In Defense of Potatoes

How did potatoes get such a bad rep? How is it that so many people don’t consider potatoes to be a ‘real’ vegetable? Is it because once upon a time, someone spread a rumor that they aren’t healthy? Really? I’m not okay with that.

Check your facts. Potatoes are a pretty healthy vegetable. Don’t believe me? Read on.

Potatoes are a vegetable. They grow in the ground. They have no preservatives, no additives, no dyes. If you buy organic, they won’t be contaminated with chemicals or pesticides.

Do you know that 1 cup of baked potato has almost 10% of your daily Iron need?

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan, they are a very good source of Vitamin C. They are also a good source of B6 Pyridoxine, Copper, Potassium, Manganese, Tryptophan, and Dietary Fiber.

Are they high in calories? Sure, one cup of baked potato (with skin) contains approximately 130 calories. But, that doesn’t make them unhealthy. It means that, like anything else, you have to eat it in moderation.

Okay so I listed some vitamins and minerals above. You might be wondering why you need them.

  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system. Need more? It wards off colds, cancer, and strokes.
  • Vitamin B6 – B6 is essential for cellular creation and health. It’s, also, an important playing in healthy nervous systems.
  • Copper – Copper reduces tissue damage caused by free radicals. It also plays an important role in allowing your body to properly absorb iron. It keeps your thyroid gland functioning normally, protects the myelin sheath around your nerves, and supports bone health.
  • Potassium – Potassium helps prevent arthritis, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, infertility, and other ailments.
  • Manganese –Manganese is a mineral that, as a component of manganese super oxide dismutase enzyme, helps in the fight against free radicals. It, also, promotes bone health.
  • Tryptophan – Tryptophan is important for the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that is important in regulating mood. Tryptophan is known to reduce stress and anxiety. It also promotes sleep and relaxation.
  • Dietary Fiber – Fiber fills you up, so you’ll eat less over all. It’s helpful in fighting heart disease, cancer, and diabetes – as well as other ailments like constipation and kidney stones.

I don’t know about you; but, I’m ready to make potatoes a part of my diet. In moderation of course.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Boil 6 large Russet potatoes until easily pierced with a fork. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 c. margarine, 1 c. almond milk, 1 tsp garlic powder. Add boiled potatoes and allow the heat to melt the margarine. Whisk together until soft or creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Variation:  Roast 4 heads of garlic. Add to potatoes before mashing.

Variation: Caramelize 2 large onions. Add to potatoes before mashing.

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