Potatoes are always linked with weight gain and health issues. Many people avoid potatoes in their daily diet when they are trying to lose eight or manage it. But do you know that potatoes are full of health benefits and can even help fight bloating. The key to restoring all the health benefits of potatoes is by using the right techniques to cook it.
What makes potato a healthy food -
Carbohydrates: The potato is best known for its carbohydrates content (approximately 26 grams in a medium potato). The predominant form of this carbohydrate is starch. A small but significant portion of this starch is resistant starch which improves your digestion by resisting immediate digestion, thus keeping you full – the same way, fiber would. Potatoes are also a good source of dietary fiber which provides bulk.
Glycemic Index: Glycemic index (GI) provides a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a particular type of food. Potatoes are often broadly classified as high on the glycemic index (GI) and so are often excluded from the diets. In fact, the GI of potatoes can vary considerably depending on type, origin, preparation methods and with what it is consumed. To reduce the GI of the potatoes consume them in a combination with other vegetables and roasted chicken.
Phytochemical Content: Different studies have revealed that potato is a storehouse of phytochemicals, flavonoids and vitamins. These nutrients help fight cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers. A new analytical method developed by Agricultural Research Service plant geneticist Roy Navarre's team also identified potatoes with high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, quercetin and kukoamines which have effect of regulating blood pressure.
Other Nutrients: Potatoes are good source of iron, protein, potassium, vitamins and phosphorus. The vitamin C in potatoes promotes iron absorption. Potassium in potatoes helps manage bloating. However eating potatoes with its skin can increase the amount of dietary fiber.
Healthy ways to eat a potato
To get the maximum benefits from the potatoes, it is important to check the cooking process. Due to high content of starch, potatoes tend to absorb more fat on frying. Therefore they are best eaten roasted, baked or steamed. This not only enhances the nutrition of the potatoes but also protects them from becoming a fattening food.
So, it is not the potato that is bad, it is the cooking process that makes it. Eaten the right way, they could actually help you lose weight.