Myths about potatoes, or Which potato is hazardous to health?


For a Russian person, potatoes have long been not just a vegetable, but a part of the national culture. But disputes about the benefits and dangers of potatoes do not stop. Opinions can be heard differently: from "potatoes to the head", to a complete ban on potatoes as a product that provokes obesity, diabetes and other diseases and troubles. What are the benefits and harms of potatoes, which can be eaten without fear, which - with caution, and which is better to refuse altogether, we will tell in this article.

Myths about potatoes, or Which potato is hazardous to health?

Useful properties of potatoes

Often you can hear the opinion that potato dishes are very high-calorie, and many nutritionists advise people who are watching their figure to abandon this product, since harm from it is much more useful. Beliefs are built on the presence of starch in a vegetable.

But, in addition to this substance, potatoes contain a lot of useful elements and vitamins. Tubers are rich in ascorbic acid or vitamin C, which is essential for human health. The high content of potassium provides youth of blood vessels and skin, vitamins of group B, H, PP, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus and a number of amino acids significantly enrich the human diet.

Using potato dishes, you can lower cholesterol and prevent the appearance of cholesterol plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Fiber, which is also rich in potatoes, is indispensable for the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, therefore dishes from this product are recommended for diseases of the stomach.

The potato's ability to neutralize acids makes it especially useful for various metabolic disorders and is used in diets for arthritis and kidney disease.

The tubers boiled or baked in peel are the most valuable - the well-known "jacket potato". With this cooking method, the product retains most of the nutrients and vitamins.

Even ordinary boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes without adding oil contain only 76 calories per 100 g of product, and this is less than in rice or pasta. Due to the presence of complex carbohydrates that are beneficial for the human body, potatoes can be considered a dietary product.

Mashed potato without oil contains only 76 calories per 100 g of product

Which potatoes are harmful?

Despite the abundance of nutrients and trace elements, potatoes can be a harmful product. It depends on the method of its preparation. Potatoes fried in oil or deep-fried are certainly delicious food, but not at all healthy. Even healthy people should not abuse this product, and even with diseases or losing weight it is better to abandon it altogether.

Why can’t you use green tubers for food?

Many have probably heard that green potato tubers cannot be eaten, and not everyone knows for sure why and what is the danger.

After long-term storage, usually closer to spring, some tubers turn green. This happens, as a rule, in the light, and there is no big difference between natural lighting and artificial lighting. In potatoes, solanine begins to form - a very dangerous poison that stains the tubers green.

Due to its insecticidal properties, solanine protects potatoes from pests and, for the same reason, becomes a real poison for both humans and animals. So, from such potatoes - one harm and no good.

Perhaps someone will say that he ate green potatoes and repeatedly, and nothing - alive and well. Yes, not every dose is fatal, but experts warn that the content of solanine in tubers of more than 200 mg per 100 g of product is life-threatening. How to peel these milligrams when peeling potatoes, no one tells, so it’s better not to risk it.

With solanine poisoning, a person develops weakness, nausea, vomiting, sometimes diarrhea, heaviness in the head and cramps in the calf muscles. The victim goes to sleep, the skin becomes dry, itching appears. Having found these symptoms, it is best to seek the help of a doctor, since solanine is difficult to remove from the body, and it can take a lot of time to independently fight toxicosis.

In order not to become a victim of solanine, of course, it is best to completely abandon the use of green potatoes. For those who "didn’t eat like that", we advise how to cut the peel from the greened tubers as thick as possible and carefully cut out the eyes, because there is most solanine there.

Hold the peeled potatoes in clean cold water for about 20 minutes and drain the water. And remember, solanine does not decompose when heated, but it is strongly not recommended to fry such potatoes - it is better to cook. Of the two evils, one must choose the lesser.

After long-term storage, usually closer to spring, some potato tubers turn green.

What is the danger of sprouted potatoes?

Another condition of potatoes is doubtful - is it possible to use sprouted tubers for food? Potato sprouts after prolonged storage, and then the toxic substance hakonin begins to accumulate, and the already known solanine is also present.

If the potato is hard, then it can be prepared by carefully cutting out the eyes. It is advisable to refuse soft sprouted tubers - there will still be no tasty dish, therefore it is better not to risk it.

Read also our article. Why does potato rot during storage, and how to avoid it?

What to do with blackened potatoes?

Often it happens - you start peeling potatoes, and under the skin there are dark spots. There may be several reasons for this - improper transportation, storage errors, and harvesting in wet weather. There is no great harm from the use of such potatoes, but the economic losses are palpable. All dark places have to be cut, and most of the tuber in this case is in the bin.

Sometimes you can observe the darkening of tubers after or during cooking. The peeled potatoes were clean and bright and that’s bad luck. This happens again due to improper storage or, another reason - the balance of trace elements during cultivation is disturbed. Excess nitrogen in the soil with a lack of potassium disrupts the synthesis of chemicals and leads to unpleasant consequences.

The use of such potatoes does not present a health hazard, although the aesthetic appearance leaves much to be desired. To prevent the potatoes from darkening, experienced chefs advise adding table vinegar to the water during cooking.

To the question - why peeled potatoes are getting dark, experts have an answer. The tubers contain the tyrosine amino acid, which is oxidized in air, turning into melanin. There is no harm from such darkened potatoes, and to avoid this phenomenon is very simple. The peeled tubers should be immediately lowered into cold water. During cooking, potatoes are put in boiling water - this will help to preserve as many nutrients as possible.

Germinating, potatoes accumulate toxic substances hakonin and solanine.

Healthy Potato Pie Recipe

In conclusion, I want to give a simple recipe for a very tasty and healthy dish of potatoes. We will need:

  • Peeled and washed potato tubers - 400 g;
  • 1 onion;
  • The protein of one egg;
  • 150 g of salmon or other "noble" fish;
  • Some olive oil;
  • Salt, pepper, herbs to taste.

Grate potatoes and onion on a coarse grater and squeeze. Mix well, adding protein, salt, spices and herbs. Cover the mold with baking paper, grease with olive oil and lay out part of the mixture.

Carefully flatten and place fish cut into slices on top. Cover with the rest of the potato mass, smooth and grease the surface with olive oil. To do this, it is convenient to use a special brush.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. at a temperature of 210 aboutC. As soon as the golden crust appears - the dish is ready.

Dear readers! You can argue for a long time about the benefits and dangers of potatoes, but let the specialists leave this lesson - they have such a job. Knowing all the strengths and weaknesses of this popular culture, everyone decides whether to use it for food, how often and what dishes to cook in order to get the most healthy product. And only healthy clean potatoes can become such.