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Potatoes: Are They Healthy?

By Sara Butler

Potatoes have gotten a lot of press over the past several years. This versatile root vegetable seems like an unlikely source of controversy, but the amount of starch in potatoes does tend to frighten people. Plus, potatoes are often associated with unhealthy processed and fried foods, so people looking to eat healthy may make the connection and shy away. Here’s what you need to know about potatoes to decide if they’re right for you!

The Nutrients

There are many types of potatoes that have a bunch of nutrients, though each potato is a bit different. A medium Russet potato has 168 calories with no fat, five grams of protein, four grams of fiber, and 37 grams of carbs. It also has just 24 milligrams of sodium as well as manganese, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and potassium.

By contrast, red potatoes have fewer carbohydrates, calories, and fiber than Russet potatoes. But they are slightly higher in nutrients such as niacin and Vitamin K. The takeaway from the nutritional profiles of potatoes is that you get the most benefit from eating their skin. That’s where most of the nutrients are.

The Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals, atoms that can accumulate in your body and lead to chronic illness. Antioxidants have been found to help protect your body from diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Specific types of potatoes are actually full of antioxidants. Colored potatoes are more effective than white potatoes in the fight against free radicals since they contain more carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acid – all antioxidants. More research needs to be done on the humble potato and its antioxidant power, but know they are a great source of them.

The Fiber

You cannot deny that potatoes are filling. They are one of the most satiating foods you can find and that’s thanks to the fiber they contain. The fiber moves more slowly through the digestive system, helping you to feel fuller for longer and decreasing hunger for hours after you’ve eaten.

Own that Potato!

Potatoes can be a part of a very healthy diet. When you eat them in moderation, they are a great source of nutrients and fiber. Plus, they help to fill you up and help you feel full for longer. Just realize that the way you prepare a potato makes or breaks how healthy it is for you. Baking potatoes are the best strategy and always remember to eat the peel in order to get all the nutritional benefits.

Go ahead, have a steaming baked potato! And don’t forget to branch out and explore the many different types of potatoes out there.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Roswell, Ga.

 

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