Potato, more than any other vegetable, has an undeserved bad reputation many
health-conscious people to ban them from their diet. Whether mashed, baked or
roasted, people often consider potatoes as a comfort food, which unfortunately is
mainly eaten in the form of greasy French fries or potato chips, and even most baked
potatoes are typically loaded down with fats. However, when they’re not fried or covered
in unhealthy fats, potatoes are actually very good for you, and are relatively low in
calories, containing around 88 calories each
The skin of red potatoes contains 2 to 3X more antioxidant benefits than white potatoes.
These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, which are harmful compounds that can
raise your risk of health conditions such as heart disease. The red color of the potatoes
also means they contain anthocyanins, a specific type of antioxidant that can help lower
LDL (Bad) cholesterol, as well as offer protection from free radicals.
Red potatoes are also a rich source of many other vitamins, minerals and fiber,
contain little fat and sodium and are completely cholesterol free. They stand alone as a
side dish or snack, or you can use them to replace some of the meat in stews or curries
to reduce the overall fat and cholesterol content.
One thing many people may not know, is that when you cook & cool a potato they form
what’s called "resistant starch", which is like a fiber you don’t absorb. It fills you up, and
it triggers your body to burn more fat. One study found that replacing 5% of your carb
intake with resistant starch, burned 20-30% more fat in the hours after the meal.
A large red potato offers 5.4 grams of fiber, which more adults need to consume. While
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends as much as 50 grams of fiber per
day for adults, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends adults aim for
between 20 and 25 grams. There are also two different types of fiber that help in
different ways. Both types of fiber have an effect on regulating blood sugar levels,
which can prevent or eliminate type 2 diabetes, and also plays a preventative role in
colon diseases like colon cancer.
Soluble fiber combines with water in your stomach to slow digestion, and is also a "bulk
food" that makes you feel fuller, and helps contribute to weight loss. Soluble fiber also
lowers cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure and even helps reduce inflammation.
Insoluble fiber helps reduce the chances of constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis,
a disease in which small abscesses form in the intestines and can become infected.
When you take away the deep frying, potatoes are an exceptionally healthful low
calorie, high fiber food that offers significant protection against cardiovascular disease
Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among
these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic
acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity
against free radicals.
Because potatoes predominantly contain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and
aid digestion. This makes them a good diet for babies or for those who cannot digest
hard food, but need energy. However, remember that eating too many potatoes on a
regular basis may cause acidity over time. Also, their considerable amount of fiber
stimulates increased secretion of gastric juices, which eases digestion and prevents
conditions like constipation. Fiber is also connected with cleaning cholesterol out of the
arteries and blood vessels, increasing heart health.
Potatoes are very effective in reducing inflammation, both internally and externally.
Because they are soft, easily digested and offer a lot of vitamin-C (an antioxidant that
repairs tissue wear and tear), potassium and vitamin-B6, they can relieve any
inflammation of the intestines and the digestive system. Potatoes are a very good
dietary element for those who have mouth ulcers, and people who suffer from arthritis
and gout, but because they can add to weight gain which exacerbates these conditions,
a healthy balance must be found.
Certain types of potatoes, particularly red and russet potatoes, contain high levels of
flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin A & C to protect you against many types of cancer.
Also, research at the Agricultural Research service shows that potatoes contain a
compound called quercetin, which has been proven to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor
Heart Disease & High Blood Pressure
Apart from the vitamins (B-complex, C), minerals and roughage/fiber, potatoes also
contain certain substances called Carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin). Carotenoids are
beneficial for heart health and the functioning of other internal organs.
Because high blood pressure can occur for a number of reasons including diabetes,
tension, indigestion, nutrient balance, food content and many others, different
treatments are required. Luckily, potatoes can be used to relieve high blood pressure
as the potassium found in potatoes (46% of daily requirement per serving) lowers blood
pressure, because it functions as a vasodilator.
Proper functioning of the brain depends several things such as glucose level, oxygen
supply, and certain hormones, amino acids and fatty acids like omega-3s, and potatoes
cater to almost all the needs mentioned above. They are high in carbohydrates to help
maintain glucose levels, prevent the brain from getting fatigued, and keeps your
cognitive activity and performance high.
To function well, the brain needs oxygen which is carried to the brain by hemoglobin in
the blood. Hemoglobin contains iron and potatoes contain iron as well. Therefore,
potatoes help deliver oxygen to the brain. There are also 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 better brain function due to increased blood flow to that
Kidney Stones are caused mainly due to increased levels of uric acid in the blood.
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, and potatoes are rich in both, so logically
you would not think they would work as a preventative measure against kidney stones.
However, they also contain magnesium, which inhibits the accumulation or calcification
in the kidney and other tissues.
Potatoes are an excellent way to get energy when you are suffering from diarrhea,
since it is very easy to digest and contains mild roughage. However, eating too many
potatoes can cause diarrhea due to the excessive ingestion of starch.
Vitamin-C and B-complex along with minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus
and zinc are good for the skin. You can even take the pulp from crushed raw potatoes,
mixed it with honey, and work it well into the skin aa a face mask. This helps to cure
pimples and dark spots on the skin. You can also use this pulp externally on burns to
provide quick relief and faster healing.
