What are the health benefits of potatoes? The humble spud is another of those foods that’s been demonized of late. It’s true that they are little starch bombs if you were to eat them on their own, but recent discoveries have identified some interesting properties.
Heart & circulation
Kukoamine, a compound once only found in a few obscure Chinese herbs, has now been discovered in potatoes. It is a substance that doesn’t occur in many plants, but has been shown to cause a mild reduction in blood pressure. How it works isn’t clear yet, but this certainly represents a glimmer of hope for potato lovers. A word of caution, however: too much of any starchy food isn’t good for the heart at all, as they can upset blood sugar levels quite rapidly. Driving blood sugar levels too high can cause our body to convert excess into fats called triglycerides. These can oxidise readily and cause damage to the endothelium – the inner skin that lines our blood vessels. When this is damaged, this sets the stage for the series of events that eventually leads to full blown heart disease.
Believe it or not, potatoes are actually quite a rich source of vitamin C!