Potato properties and benefits of a food widely consumed every day, also known as potato. Discover its most important virtues and how to cook them.
Along with the sweet potato, the potato is another of the foods not only most consumed in practically the whole world, but it is also one of the most used as a home remedy for a wide variety of disorders or health problems. In fact, despite the fact that it is a food widely consumed in our country, very few people know all the properties of the potato, which is why it becomes an essential food in a healthy and balanced diet.
Be that as it may, we are faced with a food highly used in the kitchen, since it is normal that the recipes and typical dishes of many countries abound in which, precisely, the potato appears either as the main ingredient, or simply as a delicious and nutritious companion.
In fact, the potato is considered one of the basic pillars of the diet, due to its different benefits and properties.
What are potatoes?
Also known by the popular name of potato, we are faced with a wonderful food that is part of the tuber family, in the same way that we can also distinguish other foods such as sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes or yucca (to cite just a few very brief examples).
More specifically, it is the tuber from a species of herbaceous plant that belongs to the genus Solanum (from the Solanaceae family, which as you will surely know is native to South America), and scientifically known by the name of Solanum tuberosum.
There is evidence that, originally, this plant was domesticated by the inhabitants of the Andean highlands (or Titicaca plateau) about 8,000 years ago, thus gradually becoming one of the most cultivated for its delicious and nutritious edible tubers.
In fact, it was not until many centuries later that the Spanish conquerors brought the potato to Europe, rather as a mere botanical curiosity. However, little by little its consumption grew, until it was cultivated in practically the whole world.
Nutritive properties of the potato
From the first moment there is no doubt that the potato stands out for being a delicious food very rich in complex carbohydrates, which means that it becomes a fundamental food to keep blood sugar levels at bay. In addition, thanks to this complex carbohydrate content, it is also ideal to increase our energy.
In fact, it has a low glycemic index, especially if you opt for healthier cooking options, such as baked or grilled.
Being rich in vitamin C, it is interesting when it comes to increasing defenses and enhancing the natural immunity of our body. However, we must bear in mind that much of the vitamin C it contains is lost when we cook it.
Thanks to its potassium content, it helps control hypertension. And due to its high fiber content (which, incidentally, many people are unaware of), it provides health benefits for our digestive system.
Most important potato qualities
Provides energy and satiety
It is an extremely wonderful nutritious food, since thanks to its high content of complex carbohydrates, it helps to give us energy slowly, little by little, not causing glucose to rise in the blood and form peaks.
In addition, it helps to maintain the proper functioning of the brain, giving us energy if we are going to do any physical activity.
On the other hand, thanks to its carbohydrate content, it is also a food that provides satiety, which is why it becomes an interesting option in weight loss diets. Especially if, as we indicated previously, healthier ways are chosen for their cooking, such as the oven (instead of fried).
High fiber content, ideal against constipation
Potatoes are also very rich in fiber, which means that it is an excellent food against constipation, since it positively helps to regulate – and improve – intestinal transit.
But this quality does not end here, since fiber also helps reduce high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, and also provides satiety (so it is still equally ideal in weight loss diets).
They prevent cardiovascular diseases
A regular consumption of potatoes is especially beneficial when it comes to preventing the onset of cardiovascular diseases, thanks to its content of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
In this sense, as we already mentioned in the previous section, it is especially useful when it comes to reducing high levels of lipids in the blood, especially both cholesterol and triglycerides.
Potato benefits, in summary
- Important content of vitamin C and potassium.
- To the content of complex carbohydrates.
- Useful to increase defenses.
- Control hypertension.
- Helps increase energy and control blood sugar levels.
- Rich in fiber.
What to do so that potatoes do not cause indigestion?
If you have eaten potatoes on many occasions, it is quite likely that, at some point, you have seen for yourself that consumed quickly and quickly can cause a little indigestion.
If so, the key is to chew and sallow them well before swallowing. And we must not forget something fundamental: the digestion of potatoes, like that of many other foods, begins in the mouth.
The best way to cook them: always cooked and with skin
As we have commented to you from time to time throughout this note, the best option when cooking potatoes is cooking them in water, and always with their skin.
Why? Mainly because in this way we make sure that it will maintain all its nutritional properties, thus losing the least possible number of essential nutrients (with the exception of vitamin C, which will be lost). But something even more important: we will prevent it from breaking during the cooking process.
In addition, we will be ensuring a much healthier way of cooking, which adds practically no calories to the dish, as other less advisable options would do, such as fried ones.
And how can we eat the potatoes or potatoes to the water?
It is actually extremely simple. You just have to wash the potatoes well under the water tap, in order to try to remove the dirt that may have their skin. Then put water in the saucepan or cauldron, and when it starts to boil, add the potatoes at the same time as the salt.
Of course, lower the heat a bit to prevent the potato skin from breaking from the heat. Cook the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes over low heat if they are medium and 30 minutes if they are larger.
Then, with the help of a fork or a thick needle, check the doneness of the potatoes by pricking them a little. When they’re done, turn off the heat, remove the water, and try to cool them quickly.