5 benefits of eating potatoes
1. There is plenty of variety
Potatoes come in various forms; be it fresh, canned or frozen, you can find something for almost any kind of cuisine. They’re even a vegetable you can grow on your own as long as they’re not too big. No matter how large a potato, it will still tell you what size you need. Whether they are small enough to eat in one bite or large enough to add texture and flavor to a dish, you name it you’ve got one. That makes the whole experience much less time-consuming than eating cooked potatoes, and that alone brings about an extra layer of flavor and texture to every dish. For instance, try this salad dressing for spring vegetables! Even if you aren’t ready for the season yet, let some seasonal greens go unused and you’ll have plenty of tasty leftovers to bring up at home, just try a few slices instead of three times. Plus, potatoes can also provide their own protein which is needed by our bodies for energy, so they’re certainly worth enjoying as part of your morning cupboard.
2. Health benefits
Potatoes offer essential nutrients we all need. Just the single ounce of vitamin B3 found in one pound of the red skinned variety provides 15% of your daily needs. Each 100g serving contains more than 10 grams of vitamin A and a staggering 3,700 mcg of vitamin C! Vitamin A is particularly important when getting started out on a new diet. Vitamin A assists in forming healthy bones from calcium which, along with other minerals like magnesium and manganese, strengthens teeth and prevents heart disease. Not only that but potatoes are packed with anti-oxidants which protect against free radicals which are linked to cancer, among other ailments. Some studies have even shown potatoes to reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular disease and help keep cholesterol levels low in adults. This is because potatoes contain very little saturated fat which raises HDL (good) levels and lowers LDL levels (bad). On top of these are two beneficial compounds called anthocyanins linked to healthful eye health. Antioxidant carotene is present in potatoes and has been proven to prevent macular degeneration which is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults (and it can be prevented if you eat more potatoes and exercise regularly!). These nutrients are also high in fiber, and they’re very filling meaning you’ll feel full longer and feel satisfied after eating something. All of the above make sure you get the full value of each serving and they’ll leave you feeling confident, full and happy.
3. They are versatile
Potatoes can easily transform a bowl of pasta into a hearty side dish, soups, and salads. You can even substitute the grated cheese for shredded meat. You can use frozen roasted potatoes for pizza bases. Try a baked potato recipe with roasted veggies or broccoli puree. As far as cooking tips go, you can turn spinach and tomatoes into smoothies; roast potatoes add a lovely smoky flavor to risotto dishes! And finally, while everyone likes a cold glass or two, there is never a bad reason to drink a glass of hot tea before bed on a chilly night. With these different uses so readily available, it’s no wonder people are loving potatoes so much! So many varieties to choose from means there are lots of options. If you have the drive, then go ahead and enjoy!
4. They are extremely nutritious
Potatoes are quite low in calories. One small serving has between 120 and 160 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, the main aim is to cut back on caloric intake. While you can consume a typical portion of potatoes, they need to be broken down into smaller chunks, otherwise they don’t pack the same amount of nutrients. For example, 1 cup of potatoes equals 20g, with a little bit of water added, that can provide you with around 8g of the energy required per day. In order to avoid putting on weight, however you want to consume less and control your portion sizes as well. Most vegetables and fruits contain much higher amounts of sugar than potatoes, so cut them in half before consumption (or skip them altogether) to save 20%, and try and avoid consuming more than one cup of them or adding them to foods. Once you’ve given up those sugary choices, it’s likely you’ll be able to control the quality of your servings. Lastly, remember, a lot of the packaged food you’ll buy will likely have added sugars. Keep track on how much sugar goes into each bag, and adjust accordingly. Be careful, though, and avoid using products labeled “low sugar”, especially if they’re overly sweetened. However, try replacing some frozen vegetables or fruit with fresh ones to save yourself a gram of excess sugar every week. Instead, make sure you eat plenty of real ingredients such as carrots, apples, spinach, peas, lentils, etc. Just make sure everything looks good and taste great.
5. Great alternatives to chips
A number of people prefer to eat homemade meals. Rather than buying instant meals, a simple dinner could have a range of sides you can serve alongside. It’s simple to prepare – all you need to do is heat up some veggies (or whatever you use), and season them with salt and pepper and a few cups of yogurt, eggs or broth. Make the pot pie recipe below for a quick lunch. Or, try baking your own eggy crust! Or, throw these potatoes straight into the boiling water for ten minutes for a quick snack. If you have extra time, try preparing healthy snacks for meals too! These should be eaten throughout the day as opposed to quick fix breakfasts or the occasional lunch. The thing you enjoy the most isn’t actually what you have left. Look for foods where your mind isn’t constantly wandering. Don’t worry about the calorie tally when purchasing them in the store, focus on what you need! Take care and enjoy!