What About The Potato

 

We all thought Potatoes were good for Potato Salad, Mashed Potatoes and French Fries. But it turns out they are a lot more than that!

Did you know……

That besides food the potato is used in the making of Vodka, fodder for livestock, and the starch is used in the textile industry for an adhesive. And some companies are studying the possibilities of using waste potatoes to obtain a certain chemical used for making plastic.  Potatoes are also used for delivering a personal message as a novelty by companies like the Potato Parcel. There are Potato batteries and Potato museums. And yes there is even a Mr. Potato Head, invented in 1949 and sold by Hasbro in 1952.

Potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin C? A potato can contain about 45% of your daily needs. 100 gram serving size (3.75 oz) of potato has 19.7 mg of Vit-C.

Vit-C is an essential nutrient to animals and people. This vitamin helps heal wounds and acts as an antioxidant. Without Vit-C several enzymes in the body cannot operate correctly. And in 2017 a systemic study found lower Vit- C in people with cognitive impairments including Alz and dementia compared to people with normal cognition. *A potato is also a heart healthy food, practically fat free having only 0.09 grams per serving.

Did you also know……

There is more Potassium in a serving of potatoes than in a banana? Diets that are low in potassium can result in hypertension and hyperkalemia. Low levels of potassium can lead to feeling tired, weak, leg cramps, and constipation. Low potassium also increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythm which is often too slow and can cause cardiac arrest. *And potatoes are Gluten Free! All of us should be concerned about gluten in our diets not just folks who have a high intolerance for it.

Oh, and how about this…..

Potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin B-6 which is important to metabolism. Amino Acid, Glucose, and Lipid. According to Wikipedia, a deficiency of this type of Vit-B can cause seborrhoeic dermatitis, atrophic glossitis, angular cheilitis, intertrigo. Other conditions related to Vit-B-6 deficiency; Can cause a state of confusion, making a person feel sleepy to the point of falling asleep, and a form of Anemia. The elderly and alcoholics have an increased risk of Vit-B deficiency. There are Vit-B-6 supplements though there’s documented evidence of adverse effects, but never from a food source containing this vitamin. It is better to get your vitamins and minerals naturally if you can. Potatoes also contain carbohydrates that can be turned into Energy and they’re a good source of Fiber which is good for the digestive tract, again, best to get fiber from the foods we eat rather than a pill or other supplement if we can. The potato has a long list of Vitamins and Minerals including calcium, iron, other Vit-B’s, Vit-A, and Vit-E. I encourage you to research the benefits of these listed here, it will help you in your search for healthy foods like the potato that are packed full of important nutrients for our bodies.

The Potato-An Important Staple….  

In many counties across the world and in the span of thousands of years. Is it any wonder?  The wild species can be found from North America to Southern Chile. Potatoes were domesticated several thousand years ago and through selective breeding there are now over 1000 types of Potatoes. Being a Night Shade vegetable this one has its toxins which are found in the skin and sprouts but in small amounts so that normal use and storage won’t harm humans, however if the sprouts and skin are exposed to light it can accumulate amounts enough to cause harm. The skin of a potato is especially harmful to dogs. I had to mention dogs because I love them! And many people with good intentions toward their beloved canines didn’t know this. But don’t let this scare you away from the wonderful Potato. People for thousands of years have eaten them and we continue to do so in many amazing, tasty ways. So keep eating them because the potato has a lot of good to offer. With over 1000 types of Potatoes there are too many to be listed here but an easy search on “variety of potatoes Wikipedia” can be found and researched.

Some varieties can have more or less of certain Vitamins and minerals, for example a yellow fleshed potato contains more Vit-C than the white flesh potato and blue potato has more of the antioxidant than others.

Acres Dedicated to the Potato…..

According to Wikipedia In 2010, across the world, 46 million acres were used for the cultivation of potatoes and in the US potatoes have become one of the most widely consumed crops. According the Agricultural Marketing Recourse Center, in 2017 over 1.05 million acres were harvested in the united states and the Idaho Potato Commission reports over 300,000 acres of potatoes were harvested in 2019. Other areas in the US known for growing potatoes: Almost every state grows potatoes though about half the crop comes from Idaho, Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and California. Idaho is said to be the top Potato producing state in the US with WA in second, and Wisconsin and Oregon trailing at 3rd and 4th according to Statista.com on agriculture and farming.

We’ll keep eating and growing Potatoes…..

And for a variety of reasons: Not just limited to the fun recipes made from Potatoes, the nutrients we get, and the fact that it is a main staple. Billions of dollars go into the US economy and thousands of jobs are created because of our love and need for the potato. In good times of prosper we enjoy and eat them and in a variety of ways. In times of trouble and personal financials, potatoes are a must! The potato is a staple for our bodies, our tables, and our economy. Eat potatoes and keep the potato industry booming so we can keep enjoying the many varieties and recipes while keeping thousands working with jobs and incomes.

Hurrah for the Potato!

Apolamvano

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