The potato or aloo is very healthy, starchy and edible tuberous root vegetable cultivated once a year in many regions of the world. It is one of the largest used vegetable of the world, belongs to the Solanaceae family. Historically, potatoes are being cultivated since thousands of (7,000 to 10,000) years ago with more than thousands varieties.
China is the largest producer of the potatoes all over the world. One third of the total production of worldwide potatoes is produced by the India and China. It is a very comfortable food can be used and eaten in many ways like mashed, roasted, baked or etc.
Benefits of Potato/Aloo
Potatoes are very healthy food as they are packed with nutrients nourishing the human body. They have variety of amazing nutritional health benefits. It is a food liked by almost all the people because of its taste and health nourishing properties. Some of the nutritional health benefits of the potatoes are mentioned below:
Benefits of Potato for Heart
Regulates Heart Functioning
- It contains soluble dietary fibers which help in regulating the heart functioning by lowering down the bad cholesterol in the blood.
Prevents from Hypertension
- It contains a special compound called kukoamine which has blood pressure lowering property thus helps in preventing from the hypertension.
Controls Normal Blood Pressure
- It contains low sodium and high potassium level which helps in controlling normal blood pressure.
Benefits of Potato for Digestive System
Manages Digestive Functioning
- It contains insoluble dietary fibers which help in managing the digestive functioning.
Keeps Stomach Full
- It makes the stomach full for longer thus aids in the weight management.
Source of Phytochemicals
- It contains variety of phytochemicals including flavanoids which have their own health nourishing effects.
Relieves Constipation and Hemorrhoid
- Eating boiled or steamed potato provides relief from the constipation and hemorrhoids by promoting the stool passage soft and hydrated.
Benefits of Potato for Skin
- It is the rich source of various types of vitamins (vitamin A, B, C, E, K and etc) thus provides best nourishment to the skin.
Makes Skin Healthy and Glowing
- Vitamin C found in it helps in preventing from cellular damage, assists in the collagen production and iron absorption thus makes the skin healthy and glowing.
Good Face Pack
- It acts as a good face pack if the mixture of crushed potato pulp and honey is applied to the face skin.
Cures Skin Problems
- It helps in curing pimples, black spots, acne and etc skin problems.
Relieves Pain of Burned Skin
- It provides instant relief from the pain of burned skin if potato pulp is applied to the affected areas as well as promotes faster healing.
Other Health Benefits of Potato
- It contains lots of phytonutrients compounds having antioxidant properties such as carotenoids, caffeic acid, flavonoids, patatin and etc which have ability to protect against free radicals and ageing.
Contains Vitamin B6
- It contains vitamin B6 which is mostly required by the body for the synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids.
Enhances Wound Healing
- It enhances the wound healing process and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
- It boosts up the immune system of the body thus prevents from various infections.
Enhances Athletic Performance
- It helps in enhancing the athletic performance as vitamin B6 found in it helps in breaking down the glycogen molecules stored in the cells and liver into sugar.
Relieves Pain and Inflammation
- It provides relief from the pain and inflammations of the rheumatism as it is good source of the calcium and magnesium.
Makes Bones Strong
- It is a root vegetable having all the essential minerals which helps in making bones strong and promotes proper functioning of nerves and muscles.
Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones
- It reduces the risk of kidney stones formation as it is the rich source of magnesium which prevents from the unnecessary accumulation of the calcium in kidney.
- It is an excellent source of iron and folate which are required by the body for red blood cells production thus it prevents from the anemia.
Benefits of Potato for Brain and Nervous System
Nourishes Neurological Cells
- It contains vitamin B6 which helps in maintaining the nervous system functioning by nourishing the neurological cells.
Rich Source of Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B6 is required by the body to produce neurotransmitter to transmit messages all over the body through nerves.
Prevents Brain Disorders
- It helps in preventing from the brain disorders like depression, sleep disorders during night, and etc.
Relaxes Body and Mind
- It enhances the secretion of adrenaline hormones which relaxes the body and mind thus prevents from the stress.
Benefits of Potato for Cancer Prevention
Eliminates Toxic Substances
- Vitamin B6 found in it performs great role in the methylation thus prevents from various cancer by promoting elimination of the toxic substances from the body.
Benefits of Potato for Weight Gain
- It is very energetic food full of high amount of carbohydrates and very little protein which makes it an ideal diet for the weak and lean people to put on the weight immediately.
Fulfills High Energy Needs
- High amount of vitamins B and C found in it helps in the proper absorption of carbohydrates. It aids as a main diet of the sumo wrestlers and other athletes to fulfill their high energy needs.
Benefits of Potato Juice
Treats Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Drinking half glass of raw potato juice helps in treating gastritis, gastric ulcer, colitis, intestinal ulcers as it has anti-acid and wound healing properties.
Relieves Pain and Inflammation
- It acts as a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent thus provides relief from the joint pain, back pain and inflammations in arthritis.
Alkalizes Whole Body
- It is very alkaline in the nature which alkalizes the whole body thus prevents from cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Flushes out Uric Acid
- It is a wonderful treatment for the gout as it promotes flushing out of the uric acid from the body.
Lowers Down Cholesterol Level
- It helps in improving the overall body health by lowering down the cholesterol level.
