Did you know that the unassuming potato can help with weight loss…and a bunch of other health advantages? This post will explore the many benefits of potatoes. Healthy recipes included!
Let’s be honest, potatoes often get a bad rap. Some might have even told you that they’re an empty carb. Rude!
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the simple spud…
Which I personally found as GREAT news. At the beginning of my fitness journey, I would always avoid anything that had potatoes because I just assumed they weren’t healthy.
Truth be told, I’m such a potato fan, and giving them up was a huge bummer.
That’s the power of research! After looking into it, I’ve collected 7 health benefits of potatoes that I can’t wait to share. These findings have changed my personal perspective and I hope they will help you, too.
I’ve also included some of my favorite healthy potato recipes so you can start integrating them into your diet right away!
Are Potatoes Healthy?
Potatoes ARE healthy and that’s why I wrote this post. These root vegetables are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. And – this might come as a surprise to you – because potatoes are filling, they can actually help you lose weight.
To give you a better idea, here’s a nutritional profile of 1 cup of boiled potato (5.5 Ounces):
|Total Fat||0.2 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||31.4 g|
|Vitamin C||20 mg|
Are Potatoes Healthier Than Rice?
Potatoes are generally healthy than rice. Let’s look at the macros of a cup of cooked rice. It has around 205 calories, 4.3 grams of protein, 0.4 grams of fat, and 44.5 grams of carbohydrates. If you compare this with the nutritional profile above, potatoes have a lower fat and carbohydrate content.
But I’d like to emphasize that the way your potatoes are prepared can dramatically change the nutrition content. This is true of rice, too.
What Are The Benefits of Potatoes?
Need more convincing? You got it! I promise you that knowing these benefits changed the way I relate to potatoes. In fact, you’ll always find a bag of baby potatoes in our pantry!
1. Packed with antioxidants: Surprised aren’t you? Potatoes are a stellar nutrient-based vegetable that you can (and should) add to your diet. They are naturally high in vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids. These compounds are known to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
Potatoes are thought to reduce inflammation and the chances of stroke too. So lower the risk of heart disease and other inflammatory-linked illnesses by bringing on the taters. Yum!
Learn more about antioxidants in this post: Top 10 Antioxidant-Rich Foods | With Easy Recipes
2. Burns fat: Potatoes are packed with a special type of resistant starch that functions like soluble fiber. And like fiber, it can’t be easily digested or absorbed. When it reaches the large intestine it gets fermented…and once it gets fermented it triggers your body to burn fat. Yay science!
One of my fave potato recipes? You have to try my Roasted Potato Salad!
3. Keeps you full: The benefits of potatoes are far-reaching. Aside from their fat-burning advantage, potatoes also keep you fuller for longer periods. Can I back up this claim? You bet! Studies show people who included potatoes as part of their daily meals ate fewer calories overall. Not only that, but the carbs in potatoes may aid healthy digestion.
4. Promotes healthy bowels: One small potato (with skin) can provide you with at least 3 grams of fiber. Yep, you read that right! It contains insoluble fiber which promotes bowel health and reduces your risk for diabetes.
If you know me, you know I’m serious about my fiber. Check out this post on Why and How To Get More Fiber In Your Diet
5. Lowers stress levels: This is something that only a few people know. I’ve got inside information, what can I say? Truth is, potatoes are natural stress relievers. This is because, as a nutrient-dense carbohydrate, potatoes trigger insulin to allow tryptophan into the brain.
This process ultimately creates 5HTP and boosts serotonin…naturally! So consider eating a potato when you’re feeling anxiety start to creep in, along with these other Best Foods for Stress Relief. Russets, Fingerlings, Yukon Gold potatoes – they’ll make you happy!
6. Has zero gluten: Because potatoes are so substantial, you may think that they have gluten. They don’t! Potatoes are great because they fit perfectly if you follow a gluten-free diet. They’re as satisfying as a piece of bread, in my humble opinion.
6. Reduces blood pressure: Last but not least when talking about the benefits of potatoes, they are PACKED with potassium and magnesium (which are linked to lower blood pressure levels). Starting to feel serious about potatoes? Go for the gold with this Healthy Baked Potato Soup.
Can I Eat Potatoes Every Day?
Yes, you can! Eating one medium-sized potato a day can be part of a balanced diet. It won’t do you any harm as long as you have it baked, steamed, or roasted (not potato chips or french fries!). My rule of thumb when eating potatoes is to make sure that the saturated fat and seasonings I add won’t double the calorie count of the dish.
You know, baking a potato in all its goodness and then smothering it in oodles of butter and sour cream isn’t quite what I have in mind for a daily potato duo. Sure, everything in moderation is what life is all about – and that includes your intake of extra toppings on your spud.
If you do eat potatoes every day, make sure they are fresh and cooked well. Green potatoes for example can have solanine (which is what causes the potato to turn green). Avoid cramps and headaches by discarding potatoes that aren’t as fresh as can be – no wrinkly spuds, okay?
Is Potato Salad Healthy?
Potato salad can be healthy but you’ve got to be mindful of what ingredients you add. It’s not usually healthy when your recipe calls for cups upon cups of mayo. But, you can easily make potato salad healthy by replacing the mayonnaise with plain greek yogurt. This increases the protein and nutrients overall and reduces a lot of unhealthy fat.
Case and point: My roasted potato salad is the perfect healthy side dish.
What Is The Best Way To Sauté Potatoes?
If you want to skip the extra grease that comes with frying your potatoes but enjoy a bit of oil in them, then I recommended that you sauté with olive oil! It provides extra flavor that you won’t get if you boil or steam the potato.
More Healthy Potato Recipes
Yay for potato nutrition! While it seems like my entire blog is dedicated to sweet potato recipes (here are 19 Easy Sweet Potato Recipes) I try to show regular potatoes some love too. After all, they are a good source of potassium and so much more. Here are some of my most classic – and beloved – potato recipes:
- Healthier Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
- Healthy Au Gratin Potatoes | Perfect Holiday Side!
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