Potatoes have long been more than a vegetable to the American people; they are a part of history and culture. But the controversy over the benefits and drawbacks of potatoes does not stop there.
Opinions vary: from “potato-based” to a total ban on potatoes, a product that causes obesity, diabetes, and other diseases and troubles.
What are the benefits and harms of potatoes, which can be eaten when it is not possible? It is prudent to reject them. We will talk about it in this article.
USEFUL PROPERTIES OF POTATOES
It is often possible to hear the opinion that potatoes make a high-calorie dish, and many nutritionists advise people who look at the figure to abandon this product because it is more useful in terms of harm. The belief is based on the fact that the vegetable contains starch.
However, in addition to this substance, potatoes contain many useful elements and vitamins. The tuber is rich in ascorbic acid or vitamin C, which is essential for human health.
The high content of potassium rejuvenates blood vessels and skin, and vitamins from the B group, H, PP, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, and many amino acids greatly enrich the human diet.
With the help of potatoes, dishes can lower cholesterol and prevent the appearance of cholesterol plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Potatoes are also rich in fiber, which is essential for the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, which is why dishes with this product are recommended in cases of stomach problems.
Their ability to neutralize acids makes them particularly useful for various metabolic disorders and for use in diets for arthritis and kidney diseases.
The most valuable tubers are those cooked or baked in the skin of potatoes, known as “jacket potatoes”. This method of cooking retains most of the nutrients and vitamins.
Even plain boiled or mashed potatoes without oil contain only 76 calories in 100 grams of product, which is less than the calories in rice or pasta. And because potatoes contain complex carbohydrates that are beneficial to the body, they can be considered a weight loss product.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF POTATOES?
Although potatoes have many health benefits and micronutrients, they can also be harmful. It depends on how they are prepared. Potatoes fried or deep-fried in oil are, of course, delicious food, but not at all useful. Even healthy people should not abuse this product, and even those who are ill or on a diet should refuse it completely.
WHY SHOULDN’T I USE GREEN TUBERS FOR FOOD?
Many of you may have heard that we should not eat green potato tubers, but not everyone knows why and what is the danger of eating them.
After a long period of storage, usually near spring, some tubers will turn green. This usually happens in the light, and there is little difference between natural and artificial light. solanine is a very dangerous poison that starts to form in potatoes, turning the tubers green.
Due to its insecticidal properties, Solanine protects potatoes from insect pests and is, therefore, a real poison for humans and animals. So these potatoes are harmless and completely useless.
One might say that he ate green potatoes many times and nothing happened to him – he is alive and healthy. Yes, not every dose is fatal, but experts warn that the content of tubers Solanine exceeds 200 mg per 100 grams of product – dangerous for life. No one says how to identify these same milligrams when peeling potatoes, so it’s best not to take any chances.
When Solanine poisoning, a person suffers from weakness, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes diarrhea, light-headedness, and muscle cramps in the lower legs. The person is drowsy and the skin becomes dry and itchy.
After noticing these symptoms, it is best to seek help from a doctor, because Solanine is difficult to excrete from the body and it may take a long time to combat the poisoning on your own.
Of course, in order not to fall victim to Solanine, it is best to give up using green potatoes altogether. Those who have “never eaten so much” are advised to cut the skin of the green tubers as thick as possible, carefully cutting the eyes as there is more Solanine inside.
Peeled potatoes should be kept in clean, cold water for 20 minutes, then drained. Remember that Solanine does not disintegrate when heated, but frying such potatoes is not recommended – it is better to boil them. The lesser of two evils.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF SPROUTED POTATOES?
Another condition of potatoes raises doubts – can we use sprouted tubers in food? Potatoes sprout after a long period of storage, and here the toxic substance chaconine begins to accumulate, already known to us as Solanine is also present.
If the potatoes are hard, they can be cooked by carefully cutting off the eyes of the potatoes. It is advisable to refuse from soft sprouted tubers – there will be no delicious dish anyway, so it is better not to risk.
WHAT TO DO WITH BLACKENED POTATOES?
It often happens – you start peeling potatoes and there are black spots under the skin. There can be several reasons for this phenomenon – improper transportation, storage errors, harvesting in rainy weather.
There is no great harm in using such potatoes, but the economic loss is obvious. All the black spots have to be cut off and most of the tubers end up in the trash.
Sometimes, one may observe the tubers turning black after or during cooking. Therein lies the trouble with clean, brightly peeled potatoes.
This happens again due to improper storage or, another reason is that the balance of trace elements is disturbed during cultivation. Excess nitrogen in the case of potassium deficiency in the soil disrupts the synthesis of chemicals, leading to unpleasant consequences.
Eating such potatoes, although less aesthetically pleasing, is not harmful to health. To prevent potatoes from turning black, experienced cooks recommend adding vinegar to the water while cooking.
Experts have an answer to the question of why peeled potatoes turn black. The tubers contain the amino acid tyrosine, which is oxidized in the air and turns into melanin.
Such blackened potatoes are not harmful and it is very easy to avoid this phenomenon. Peeled tubers should be immediately lowered into cold water. When boiling, place the potatoes in boiling water – this will help to preserve as much useful material as possible.