Paradoxically, we underestimate the value of potatoes due to their multitude and availability. Potatoes are easily digestible, and the nutrients they contain are easily absorbed by our body. Contrary to popular belief, potato tubers are low in calories and not fattening . The caloric value of potatoes is low (69-85 kcal) and comparable to the energy value of cherries (61 kcal / 100 g) or grapes (69 kcal / 100 g), and at the same time it is 4-5 times lower than the energy value of rice and groats (about 340 kcal on average).
It is different when it comes to processed potato products. It is as follows:
- Dumplings – 147 kcal,
- Potato dumplings – 210 kcal,
- Pancakes / potato pancakes – 257 kcal,
- French fries – 331 kcal,
- Chips – 552 kcal.
Potatoes are low in fat (approx. 0.1%). In addition, they have an alkaline effect, thanks to which they balance the acid-producing effect on the organism of the meat with which we serve them most often.
Nutritional values of potatoes
Potato tubers are a source of many values . Their main ingredient is starch. Its content ranges from 11 to 18.3% – depending on the variety. When the potato tubers are thermally processed (boiled, baked, frying), the starch becomes sticky. This makes it fully and quickly digested. If we cool the already cooked tubers, the starch is retrograded – its digestibility decreases.
Another important nutrient in potatoes is protein. Despite the fact that it is present in a small amount (approx. 2%), it has a high biological value, although it is not a wholesome protein. It is a source of exogenous amino acids, such as leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, which the human body cannot synthesize. It is recommended to combine with animal protein (a set of potatoes with a meat / fish / egg portion). The protein put on the plate in this way will be used most effectively.
Potatoes are also high in dietary fiber. It facilitates digestion, improves intestinal peristalsis, increases the volume of the digestive content giving a feeling of fullness, helps in the fight against overweight or lowers cholesterol. Potatoes help with digestive problems, diarrhea and constipation.
Did you know that potatoes have more vitamin C than apples and pumpkins and have more vitamin C than courgettes? It is not the only vitamin in the composition of potatoes. Tubers also provide vitamins A and B group vitamins (B1, B2, B3 and B6).
For a statistical Pole, potatoes – due to their frequent eating – are the main source of vitamin C. This, in turn, effectively protects against cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It also plays an important role in neutralizing the activity of free radicals that are formed in food mainly during frying, smoking and storage.
Next – potassium. This regulates the heart and lowers blood pressure. Hence, the potato diet is used in some heart diseases. Finally – magnesium. This, in turn, is, among others building blocks of teeth and bones, improves metabolism, relieves fatigue and stress.
Potatoes also contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, iodine, copper and zinc.