10 Things to Know about Potatoes
What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a really decent sort of fellow. ~A. A. Milne
The author of Winnie the Pooh certainly knew how to write a classic story but he also had an appreciation of the potato. A century ago, it was not uncommon for people in England to sit down to a meal of potatoes but in recent times, potatoes have gotten a bad rap for all the wrong reasons. If you think potatoes are one of those starchy foods to avoid, then think again because this stem vegetable – of which there are many varieties – is totally underrated in terms of nutritional benefits.
This nutrient dense tuber is packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. So, all that talk about avoiding spuds is best ignored because there are few vegetables that pack the nutritional punch of a single 8 ounce baked potato:
- 150 calories
- Virtually no sodium, cholesterol, or fat.
- A great source of Vitamin C (about 70% of the recommended daily requirement)
- A great source of Potassium (about 25% of the recommended daily requirement)
- A great source of Vitamin B-6 (about 30% of the recommended daily requirement)
- A great source of Magnesium (about 15% of the recommended daily requirement)
- 5 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fiber.
- 2-3 grams of natural sugar.
- The skin of the potato is a significant source of nutrients so eat the skin.
What you put on the potato is really important. Sprinkle a salt-free seasoning or a very light sprinkling of salt, cracked black pepper, chopped chives, or nutritional yeast for added flavor. Or, top with chopped steamed broccoli, asparagus, or sautéed shallots and mushrooms. Skip the butter, margarine, oil, sour cream, cheese, and bacon. Your body will forever appreciate your efforts. A properly cooked baked potato (pricked and baked – don’t wrap in aluminum foil – at 450 degrees for about one hour until fork tender and then allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving) is one of life’s little pleasures courtesy of mother nature. So dig in and enjoy.