Potatoes are loaded with so many healthy nutritional benefits that it seems odd to omit them from your diet. When it comes to loosing weight most people are quick to eliminate them from the diet in order to reduce carbohydrate intake. By doing so you are missing out on the delicious, satisfying health benefits that these potatoes have.
Did you know that potatoes are the most highly consumed vegetable in the world? This may be due to the fact that they are easy to grow, versatile enough to be used in most dishes and affordable. Prepared the right way, potatoes can make any meal more satisfying, delicious and nutritious.
One thing I love about potatoes is that they are available all year round. There are over 4000 varieties to choose from but the most commonly used are russet, yellow, new, sweet and red. Some are too bitter to eat while others are very sweet. No matter which kind you use, always remember to scrub them clean with the skin on before using. If you want to add extra fiber to your meal keep the skin on.
Health Benefits of Potatoes
When dieting the hardest thing to achieve is satiety. That is, you want to feel fuller longer so you don’t indulge in overeating of the wrong kinds of foods. Potatoes can give you that plus help you keep your weight in check. Satiety is the result of consuming enough fiber in your diet. Any food that is high in fiber will help you prevent heart disease, balance blood sugar levels and improve your digestive health.
There are two types of fiber present in fruits and vegetables. They are insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber acts like a prebiotic which improves gut health. Insoluble fiber can treat or prevent constipation or irritable bowl symptoms. Potatoes have what is known as resistance starch which includes both insoluble and soluble fiber benefits. This makes potatoes ideal when trying to loose weight.
If you suffer from high blood pressure it is because you have a deficiency in potassium and magnesium. Without enough of potassium and magnesium in your diet you will be more prone to retaining sodium which in turn raises your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to a stroke. Potatoes are a good source of these minerals that help to lower your blood pressure. Did you know that a potato has more potassium than a banana? or that it contains over 40% of the daily value of vitamin C our bodies need?
Quercetin and folate found in potatoes provide anti-cancer benefits to our bodies. The antioxidants protect against many forms of cancer including damage to our skin that is caused from the sun.
How to Store and Cook Potatoes
Potatoes are good for baking, mashing, deep frying, steaming, roasting, boiling, pan frying and pureeing. They can be divided into three categories. Starchy versions like Russet, yam, sweet potatoes are good for frying or baking. Waxy versions like red and fingerling are good for roasting and boiling. All the others would fall into the all purpose category of which you can either pan-fry, roast or stew to your liking.
If you store potatoes correctly they can last for a long time. Rule of thumb is to store them in a cool dry place in your kitchen. Ensure there is good ventilation and away from direct sunlight like in a cupboard or pantry. Keep the room temperature between 45-55° F to keep them from spoiling. Higher temperatures will cause them to begin sprouting.
Never store them in plastic bag because this encourages moisture to be retained. Instead, chose a basket, paper or netted options for storage. Keep them out of the refrigerator to avoid the starch content found in potatoes from turning into sugar from the cooler temperatures.
Creamy Zucchini and Potato Soup
- 3 zucchinis
- 5 potatoes
- 5 cups of organic chicken broth
- 1 tsp fennel seed, thyme, garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp. avocado oil
- 1 tbsp. organic butter
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Slice fresh zucchini into rounds and place in glass bowl. Next add oil, fennel seeds, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix together until all pieces are coated.
- Place zucchini onto cookie sheet in a single layer. Place cookie sheet in oven. Roast zucchini for 40 minutes.
- Wash, peel and cut potatoes into quarters.
- In large pot, add butter and roast zucchini. Sauté for 3 minutes. Next add 5 cups of chicken broth and potatoes. Boil on medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Add pot mixture to blender and blend until smooth. Serve warm.