The Real Health Benefits Of Potatoes

Low-carb diets have given potatoes a bad rap. However, these starchy vegetables are loaded with nutrients and have several health benefits. 

Whether you prefer boiled potatoes or sweet potatoes, both are a good source of fiber, carbs, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, niacin, folate, manganese, phosphorous, and choline, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Don't peel your potatoes. Keep the skin on and wash them well before cooking. Avoid peeling them as you'll remove a lot of the nutritional value, especially the iron, according to a 2011 study published in the scientific journal, Annals of Botany

The health benefits of potatoes come from the fiber and antioxidants. According to WebMD, potatoes can help your digestion, reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, and lower your blood pressure. Medical News Today adds that potatoes can help improve bone health, heart health, help you lose or manage your weight, improve your energy metabolism, and boost your immune system. In addition, the fiber in potatoes can help you feel full for longer, keeping you from overeating. 

Remember to keep the peel on and prepare your potatoes in a healthy way. Here are some ways to add potatoes to your diet. 

Healthy ways to prepare potatoes

If you avoid potatoes because you're on a low-carb diet, you're missing out on some essential nutrients — not to mention delicious and versatile food. Of course, the health benefits will depend on how you cook them and which ingredients you add. If you like your french fries dipped in mayo or loading up a baked potato with toppings, the nutrients in the potatoes are practically nullified by the oil and extra condiments. It's all about what you add to your potatoes that can make them unhealthy. Alone, all varieties of potatoes are healthy, according to Potato Goodness.

Real Simple recommends baking, steaming, boiling, or grilling your potatoes to keep them healthy. If you love potato chips, try cooking your potatoes in an air fryer. Keep some chopped potatoes in your fridge to add to other dishes like salads or to have as a side with your lunch. Avoid adding loads of mayo, sour cream, butter, or other unhealthy condiments. Instead, try something healthier to get the most out of your potatoes.

The great thing about potatoes is that they are so versatile. Delish suggests nutritious additions like garlic, a little bit of parmesan, rosemary, chives, an egg, feta, tomatoes, or vinegar. Serve your potatoes with broccoli or another veggie for a healthy dish.