Potatoes are primarily made of carbohydrates and contain very little protein, so this
makes it an ideal diet for those who are lean or too thin and desperately want to put on
weight. The vitamin content includes vitamin-C and B-complex, which also help in
proper absorption of carbohydrates. That is one of the reasons that potatoes make up
a large part of the diet of sumo wrestlers, as well as many other athletes who need
large energy reserves to burn off in order to compete at their best.
Some of the most impressive health benefits of coffee include its ability to
improve cognitive health, protect the cardiovascular system, reduce the
chances of developing diabetes, aid in weight loss efforts, boost energy
levels, maximize fitness efforts, increase liver protection, optimize the
metabolism, and protect against certain types of cancer.
Known around the world for its wide variety of taste and stimulating nature,
coffee is one of the most popular beverages on the planet, with 100 million
daily drinkers in the United States alone. Billions of cups of coffee are drunk
every day around the world; estimates put the total at 500 billion cups every
year. When something is that universally celebrated and enjoyed, there
must be something besides an energy boost and a well-blended flavor. It is
not typically thought of as a healthy drink, but it actually has some surprising
side effects, many of which are due to its chemical components and
nutrients. Coffee itself comes from the beans which are obtained from its
plant. Coffea arabica is the most commonly used bean, but there are many
different varieties depending on the region of the world you are drinking
coffee in, or on where you are importing the beans from.
Organiccoffeebeans1Coffee represents the top agricultural export for 12
countries of the world, and despite its slightly acidic and addictive nature, it
continues to be demanded from Japan to New Jersey in massive quantities.
Historically, it was first recorded as a drink just over 500 years ago,
beginning on the Arabian peninsula, but there is speculation that its use as
a stimulating beverage stretches back more than 1,000 years in various
ancient and indigenous cultures. Now, it is drunk in nearly every country of
the world, and people drink coffee almost daily, some even 5-6 times a day.
While offices have larger coffee machines, at home people often have
single serve coffee makers which work best for the small requirements that
we have at home.
Nutritional Value Of Coffee
Coffee beans have important organic compounds and nutrients, including a
range of B-family vitamins, including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin,
as well as potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Perhaps most
importantly, it contains caffeine, which has a wide range of health benefits
when consumed in moderation and at right times during the day.
Health Benefits Of Coffee
Cognitive Health: It is widely known that coffee helps to sharpen focus and
increase attention by stimulating the brain with caffeine. While this can
sometimes result in a mental crash if too much coffee is consumed, the
regular process of drinking caffeinated coffee has been shown to protect a
cognitive health and prevent mental degradation as we age. In fact, studies
have shown that elderly people who consume coffee on a regular, moderate
basis are 60% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia. Keeping
those synapses firing with some caffeine isn’t a bad idea!
Cardiovascular Health: Although too much caffeine can put strain on your
cardiovascular system, research has revealed that regular coffee drinkers
can actually reduce their risk of having a stroke, and in females, coffee
seems to decrease the risk of heart disease. While it can increase blood
pressure, that is more of a temporary side effect, rather than a permanent
effect, and temporarily raised blood pressure does not mean that a stroke
or heart disease is inevitable. It can often work to clear out the system and
keep your cardiovascular system functioning at a high level.
Diabetes Prevention: This is a relatively new benefit learned about coffee,
but in recent years, studies have shown that people who regularly consume
the drink have a 23-50% lower chance of developing diabetes. The study
covered nearly half a million people, and returned some very interesting
results. This could be due to the appetite suppressing effects of coffee, or
the fact that it simply makes you more energized and active, helping to
reduce your risk factors for diabetes.
Metabolic Health: One of the most essential roles of B vitamins in our body
is to regulate and guide our metabolic activity. The significant levels of
niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin mean that coffee helps us optimize
our metabolic efficiency so we use nutrients efficiently, maintain balanced
hormone levels, and generally keep our body running smoothly.
Weight Loss Efforts: An overlooked benefit of coffee is that it energizes
people to move around, get active, and burn calories faster. The actual
stimulant nature of caffeine speeds up the body’s metabolism briefly and
increases calorie burning when coffee is drunk. Furthermore, coffee acts as
an appetite suppressant, so you can calm cravings and remain firm in your
dieting goals with a cup of joe on your side!
Maximize Fitness Goals: Many people who regularly work out or train in a
gym use coffee as a final burst of energy so they can get the most of their
workout. That burst of caffeine acts as instant energy, allowing people to
push themselves a bit longer and a bit harder to really begin seeing results
from their exercise regimen.
Liver Protection: Although this is still an area that is being heavily
researched, coffee consumption has been linked to liver health, particularly
in the prevention of cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver disease. One study
showed that regular coffee consumption resulted in an 80% reduced chance
of developing cirrhosis of the liver.
Cancer Prevention: It seems that everyone is always looking for the magical
anti-cancer cure, as the disease is one of the most deadly and widespread
on the planet. Coffee is not traditionally thought of as anti-carcinogenic, but
it has been linked specifically to two types of cancer prevention – liver and
colorectal cancer, which are the 3rd and 4th deadliest forms of cancer,
Depression and Mood: The natural effects of coffee are to energize and
activate the mind and body. This can do wonders for someone suffering
from depression, and has even been connected to a reduced occurrence of
suicidal tendencies. However, coffee has been connected to anxiety and
mood swings if consumed in excess, because the classic caffeine crash can
be quite severe as the chemical’s effect runs out. Remember – everything