Potatoes usually get a bad name for being the vegetable in fried foods. However, did you know that potatoes have a lot of health benefits? This vegetable was first cultivated in South America, specifically the Andes. They were brought to Europe by the Spanish, in the early 16th century, after which it spread like wild fire across the world. Surprisingly, when they were first discovered people thought that they are poisonous and inedible.

Why should you be eating this vegetable?

According to organicfacts.net, some of the many health benefits of potato when consumed in moderation and without the presence of a lot of saturated fat are:

  • Reduce Cholesterol Levels
  • Reduce Blood Pressure
  • Manage Diabetes
  • Boost Heart Health
  • Improve Digestion
  • Reduce Insomnia
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Strengthen the Immune System
  • Increase Circulation
  • Boost Eye Health
  • Maintain Fluid Balance

So, next time your kids want potato instead of broccoli, you may want to give it to them. Just remember that they should be fresh rather than the processed versions.

How can they improve your heart health?

Lowering your sodium intake and increasing your potassium intake, can lower your blood pressure. Potassium aids in vasodilation, open up blood vessels to allow blood to flow more easily. Potatoes carry calcium, magnesium and potassium that naturally reduce blood pressure. This vegetable additionally contains vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and fiber, which has cholesterol reducing properties promoting heart health. Vitamin B-6 helps to prevent the buildup of homocysteine, a compound that can damage blood vessels and cause heart problems.

The dietary fibers in the potato are great for maintaining a healthy weight. This is because they make you feel full for longer, thus reducing your total calorie intake. They can also prevent constipation and promote healthy bowel movement. Vitamin B-6 is essential for metabolism, breaking down proteins and carbohydrates into amino acids and glucose.

So, stock up on potatoes to make some of these healthy dishes:

  • Potato salad
  • Smoked potatoes
  • Potato Soup
  • Potato Gratin
  • Roasted Potatoes
  • Jacket Potato

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