Potatoes are on one of the first places in the list of frequently consumed food products, no wonder they are called “second bread”. Basically, potatoes are used for cooking all sorts of dishes, and rarely anyone guesses about its useful properties. This article will describe the chemical composition by which the vegetable has a positive effect on the human body, considered what is the harm and benefit of potatoes for the human body.
Composition and nutritional value of potatoes
In the composition of potatoes, there is a large number of useful compounds that help to improve the life of the body. Let’s list the main ones:
- Fiber (1.8 g);
- Fat (0.1 g);
- Carbohydrates (20.13 g);
- Water (77 g);
- Vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and many others);
- Micro-and macronutrients (phosphorus, selenium, potassium, calcium, and others);
- Proteins (1.87 g).
As you can see, the benefits of potatoes are significant. However, it should be noted that all these useful elements are present in sufficient quantities in raw vegetables. Although the calorie content of raw potatoes is high (almost 77 kcal), however, depending on the method of cooking the vegetable, the energy value may vary. The most useful is considered to be raw cooked potatoes and baked in the oven, during the preparation of which useful substances are preserved.
Interesting fact: potatoes are used for making starch molasses, which is used for making confectionery products.
Potatoes tubers contain a considerable amount of starch, thanks to which a person when eating a vegetable is quickly saturated. In the body, starch is digested and converted into glucose, which, when oxidized, releases energy that gives life force to a person.
The proteins that make up potatoes contain many essential amino acids, which improves the functioning of the body, and proteins are considered the most significant among all plant proteins.
Useful properties of potatoes for the body of men and women
Root vegetables are not included in the list of useful products and have a negative effect on the figure, but scientists and doctors have proven the medicinal properties of potatoes. That’s what potatoes are useful for:
- Perfectly relieves swelling of the legs and face, just rub the raw vegetable and apply the resulting mixture to the swollen area;
- It effectively affects muscle contractions (due to the presence of potassium in the root crop, which keeps the fluid in the muscles and creates optimal conditions for contractions);
- Supports the cardiovascular system, helps reduce high blood pressure (the content of potassium in the vegetable, helps to normalize blood vessels, improves heart muscle contractions);
- It has a positive effect on the functioning of the digestive system, because the starch that is part of potatoes is perfectly processed and gently envelops the walls of the stomach;
- Potatoes help to remove excess uric acid from the body, so it serves as a good preventive tool for the development of gout and urolithiasis;
- The root vegetable has the ability to relieve stress, positively affect the nervous system (due to the presence of magnesium and vitamin B6 in the vegetable);
- The anti-inflammatory and disinfecting function of potatoes has been known for a long time (vegetable juice is used to treat affected areas and quickly heal wounds);
- The content of fiber in the root crop helps prevent constipation;
- Antimicrobial property (for sore throat, nasal congestion, inhalation of potato fumes helps);
- The presence of ascorbic acid in a large composition allows you to use potatoes as a remedy for scurvy, and the amount of vitamin C does not change from the method of cooking the vegetable and is enough for about 300 g per day to fill the body with a daily dose of vitamin;
- Tincture from the flowers and roots are used in pathological processes in the mammary gland, is a benign formation in the uterus.
Women use the useful properties of potatoes in cosmetology. The mask of fresh potatoes makes the skin soft and elastic, helps to disappear small wrinkles, and if you add more warm milk, the mixture can be used to give youth to the skin of the hands. A compress of grated raw root vegetables mixed with onions copes well with corns, which soften under the action of the gruel and facilitate their removal. For hair loss and dandruff, grated potato tubers are also used to prepare a cosmetic mask that is rubbed into the scalp.
For men, especially athletes, the vegetable is no less useful, as it helps to keep the male body in good shape and compensates for the energy spent.
For children, potatoes are considered a useful product due to the presence of the useful mineral potassium, a large composition of vitamins and fiber. But it is undesirable for children under a year to add root vegetables to the diet because of the still imperfect work of the digestive tract.
The harm of potatoes to human health and contraindications to use
In addition to the benefits, potatoes can also cause harm to human health. In the stems and tubers of a vegetable, when grown incorrectly, an organic poisonous compound – solanine-often accumulates, which can cause poisoning. The amount of harmful substances increases under the influence of sunlight and the root crop begins to turn green, so it is better not to use green potatoes.
You should also take into account the high calorie content of the product, so it is not desirable to use potatoes as a main food product, which can lead to extra pounds. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to use a baked or cooked vegetable in an amount of no more than 200 g per day.
Scientists have proved the harm of fried vegetables and French fries, during the preparation of which in such ways the starch present in the composition is transformed into carbohydrates. The use of such potatoes leads to an increase in blood sugar levels, which affects the pancreas and causes it to produce insulin to break down carbohydrates. And this can lead to the development of diabetes.
The use of potatoes should be limited in the presence of such pathologies:
- Diabetes mellitus of any type;
- Increased body weight, obesity;
- With low stomach acidity (the vegetable can cause bloating, nausea).
Thus, potatoes have a rich vitamin and mineral composition, which determines the medicinal properties of the vegetable. Root vegetables can even be used by those who adhere to a healthy diet, you just need to prepare it correctly and monitor the size of the portion.