White potatoes have got a bad rap over the past few years, particularly with so many processed varieties available. But does the humble potato deserve all this negative press?
Over the past few years the sweet potato seems to have become much more popular, but when looking at the nutritional content of white potatoes vs. sweet potatoes there are a lot of similarities. Both types of potatoes are excellent sources of fibre, numerous vitamins and minerals.
Here are just a few ways that white potatoes stand out nutritionally.
1. White potatoes keep you lean and healthy
When combined with vegetables and protein in a well balanced meal, white potatoes actually make a meal a low glycemic index one and can help to balance blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer. By helping to produce feelings of satiety, low GI meals can help people to lose weight, stay lean and prevent energy crashes and that afternoon snack attack!
2. They help to lower blood pressure
Potatoes contain phytochemicals which have similar effects to ACE-inhibitors, medications which are commonly used to treat high blood pressure. Deep frying potatoes destroys these chemicals, leaving only starch, fat and minerals, whereas other methods of cooking retain these chemicals and their blood pressure lowering properties.
3. They're an excellent source of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions which occur across the body, including the synthesis of amino acids, meaning that vitamin B6 is essential for the formation of virtually all new cells in the body. Vitamin B6 also plays numerous roles in our nervous systems, including the production of neurotransmitters such as melatonin, the hormone necessary for a good night's sleep and serotonin, the happy hormone! Vitamin B6 is also necessary for the breakdown of glycogen, making it important in athletic performance and endurance.
4. They help to fight inflammation
The alkaline nature of potatoes helps to detoxify and balance excess acidity in the body and relieve inflammation. In particular, potatoes have been found to soothe stomach ulcers and reduce stomach acidity, and research has suggested that potatoes may also relieve the inflammation association with arthritis.
5. They help keep you happy!
White potatoes are a great source of tryptophan, one of the nine essential amino acids our bodies are unable to produce. Tryptophan is also a precursor to serotonin, the previously mentioned 'happy hormone', which is thought to balance sleep and produce a stable mood. Lower levels of serotonin have been linked to depression, anxiety and premature ageing. Tryptophan also has natural sedative properties, helping to keep you relaxed and calm nerves.
We're excited to welcome nutritious baby white potatoes onto our menu next week. We've served our pan-fried plaice, above, with crushed white potatoes and a zingy salsa verde. In our Scandinavian-inspired plant-based dish, we've roasted baby potatoes and beetroot and drizzled them in a creamy coconut yoghurt, lemon & dill sauce.
In weeks to come you can enjoy sundried tomato chicken breasts with crispy hasselback potatoes, and slow-cooked lamb shanks with crushed skin on potatoes.
We really hope you enjoy the additional variety on our menu!