Flushes out Toxin
- It is a very good and inexpensive detoxifying agent flushes out the toxin from liver and gallbladder.
Beauty Benefits/Benefits of Potato Juice for Face Skin and Hair
Treats Eczema and Acne
- It is a good home remedy to treat eczema and acne problems thus clears out the skin in less time.
Keeps Skin Healthy and Soft
- Applying cold potato juice on the skin provides help in treating blemishes, sun burn, wrinkles and gives skin a healthy glow and softness.
Removes Dark Circles
- It removes dark circles under eyes if applied with cotton balls.
- Rub a cotton ball dipped in the juice to get rid of a tired face and eyes.
Lightens Skin Color
- Applying potato juice with some drops of lemon juice to the skin lightens the skin color naturally.
Makes Skin Flawless and Wrinkles Free
- Applying the mixture of potato juice, multani mitti and lemon juice to the skin gives flawless and wrinkled free skin.
Prevents from Anti-Aging
- Applying the mixture of potato juice and curd prevents from anti-aging by fully hydrating the skin and reducing the fine lines.
Cures Eye Puffiness
- Applying the mixture of cucumber juice and potato juice to the face lightens the skin tone and cures eye puffiness.
Remedy to Dry Skin
- It is very good home remedy for the dry skin problem not responding to any lotion or cream. Drinking a glass of potato juice on daily basis protects skin from the harmful toxins.
Promotes Hair Growth
- Applying potato juice to the hair as a mask promotes faster hair growth.
Makes Hair Silky and Smooth
- Applying the mixture of potato juice, an egg white and honey to the hair for 2 hours the then wash with any mild shampoo makes the hair silky, smooth, black and long.
Prevents Hair Greying
- It is a very good home remedy to get prevented from the grey hair. Washing the hair after using shampoo with cool boiled water of potato peeling provides the hair natural black color.
Prevents Hair Loss
- Applying the hair mask of potato juice, honey and aloevera juice to the hair roots and scalp for 2 hours and then wash with any mild shampoo prevents from the hair loss.
Nutritional Benefits of Raw Potato/Aloo per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Energy: 70 Kcal
Carbohydrates 17.47 g
Starch: 15.44 g
Dietary Fibers: 2.5 g
Water: 75 g
Protein: 1.89 g
Total Fat: 0.10 g
Saturated fatty acids: 0.03 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.04 g
Thiamin: 0.081 mg
Riboflavin: 0.038 mg
Niacin: 1.149 mg
Pantothenic acid: 0.279 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.239 mg
Folates: 18 mcg
Vitamin A: 7 IU
Vitamin C: 11.4 mg
Vitamin K: 2.9 mcg
Vitamin E: 0.01 mg
Sodium: 6 mg
Potassium: 455 mg
Calcium: 10 mg
Iron: 0.73 mg
Phosphorus: 61 mg
Zinc: 0.33 mg
Copper: 0.11 mg
Selenium: 0.3 μg
Beta-carotene: 4 mcg
Lutein-zeaxanthin: 21 mcg
How to Enjoy Potato
Potato can be enjoyed in many ways as it is used in many cuisines all around the world. According to the health point of view, it is best to eat potato with its whole skin as it is concentrated source of the healthy nutrients including dietary fibers. It is enjoyed as a boiled, fried, baked, cooked vegetable in combination with other vegetables, aloo bhujiya, steamed, diced potato, mashed potatoes with milk, yogurt or butter, potato filling, aloo curry, aloo paneer, french-fried potatoes, aloo chips, soup, roasted, sliced, pancakes and etc.
How to Select and Store Potato
Always buy fresh, firm, solid, smooth, bright colored, well shaped potatoes from the market. Avoid buying bad smelling, wrinkled, spotted, bruised, sprouted, greenish, cut and etc. It can be stored for long time if placed in the dark, cool, dry and safe place. Store it away from the direct sun light, heat and moisture to avoid early decay.
Disadvantages, Side Effects and Precautions of Potato
- Be careful of the potato purchasing from the market as they may be organically produced and cause some serious health issues because of the availability of the organic pesticides residues on the potato skin. Harmful chemicals found in the pesticides may affect the functioning of major organs like liver, nervous system, kidney and etc.
- Eating processed and fried foods of potatoes (potato chips, aloo pakode, french fries and etc) should be avoided as they contain a harmful compound called acrylamide which lead to the serious health disorders.
- Eating potatoes more than the daily requirement should be avoided as they contain some other toxic substances such as solanine, alkaloids and etc which cause variety of health problems such as weakness, nausea, headache, diarrhea, stomach cramps, dizziness muscle cramps, memory loss, loss of concentration, and even coma.
- Sometimes potato juice may cause diarrhea in some people so it should be taken care of before drinking. It should also be avoided drinking potato juice if the stomach is upset.
How Much Potato to Eat
As it has been mentioned in this article that potato has some health benefits as well as some disadvantages and side effects thus it is very clear that eating potatoes need some precautions to make a healthy balance. Daily requirement of the potato depends on the age and health conditions of the person. However, regular and normal eating on daily basis is not harmful.
Find the Benefits of other Similar Vegetables