Potatoes: nutritional properties, false myths, varieties and types

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 family of Solanaceae.  It is a very old food that has its origin in America and that much later was introduced in Europe, according to the data of history in the XVII century.

The tuber that is born from the plant, and that is the potato is not toxic, however the plant if consumed is toxic because it contains solanine an alkaloid that is toxic. Nor should other parts of the plant be consumed, such as leaves, stems, flowers.

Potatoes should not be eaten raw, raw are toxic, so we should always eat them cooked. For years the myth that potatoes fatten has always persecuted this tuber.

Before talking about this myth, perhaps it is convenient that we know the properties and nutritional benefits that potatoes bring 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 whole world.

What are the nutritional properties and benefits of potatoes?

The nutritional properties of potatoes are:

  • Good source of energy for the starch it contains.
  • It contains vitamins of group B, B1, B6, vitamin C,
  • Complex carbohydrates.
  • Minerals: magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, rich in potassium,
  • Folates
  • Amino acids such as lysine and tryptophan.
  • Fiber.

In addition, eating potatoes regularly gives us a series of benefits and excellent properties within a varied and balanced diet. Its qualities are the following:

  • They favor good intestinal transit, being rich in fiber.
  • The vitamins that it contains help us to maintain good health in the different tissues of the body, also for the muscles, bones, skin and to increase the defenses.
  • It helps us to reduce hypertension because of its potassium content, for this case it is necessary to eat them boiled, steamed or roasted, without sauces, and little or no salt.
  • For the complex carbohydrates it contains it favors us to maintain adequate levels of blood sugar.
  • Being rich in starch provide us with high quality energies and easy digestion, it is appropriate for athletes.
  • They help to reduce inflammation in case of suffering from rheumatic problems, inflammation of the prostate, inflammation of the urinary bladder,
  • The boiled or pureed potato is beneficial when we have digestive problems, it favors the process of digestion 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 time of cultivation, for the time of cultivation they are denominated as, early potatoes, semi-seasonal or seasonal potatoes and old or late potatoes.

  • Ideal potatoes for cooking: Patata Monalisa, Spunta, Kennebec, Buffet, Flamenco, Jaerla.
  • Potatoes for roasting: Flamenco, Spunta, Kennebec.
  • Potatoes for frying: Spunta, Caesar, Monalisa, Draga, Agria, Kennebec, Monalisa Alavesa, Bintje.

Other varieties of potatoes are grown in the Canary Islands, they are old potatoes and of protected origin, although here we will cite a few there are some 46 varieties of potatoes. The pretty potato includes: black, white, red potatoes, partridge eyes, wounded.

The most recent violet or blue potatoes, they are increasingly being requested for their attractive and decorative color.

The main food myths of potatoes

Returning to the myth that potatoes get fat 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 how other foods accompany the potatoes and how we cook them.

French fries will of course have more calories than boiled potatoes, boiled potatoes per 100 grams gives us only 100 kilocalories half of a white bread for example. To take better advantage of the nutrients of the potatoes and assimilate them, it is better to cook the potatoes steamed, baked or boiled.

Although chips 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 fried put them on a napkin or absorbent paper to drain the surplus oil.

What is not convenient to do is eat them fried every day, or accompany them with fatty foods such as sausages or very energetic, such as pasta, bread or sugary drinks.

It is a better option to eat them accompanied by vegetables, or with fillet of grilled white meat or grilled fish, also with a fried egg cooked with just a drop of olive oil.

Potatoes should be protected from light as they will turn greenish, when we see potatoes of this color we should discard them, do not consume them as it contains toxic components.

After all this information, if you had any precaution regarding the consumption of potatoes do not hesitate to include them daily in your diet, with a potato or two a day, cooked and accompanied by the right foods is a totally nutritious and healthy food. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist. ThemesTubers food

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