Often termed as the king of all vegetables, potato is a starchy, tuberous crop vegetable of the solanaceae family. It is one of the few vegetables that mixes well with other vegetables and is known for adding a delicacy to any dish. Potato is one of the most widely used vegetables in Western temperate climates and the world's most widely grown tuber crop as well. This starchy crop is also the fourth largest food crop of the world in terms of fresh produce after rice, wheat, and maize.
As a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, potatoes are the perfect base for a balanced diet. They are rich in Vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. Besides this, it also contains many minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur.
A medium sized potato (5.3 oz.) contains:
- 110 calories
- No fat or cholesterol
- More protein than most of the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits and vegetables – 3 grams per medium potato
- 2 grams of fiber (with skin on), which may aid in weight loss, lower blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk of heart disease
- 45% Daily Value (DV) of Vitamin C, or as much as you will find in a tomato
- 18% DV of potassium,more than the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits and vegetables.
Health Benefits in a Potato
As a rich source of carbohydrate, potatoes provides innumerable health benefits. Following are a few health benefits of a potato:
- The starch present in it provides protection against colon cancer
- It improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
- It lowers plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations.