Health Benefits and Side effects of Potato
Potato benefits is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum. The word “potato” may refer either to the plant itself or to the edible tuber. In the Andes, where the species is indigenous, some other closely related species are cultivated. Potato has become a staple food in many parts of the world and an integral part of much of the world’s food supply. It is the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following maize, wheat, and rice.
The green leaves and green skins of tubers exposed to the light are toxic. The potato benefits was originally believed to have been domesticated independently in multiple locations, but later genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species proved a single origin for potatoes in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme
northwestern Bolivia (from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex), where they were domesticated approximately 7,000–10,000 years ago.
1. Health Benefits Of Potato For Weight Gain/Boiled Potato for Weight Gain
Potatoes are primarily made of carbohydrates and contain very little protein. The vitamin content includes vitamin C and B-complex, which also help in proper absorption of carbohydrates.
2. Potato Good For Digestion
Since potatoes predominantly contain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and they also facilitate digestion. This property makes them a good diet for babies or for those who cannot digest hard food, but need energy. However, eating too many of them on a regular basis may cause acidity over time.
Potatoes also contain a considerable amount of fiber or roughage, which is more in raw potatoes and cold ones than boiled or hot ones. This stimulates peristaltic motion and increases secretion of gastric juices, which eases digestion and prevents conditions like constipation and protects the body from serious conditions like colorectal cancer. Fiber is also connected with scraping cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels, thereby improving heart health.
3. Potato Benefits For Skin Care
Vitamin C and B-complex, as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, are good for the skin. Apart from that, pulp obtained from crushed raw potatoes, mixed with honey, can work well in skin and face packs. This even helps to cure pimples(potato for skin acne) and spots on the skin. Again, this pulp, if applied externally on burns, provides quick relief and faster healing. Smashed potatoes and even water in which they have been washed are very good for softening and cleaning the dark skin, especially around the elbows.
4. Potato Prevents Scurvy
The vitamin C present in potatoes can help prevent this disease, caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. It is characterized by cracked lip corners, spongy and bleeding gums, and frequent viral infections. The prolific presence of potatoes helps with this problem.
5. Potato For Inflammation/Potato Water For Arthritis
Potatoes are very effective in reducing inflammation, both internal and external. Since they are soft, easily digested, and have a lot of vitamin C (a very good antioxidant that repairs tissue wear and tear), potassium, and vitamin B6, they can relieve any inflammation in the intestines and the digestive system.
They are a very good dietary element for those who have mouth ulcers as well. Therefore, people who suffer from arthritis and gout can use potato benefits for their anti-inflammatory impact, but again, since potatoes can add to weight gain, which exacerbates these conditions, and are commonly eaten with meat and other rich foods that make gout worse, a fine balance must be struck.
6. Potato Cures Cancer
Certain types of potatoes, particularly red and russet ones, contain high levels of flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin A, like zeaxanthin and carotenes, they can protect you against many types of cancer. Also,
potatoes contain a compound called quercetin, which has been proven to have anti-cancer and anti- tumor properties. Finally, the high levels of vitamin A and C, both have antioxidant properties that can protect your body from the devastating effects of cancer.
7. Potato Reduce Lower Blood Pressure
Potatoes can be used to relieve high blood pressure due to tension. They can also treat indigestion due to an abundance of vitamin C and fiber within, but they should be avoided if the high blood pressure is a result of diabetes. The fiber present in them is helpful in lowering cholesterol and improving the functioning of insulin in the body, which aids in the lowering of blood pressure.
This is because there is a direct relationship between blood pressure and the glucose level in the blood; insulin helps to regulate that glucose level. Furthermore, the potassium found in potato benefits for(46% of daily requirement per serving) lowers blood pressure, since it functions as a vasodilator.
8. Potato Benefits For Heart Diseases
Apart from the vitamins (B-complex, C), minerals, and roughage, potatoes also contain certain substances called carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin). Carotenoids are beneficial for heart health and the functioning of other internal organs.
Again, since potatoes raise the glucose level in the blood and over consumption may cause obesity, which puts pressure on your heart, you must be careful about how often you use potatoes for this health benefit. This method of preventing heart diseases is not recommended for obese people or diabetics.
9. Potato Benefits For Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones, also known as Renal Calculi, are caused mainly due to increased levels of uric acid in the blood. In such cases, foods high in protein should be avoided, particularly animal proteins such as meat, turkey, shrimp, fish, eggs, and milk, as well as spinach, raw plantain, black grams and certain beans, which drastically increase the level of uric acid in the blood.
Iron and calcium also contribute to forming the stones. Potatoes are rich in both of these so logically, they wouldn’t fit in as a preventative measure of kidney stones, but they also contain magnesium, which inhibits the accumulation or deposition of calcium (calcification) in the kidney and other tissues, thereby proving beneficial for the treatment of renal calculi.
10. Potato Good For Brain
Proper functioning of the brain depends largely on the glucose level, oxygen supply, various components of the vitamin-B complex and certain hormones, amino acids and fatty acids like omega-3. Potatoes cater to almost all the needs mentioned above. They are high in carbohydrates, and thereby maintain good levels of glucose in the blood.
This prevents the brain from letting fatigue creep in and it keeps your cognitive activity and performance high. Next, the brain needs oxygen, which is carried by the hemoglobin in the blood; its main constituent is iron. Potatoes contain iron as well. Therefore, they help to deliver oxygen to the brain as well.
There are a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in potatoes that positively affect the function of the brain, including phosphorus, zinc, and the B complex vitamins. The vasodilating properties of potassium have also been connected to stimulation of brain function due to increased blood flow to that essential organ.
