Potato: Insulted and Humiliated

March 8, 2012barnali 27 Comments »

Vitamin C and potato? Is it the hallucination of a couch-potato? Nay nay. Just back from a power-packed lunch and decided to pay a long-pending tribute to this universally loved (yet ill-reputed) vegetable.

Potato, it is. It’s time it got justice . Its been wronged for too long a time. Its been blamed for weight gains, high blood sugars, joint aches and so on. On the contrary, it’s therapeutic for certain conditions as serious as high blood pressure. It wont be an overstatement to call it ‘the mineral produce’; loaded with potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese etc. It is the high potassium-content which makes it a cheap remedy for people with wavering blood pressure. With a caveat, however. Eat it baked ,skin on. While Calcium and Iron take away all the limelight, Potassium is an often overlooked nutrient. Yet it is immensely important for our nerve and muscle functions. Want another great reason to be-friend potatoes? The yukon gold potatoes or any variety with yellow flesh helps quieten your inflammations which might otherwise secretly lead your body to bigger diseases. And yes, a medium potato of any variety does have more than a quarter Vitamin C required daily.

The potato has got its bad name from the age-old consumption practices. The long, thin-cut potato batons fried in ultra-hot oil ( read tons of trans-fat) otherwise known as ‘fries’ , is an assault of the good old potato. The starch in it when deep fried, release cancer-producing chemicals. The mashed version, with scoops of butter also makes it a no-good health food. Many of us grew up eating peeled and cubed (then cooked) potatoes, which have hardly any value left in them.

Handle your potato well, and it will take care of your health. Feel free to pick any of those potato recipes on the web or your favorite cookbook, just make sure you follow the simple processing steps:
Wash them real well, bake or boil with skin , and then cut/peel/season/spice as called for in the recipe. Its best to eat the skin too, because most of its mineral treasures are right below the skin. Try not to cut a potato before you boil or bake it, because it slashes down a lot of its potassium, unless of course, you have kidney disease and have been instructed to minimize your Potassium intake.

Time to capsulize? This delicious kitchen staple deserves more accolade than it has in our regular diet. The key as always, is moderation and optimal preparation.

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