The Power of the Potato

April 26, 2021  •   LPi

Bag of potatos spilling out

The simple potato is often underrated and overlooked, even villainized in certain food circles. Many low-carb diets shun potatoes because they are high in carbohydrates. Low-fat aficionados associate potatoes only with high fat preparations like French fries and potato chips.

But this tuber is actually a superfood, packed with important vitamins and minerals, a top performer for gut and heart health, and entirely gluten free!

Gut Health Warrior

While it’s true that potatoes contain a high amount of carbohydrates, about 26 grams, this shouldn’t be a reason to make them a diet outcast. Our brains and red blood cells need those carbohydrates to function. Potatoes are also high in fiber and a good source of resistant starch. Fiber is a key component for healthy digestion, and as resistant starches are broken down, they act as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in our gut. Resistant starches are also linked to improving blood sugar control.

Nutrition Commando

If you think the only way to get enough vitamins and minerals into your kids’ diets (or your own) is to puree vegetables and hide them in brownies, then you’re missing out. Try potatoes! You may have heard that potatoes have more potassium than a banana — this is true — but did you know that potassium is essential for muscle, cardiovascular, and nervous system function? Potatoes are also packed with magnesium, calcium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and 3 grams of plant-based protein. And, while all potatoes contain high levels of antioxidants, potatoes with deep colors contain even higher levels.

To get the most out of your new dinner superstar, vary your colors and preparations. For example, keeping the skins on will increase the overall level of nutrition, and cooking potatoes ahead of time can increase the amount of resistant starch.

Herbs de Provence Roasted Potatoes

About 2 pounds of colorful potatoes, fingerlings, purple, blue, pink, red skinned, anything you can find at the market.

  • 2 tsp Herbs de Provence seasoning blend
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Scrub your potatoes and cut them into even sized pieces. If they are small, you can usually get away with halving or quartering them. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cut potatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper and seasoning blend until nicely coated. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or glass pan. Roast for about 30 minutes or until edges are crispy golden brown and a toothpick or fork glides easily through the largest pieces.

    For more information on the health benefits of potatoes and hundreds of recipes, visit Potatoes USA and the Idaho Potato Commission.

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