Potatoes are tubers with incredible nutritional properties and benefits, ideal within a varied diet, which is also surrounded by many myths.
Potatoes or potatoes as they are known in the Canary Islands, are a tuber that come from the plant whose scientific name is Solanum tuberosum and belongs to the Solanaceae family. It is a very old food that has its origin in America and that much later was introduced in Europe, according to the history data in the seventeenth century.
The tuber that is born from the plant, and that is the potato, is not toxic, on the other hand the plant if it is consumed is toxic since it contains solanine, an alkaloid that is toxic. Nor should other parts of the plant such as leaves, stem, and flowers be consumed.
Potatoes should not be eaten raw, raw they are toxic, therefore we must always eat them cooked. For years the myth that potatoes are fattening has always haunted this tuber.
Before talking about this myth, perhaps it is convenient that we know the properties and nutritional benefits that potatoes contribute to our body, to the point of being considered a versatile food that we can eat daily and even the whole family. It is one of the most consumed foods in the world.
What are the nutritional properties and benefits of potatoes?
The nutritional properties of potatoes are:
- Good source of energy due to the starch it contains.
- Contains vitamins of group B, B1, B6, vitamin C,
- Complex carbohydrates.
- Minerals: magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, rich in potassium,
- Amino acids like lysine and tryptophan.
In addition, eating potatoes regularly gives us a series of benefits and excellent properties within a varied and balanced diet. Its qualities are as follows:
- They promote good intestinal transit, as they are rich in fiber.
- The vitamins it contains help us maintain good health in the different tissues of the body, also for muscles, bones, and skin and increase defenses.
- It helps us reduce hypertension due to its potassium content, in this case we must eat them boiled, steamed or roasted, without sauces, and little or no salt.
- Due to the complex carbohydrates it contains, it helps us to maintain adequate blood sugar levels.
- Being rich in starch, they provide us with high-quality and easily digestible energy, it is appropriate for athletes.
- They help reduce inflammation in case of rheumatic problems, inflammation of the prostate, inflammation of the urinary bladder,
- The boiled or mashed potato is beneficial when we have digestive problems, it favors the digestion process and also to avoid gastric reflux.
Varieties and types of potatoes
The types or varieties of potatoes are many, thousands throughout the world and are classified according to the cultivation time, by the cultivation time they are called early potatoes, mid-late or seasonal potatoes and old or late potatoes.
- Ideal potatoes for cooking: Potato Monalisa, Spunta, Kennebec, Buffet, Flamenco, Jaerla.
- Potatoes for roasting: Flamenco, Spunta, Kennebec.
- Potatoes for frying: Spunta, Caesar, Monalisa, Dragan, Agria, Kennebec, Monalisa alavesa, Bintje.
In the Canary Islands other varieties of potatoes are grown, they are old potatoes and of protected origin, although here we will mention a few there are about 46 varieties of potatoes. The pretty potato includes: black, white, red potatoes, partridge eyes, sores.
For a short time, purple or blue potatoes have become fashionable, they are increasingly being requested for their attractive and decorative color.
The main food myths about potatoes
Returning to the myth that potatoes are fattening, we can say that potatoes should be part of a healthy and balanced diet, even when we want to lose weight. We just have to know and control what other foods we accompany the potatoes with and how we cook them.
French fries will of course have more calories than boiled potatoes, boiled potatoes for every 100 grams gives us only 100 kilocalories, half of a white bread for example. To take better advantage of the nutrients in potatoes and assimilate them, it is better to cook the potatoes steamed, baked or boiled.
Although French fries have more calories, we can also eat them fried. But to fry them it is better to choose new potatoes, fry them in olive oil and once they are fried, put them on a napkin or absorbent paper to drain the excess oil.
What is not convenient to do is eat them fried every day, nor accompany them with fatty foods such as sausages or very energetic foods, such as pasta, bread or with sugary drinks.
It is a better option to eat them accompanied by vegetables, or with a grilled white meat fillet or grilled fish, also with a fried egg cooked with just a drop of olive oil.
The potatoes must be protected from light as they will turn greenish in color, when we see potatoes of this color we must discard them, not consume them as they contain toxic components.
After all this information, if you had any precautions regarding the consumption of potatoes, do not hesitate to include them in your diet daily, with a potato or two a day, cooked and accompanied by the right foods, it is a totally nutritious and healthy food.