Apart from being the most popular and commonly eaten vegetable, the potato is known for its medicinal value. In the Solanum family, the vegetable contains a small quantity of atropine. Much earlier, potatoes were cultivated in Peru, a country situated in South America. The Incan communities used this vegetable for the prime purpose of reliving people from joint pain and healing broken bones. However, the potatoes may not be something to trust on. This is because it belongs to the family of toxic plants called nightshades. In fact, some people have deemed the vegetable to be unsafe for human consumption.
While potatoes are relatively inexpensive, they are recognized for its medicinal properties. The tubular vegetable can be a cure for acne, burns, warts, and frostbite. Peeled, shredded and soaked potatoes are used for getting instant relief from oily skin. In some locations across England, it’s is surprising to know, that individuals carry potatoes in their pockets. This actually brings in relief since the acid gets absorbed from the bodies.
Properties Of Potatoes
As a great medicinal foodstuff, potatoes contain nutrients and a huge amount of carbohydrates. However, it doesn’t contain fat, Vitamin E, provitamin A, Vitamin B12, and sodium.
So, let’s have a look at every single constituent in detail.
Carbohydrates in potatoes are primarily present in form of starch. While the nutrient covers up 17% of the entire content, fructose, glucose, and sucrose is present in small amount. These represent as low as 0.4 percent of the total content. Potato starch can be easily digested and never lead to the accumulation of gas in the stomach.
Potato makes up 2 percent of the total content and is present in significant amounts. These are known for the biological value because they furnish adequate amount of amino acid to the body. Lysine is one of the amino acid which is absent in grains and contributes towards the overall development of the body.
Soluble vegetable fibers are one of the substances present in potatoes. In case you take 300 grams of vegetable, then one-fifth of the fibers actually nourish the body to the best extent.
Potatoes are rich in Vitamin B and contain Vitamin C weighing 19.7 grams. If you like eating fried potato chips, then the essential vitamins are actually lost. But, in order to get the most from the potatoes, you should eat steamed vegetables.
Even though potatoes have less amount of Calcium, they contain many other minerals such as Manganese, Copper, Zinc, and different elements. Since the vegetables are high in potassium and low in sodium, the vegetables offer incredible health benefits to people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.
It’s surprising to know that the water content is equivalent to 79 percent of the potato. In fact, sweet potato, cassava, and plantain are known for high water content. Fats and carbohydrates make up for the total weight of potatoes. But, that isn’t the case because potatoes contain zero fat.
Everything mentioned above clearly drives away the misconception that eating potatoes makes people fat. But, this depends on a person prepares the dish. If you supplement the recipe with too much butter and deep fry potato chips, then the person is bound to become fat. On the other hand, boiled potatoes are highly nutritious in nature and can enhance the overall health in many different ways.
Medicinal Use of Potatoes
Prevents Stomach Disorders
Potatoes are considered to be the stomach’s best friend. This is because of two factors, antacid effect and sedating substances. Since the vegetable is rich in alkaline food, it helps in neutralizing excess acid. This considerably has an impact on the stomach, blood and the urine.
Additionally, the soft texture of the vegetable helps in reducing the effort of passing food through the digestive tract.
Due to the aforementioned reasons, potatoes have to be consumed in the form of puree. It can actually be beneficial when the person is trying to overcome gastritis, stomach ulcers, and other chronic conditions.
Prevents Kidney Disorders
Owing to the antacid effect, potatoes possess the ability of making blood and urine alkaline. As the toxins are eliminated in a better way, the vegetable enhances the kidney’s functionality and purifies the blood. Therefore, consumption of potatoes can give relief from arthritis, metabolic acidosis, kidney stones, and excess uric acid.
The person no longer needs to worry about kidney stones because calcium doesn’t get accumulated in the organs.
Regular consumption of potatoes can help in weight loss and several other disorders. Since the vegetable is rich in Vitamin B, minerals and carbohydrates are metabolized effectively. Moreover, due to fluid retention, the craving for eating foodstuffs is reduced substantially. This paves the way for keeping the person away from nibbling on food and attaining satisfaction at the same time.
With Vitamin C present in potatoes, the person would be in a better position to boost the immune system. The antioxidants fight away free radicals that may be the root cause of cancer.
Apart from everything else, potatoes contain quercetin which is nothing but a flavonoid. According to researchers, quercetin aids to fight cancer as the substance induces cell-cycle arrest along with the antioxidant effect.
The person would be delighted to eat potatoes because it helps in fighting Vitamin C deficient diseases like Scurvy. As you consider 100 grams of vegetable, you can benefit from 24 percent of daily intake of the Vitamin.
Finally, crushed potato pulp along with a little bit of honey can be used as a solution for numerous skin diseases.
Apart from offering relief from burns, the vegetable helps to get rid of pimples and dark spots. Minerals like magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and potassium are always good to the skin. Ways beyond, Niacin or Vitamin B3 aids in improving the ability to retain moisture, thus keeping the skin soft and tender. If the person is applying a thick paste prepared from mashed potatoes, then he or she won’t have to deal with wrinkles as the individual grows older in age.