near the vitamin C levels found in citrus fruits and peppers, they do contribute significantly to our daily vitamin C needs.
They contain as much or more potassium (620 mg) than bananas, spinach, or broccoli (important for a healthy blood pressure). Research suggests that diets rich in potassium and low in sodium seem to reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.
Interestingly if you want to feel full on less food, 150g of new potatoes contributes over two grams of fibre per day. Dietary fibre is part of the plant material that cannot be digested and absorbed in the bloodstream. It has numerous health benefits, including helping to regulate our blood sugar levels, and increasing satiety which may help with weight loss. In moderation potatoes can be part of a weight loss plan.
And another thing – potatoes is a natural source of resistant starch. This starch is ‘resistant’ to enzymatic digestion in the small intestine. It is fermented instead in the large intestine. So it’s really more like a prebiotic fibre in that it can help stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. Resistant starch may protect colon cells and is linked in many scientific papers to less genetic cell damage (which can lead to cancer).
Lastly new potatoes contain trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc — all for only 99 calories in a medium serving and little or no fat.
New potatoes fill you up, not out! Potatoes are power on the plate. Rich in starchy carbohydrate, potatoes are a fantastic fuel for our bodies. Unadulterated and unprocessed, they are probably the best source of starchy energy in our diets. In a world where many carbohydrates are so processed that they are devoid of essential nutrients, the potato stands head and shoulders above the rest.