If you are aiming to eat well and lose weight in the new year, and thinking about cutting potatoes out of your diet, STOP! You’ll be missing out on the many superfood health benefits that make potatoes an essential part of a healthy diet and contribute to a weight loss plan.
Potatoes can have lasting and positive effects on your health and well-being. Here are three ways that naturally nutritious and delicious potatoes help your body stay healthy, happy and satisfied.
Potatoes help keep your immune system healthy
Vitamin C helps protect your body from infection by keeping your immune system healthy, and helps heal cuts and wounds (perfect if you’re ever a klutz while exercising at home or at the gym). Contributing a whopping 45% of your daily value, potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C.
Also, if you experience chronic illness or fatigue due to sensitivity to gluten, you’ll be glad to know that potatoes are naturally gluten-free!
Potatoes may reduce the risk of high blood pressure
According to the 2010 Dietary guidelines by the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services, diets containing foods that are a good source of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Potatoes are loaded with potassium — more than bananas, spinach or broccoli — and are naturally sodium free.
Potatoes are a great part of a healthy weight loss plan
It’s calories that count, not just eliminating foods. Maintaining a good, healthy weight requires burning more calories than you’re taking in. Luckily, one medium-sized (5.3 oz) potato has just 110 calories that are a breeze to burn off. Also, potatoes are 100% fat-free and have zero cholesterol, making them a great meal that will fill you up, not out.
Potatoes also help you feel full longer and eat less. Studies show that potatoes are one of the most filling foods available and stave off hunger better than other common sides, such as pasta, rice and bread.
One wholesome, satisfying potato contributes 2 grams of fiber to the diet, 8% of the recommended daily value. Dietary fiber has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improving blood lipid levels, regulating blood glucose, and increasing satiety (makes you feel full longer), which may help with weight loss.
Lastly, potatoes contribute 10% of your daily value of vitamin B6, which plays important roles in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, and turning food into energy.