Potatoes have been a vital food around the world for 100s of years. Traditionally, many communities have depended on these root vegetables in order to meet the majority of their nutritional requirements.
In addition to being a gratifying snack, potatoes are easy to grow and can also be found all across the globe. In recent times, the popularity of low-carb diets has resulted in some people avoiding potatoes. In reality, baked potatoes are crammed with nutrients and may also be part of a healthy diet.
What Are Potatoes?
Scientifically known as Solanum tuberosum, potatoes belong to the nightshade group of plants. Starting in the South American Andes, potatoes are now cultivated in 160 countries worldwide, with between 1 500 and 2 000 different varieties that range in colour, size and nutrient content.
Nonetheless, many variations are similar in composition, consisting of a starchy flesh covered by a thin, nutrient-rich skin. Potatoes can be boiled, steamed, fried, baked or roasted and used in a wide assortment of dishes.
In spite of the current trend towards low-carb diets, there are a tonne of reasons to eat baked potatoes.
Baked potatoes are crammed full of choline, which is an essential nutrient which most people don’t eat enough of. Research at the moment suggests that choline deficiency may be at least partially to blame for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis in addition to fibromyalgia. By eating baked potatoes, you are able to increase the choline in your body and lessen inflammation.
Baked potatoes are high in fibre, which aids with digestion. A high fibre diet can help both diarrhoea and constipation. People with digestive conditions – such as irritable bowel syndrome – may find the fibre in baked potatoes especially useful for coping with symptoms and regulating digestion.
The fibre in baked potatoes helps with digestion and vitamin B6 assists with breaking down carbohydrates and improves metabolism. This successful combination can be great for weight loss as well as weight management.
Almost one third of people have high cholesterol, which puts them at higher risk for heart disease as well as stroke. Baked potatoes are a genuinely low-fat, low-cholesterol food. They’re also crammed with potassium, which some research suggests can significantly reduce risks of heart disease.
Contrary to popular belief, baked potatoes are an incredibly nutrient-dense food rich in vitamins, minerals as well as high-quality protein. In addition, they have virtually no fat. Baked potatoes are highly filling and also have a high resistant starch content, which may assist you with managing your blood sugar levels and lose weight, if that’s one of your goals, as long as you don’t eat too many
However, baking potatoes does encourage the formation of acrylamide, which is a substance that’s damaging over the long term in excessive amounts. So, ensure that you bake your potatoes for shorter periods of time at lower temperatures in order to reduce this. Or choose cooking methods that don’t produce acrylamide at all, such as steaming or boiling.
Lastly, be mindful of the toppings which you add to your baked potatoes. If you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake, consider swapping higher-fat toppings for lower-fat alternatives.
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