11. Potato Benefits For Diarrhea
Potatoes are an excellent component of an energy-rich diet for those suffering from diarrhea since they are easy to digest and contain mild roughage. However, eating too many potatoes can cause diarrhea due to the excessive ingestion of starch.
Side Effects of Potato/Disadvantage of Potato
Unblemished, ripe potatoes eaten as food or taken as medicine seem safe for most people. Damaged potatoes, green potatoes, and sprouts contain poisonous chemicals that cannot be destroyed by cooking. These poisonous chemicals can cause headache, flushing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, thirst, restlessness, and even death.
There isn’t enough information to know whether it’s safe to put raw potato benefits on the skin as a treatment. Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Unblemished, ripe potatoes are safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women in food amounts. But don’t use potato benefits as medicine until more is known about how it might affect an unborn or nursing infant.
Diabetes: Potatoes can affect blood sugar control. If you have diabetes, monitor your potato intake as you would any carbohydrate.
1. Potato For Obesity
If you are underweight, then you can definitely include potatoes to your diet because they are loaded with carbohydrates and eating 100 grams of potatoes provide around 77 kcals of energy. However, excessive intake of potatoes is bad and must be avoided. This is because calories can quickly add up, and may lead to weight gain.
If it is not controlled at the right time, then it can even lead to obesity, which is a major health concern that gives rise to other health problems like cardiovascular problems, respiratory problems, hypertension, stress etc. In other words, it is important to maintain the caloric balance.
2. Potato For Digestive System
Although potatoes are good for our digestive system, still, it is better to eat them in moderation. This is because too many dietary fibre are bad for our digestive health, and give rise to digestive problems like abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, malabsorption, constipation, diarrhoea, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage etc.
In addition to this, potatoes are also rich in starch that may cause gastrointestinal problems like stomach discomfort, abdominal pain, intestinal gas etc. in some individuals.
3. Potato For Hypertension
Eating potatoes on a regular basis has been found to be very beneficial for providing relief from high blood pressure or hypertension. This benefit of potato benefits is mainly due to the presence of vital mineral “Potassium” in it. Potassium is a vasodilator which relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation and thus helps in maintaining our blood pressure level.
Although, potatoes are effective in controlling hypertension, still, it is better to eat them in moderation. This is because excessive intake of potassium in our body can lower our blood pressure to a dangerously low level, and give rise to hypotension.
Hypotension is a condition in which our blood pressure drops down to an abnormally low level, and is characterized by the symptoms like fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin, depression, blurry vision etc.
In addition to this, if you are already taking medication for controlling high blood pressure, then overeating potatoes can interfere with the medication and may increase the risk of hypotension. For this reason, it is better to eat potatoes in moderation, and if you are on medication, then eat them as per your doctor’s advice.
4. Too Many Antioxidants Are Bad
Antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and other antioxidant compounds present in the potatoes provides a number of benefits.
They fight against the free radicals in our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our body, and thus reduces the risk of several types of cancers, and as well as helps in keeping premature ageing at bay.
In addition to this, they are also effective in protecting our immune system, cardiovascular system and the respiratory system from the ill effects of the free radicals.
Although antioxidants are very beneficial for us, excessive presence in our body is bad for our health. In excessive quantity, they can increase the risk of several types of cancers like lung cancer etc. This is because, in excessive quantity, antioxidants not only protect the healthy cells, but also protects the cancerous cells, and even help them in propagating.
5. Potato Not Good For Diabetes
Potatoes have been found to be “not so beneficial” for the diabetic individuals or for those who are at the risk of developing diabetes.
This health risk of potatoes is mainly because of the high glycemic index of potatoes. Potatoes have a high glycemic index which means, it releases sugar into the bloodstream at a faster rate and can lead to dramatic elevation of sugar level in the bloodstream.
In addition to this, they are also rich in carbohydrates that break down into glucose and increases the level of sugar into our bloodstream.
Although the dietary fibre present in the potatoes helps in reducing the rate at which sugar gets absorbed into the bloodstream, it is of no use, when potatoes are consumed in excess.
So, if you are a diabetic patient, then it is advisable to eat potatoes in moderation, and better eat them only after having a word with your doctor.
6. May Interfere With Certain Medication
Potatoes are a good source of a number of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients etc. that plays a major role in keeping us healthy.
However, when consumed in excess, they can give rise to many side effects, and such negative effect is their tendency to react with certain medication.
For example, if you are suffering from hypertension and already taking medication for the same, then consuming too many potatoes can reduce your blood pressure to a dangerously low level, and give rise to hypotension, (a condition in which blood pressure drops down to very low level), and is characterized by the symptoms like dizziness, blurry vision, confusion, fatigue, nausea etc.
In the same way, if you are a diabetic patient and taking medication to maintain your blood sugar level, then consuming too many potatoes can interfere with the medication, and may increase your blood sugar level.
7. Potato for Pregnancy
Potatoes are a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients etc. that plays a major role in keeping us healthy, and this proves beneficial for the pregnant and nursing mothers.
However, at pregnancy and nursing stage, it is very important to take extra care of what you eat and drink, because it will determine not just mother’s health but also the health of the baby. For this reason, it is advisable to eat potatoes in moderation, and only as per your doctor’s recommendation.
Green potatoes should be avoided completely, as they have been found to contain toxic compounds like alpha-chaconine and alpha-solanine, that are known to be very dangerous for the fetus development, and may cause birth defects like Spina Bifida.
In children, green potatoes can give rise to type-1 diabetes.
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