Properties of potatoes

Propiedades de la patata

Potatoes are a necessary ingredient in the Mediterranean cuisine and a basic foodstuff for people around the world. Not for thing: it has a host of nutritional properties that make it an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Rich in carbohydrates, potatoes are an exceptional source of energy and, to a lesser extent, they have the highest protein content of all tubers. What is more, a medium-sized potato, if eaten with the skin on, provides almost half the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, in addition to other vitamins that are extremely important for the human organism and cell metabolism, such as A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B6 (pyridoxine).

Despite the widespread belief that potatoes are fattening, they have low calorie density and yet are very filling, perfect qualities for a healthy diet and weight maintenance. In fact, they are a virtually fat-free food as long as they are served cooked or roasted instead of fried or in sauce.

Rich in carbohydrates, potatoes are an exceptional source of energy. They are very filling and, if cooked with little fat, they are low in calories.

Thanks to the fibre they contain, potatoes contribute to digestion and aid in intestinal passage, especially if they are eaten unpeeled, as recommended in some recipes. What is more, many of their properties are found in the skin, so if you have new potatoes it is worth cooking them with the skin on.

They contain no gluten, so they are perfect for replacing grains for sufferers of celiac disease or when making dough or desserts.

Potatoes contain potassium and are low in sodium, so they help to control blood pressure and are therefore good allies to prevent high blood pressure.

Potatoes are diuretics and are recommended to stave off bladder infections and prostate inflammation. They are also recommended for stomach troubles due to their antacid and hepatic properties. They contain phytochemicals like carotenoids and polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties, in addition to folic acid, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc.

All of these qualities make potatoes a popular food in both households and restaurants all year round. What is more, under the right storage conditions they can last a long time, especially if they are kept away from sunlight, preferably in the shade in a cool, dry place with good ventilation to prevent them from sprouting.