Potatoes are among the most widely cultivated crops in the world. Traced to have been domesticated for the first time in Peru and Bolivia, potatoes were eventually brought to Europe by the Spaniards. From there, the Irish took the crop with them to the United States, hence the name “Irish potatoes” which Americans commonly use to distinguish from sweet potatoes. Potatoes certainly have a lot to offer nutritionally, but this tuberous vegetable may not be for everybody.
Continue reading and discover more about the pros and cons of potatoes and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends moderate use of this vegetable.
Potatoes, as you may already know, are a great source of carbohydrates, which are principally in the form of starch. Some of the starch content of potatoes is classified as resistant and so cannot be digested by the stomach’s and small intestine’s enzymes. This resistant starch in potatoes function much like fiber and provides the feeling of fullness. This resistant starch reaches the large intestine unbroken as well as facilitate elimination, thus providing protection against colon cancer. Because it remains intact, it does not get converted to sugars, too, thus aids in improvement of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.
The carotenoids in potatoes have been determined in a study recently and it was found that this vegetable contains lutein, zeaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and violaxanthin in measurable amounts. Carotenoids have been found to inhibit inflammation and formation of free radicals and may help in delaying vascular aging.
Potatoes have storage protein called patatin, too. It appears that the traces of tryptophan and cysteine, both essential amino acids, found in patatin may be the ones responsible for its potent antioxidant activities which can protect against free radicals at a genetic level. A 2005 UK study has found that potatoes contain phenolic compounds, one of which is kukoamine, which shows promise for preventing hypertension as well.
Potatoes are generally considered to have a high glycemic index (GI). Though the manner by which this vegetable is cooked greatly influences its subsequent GI, individuals who are following a low-GI diet must make sure to follow recommended preparation and cooking methods as well as portioning to ensure eating potatoes doesn’t interfere with their wellness goals.
Potatoes, too, belong to the nightshade family like tomatoes and eggplants. Nightshade crops contain alkaloids which can both be toxic and desirable in humans. Toxic, because it can create mild to serious allergic reactions when ingested, and desirable, because a variety of these alkaloids actually have crucial pharmaceutical uses. All the same, individuals who have a sensitivity to nightshade crops should steer clear of eating potatoes.
Potatoes are among the array of vegetables which have been found to have high levels of pesticide residue, too. To minimize your exposure to these harmful petrochemicals, always opt for organically grown potatoes whenever you can.
Potatoes’ Practical Uses:
As was mentioned, potatoes contain toxic alkaloids. These compounds turn green when exposed to light. This is why it’s important to choose potatoes from the bulk display always. This way, you’ll get to choose fresh potatoes without breaks in the skin, as well as ensure that the ones you buy don’t have green coloration which indicates concentration of alkaloids.
The manner by which potatoes are cooked spell a difference nutrition-wise as well. Steaming has been found to retain the majority of this vegetable’s healthful goodness. Utilizing this cooking method doesn’t have to take time, as you can always slice the potatoes in thinner portions before popping them in the food steamer.
Lastly, if you want to take advantage of the resistant starch in potatoes, opt to cool the cooked vegetable first before eating. Cooking then cooling has shown to considerably increase the resistant starch in potatoes from 7% to 13%.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of peas and how to moderately said vegetable in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Bok Choy
Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of potatoes, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of potatoes.