Potato: Benefits, Uses, Effects?


Potato: Benefits, Uses, Effects?
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Properties and benefits of Potatoes Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) belong to the Solanaceae family and are herbaceous plants whose edible portion is composed of tubers that grow underground. The potatoes, depending on the variety, can be round or long, with white or yellow flesh more or less mealy, while the skin can take light yellow, or red to dark purple.

Potatoes are native plants of South America (Peru), where the civilization of the Incas used them since ancient times. The potatoes were introduced into Europe by the Spaniards, more precisely by the conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who in the sixteenth century he brought some plants as a gift to the King of Spain. However, this plant had many difficulties to spread in European countries and to be accepted as edible.

For example, in Italy, the potatoes were introduced in the early seventeenth century by Ferdinand II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, but until the nineteenth century had little diffusion. Properties and beneficial effects of Potatoes Potatoes are constituted from 78% of water, possess about 85 kcal per 100 g of product, 1.6 g of fibers and especially carbohydrates, in the form of starch (about 20 gr).

Potatoes also contain: potassium (604 mg), phosphorus (55 mg), sodium (10 mg), calcium (10 mg) and iron (0.6 mg); while among the vitamins include: vitamin C (15 mg), vitamin A (3 micrograms) and some B vitamins such as B1 (10 mg), B2 (0.04 mg), B3 (2 , 5 mg).

Thanks to their high starch content, potatoes are a good substitute for cereals in low-calorie diets. The potatoes are easily digested, their juice is also indicated in cases of gastro duodenal ulcer, gastritis, gallstones, constipation.

They also hypertensive properties, soothing and decongestants, in fact slices of raw potato, applied to the skin, are beneficial in case of irritation, redness, and itching; while the eyes have good effect against the bags, dark circles and irritation. Note that the potatoes, in the green parts such as shoots, contain solanine, an alkaloid harmful to the human body.

And 'therefore advisable to remove any green parts and sprouts that were to form, or even throw the potatoes if the buds are too numerous and wrinkled skin, because in that case the potatoes would become too old.

The varieties of Potatoes white paste very rich in starch and therefore more floury, prove suitable for all soft food, such as mashed potatoes, pies, dumplings, etc.. Yellow potatoes have a firmer flesh and are therefore more suitable for frying, to be cooked in the oven or boiled.

Red Potatoes Red Potato among which we mention the Cetica, particularly suitable for frying. How to store potatoes? At the time of purchase it is advisable to choose potatoes with the skin without blemishes, cracks or crazing and that are free of sprouts.

The potatoes should be stored in a dark place, to prevent the formation of buds, which, as we have said, contain solanine. How to consume potatoes? The potatoes are now widely used in the kitchen, being suitable for the preparation of many different dishes. Boiled, fried or baked, are an excellent side dish, but can also be used to prepare mashed potatoes, dumplings, meatballs, casseroles, pies and soufflés, as well as a filling for cakes or pizzas.

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asked Jul 4, 2014 by Lancomega Level (10,245 points)