Potatoes are underground tubers that grow on the roots of the polato plant, Solanum tuberosum. This plant is from the nightshade family and related to tomatoes and tobacco. Native to South America, potatoes were brought to Europe in the 16th century and are now grown in countless varieties worldwide. Potatoes can either be boiled, baked, or fried and frequently served as a side dish or snack. Common potato based foods and food products include French fries, potato chips, and potato flour.
Cooked potatoes with skin are a good source of many vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and vitamin C. Aside from being high in water when fresh, potatoes are primarily composed of carbs and contain moderate amounts of protein and fiber.
The nutrients found in 2/3 cup (100 grams) of boiled potatoes cooked with the skin but without salt are
- Calories: 87
- Water: 77%
- Protein: 1.9 grams
- Carbs: 20.1 grams
- Sugar: 0.9 grams
Potatoes are mainly composed of carbs, primarily in the form of starch. The carb content ranges from 66–90% of dry weight. Simple sugars such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose are also present in small amounts. Potatoes usually rank high on the glycaemic index (GI), making them unsuitable for people with diabetes. The GI measures how foods affect your rise in blood sugar after a meal. Some potatoes may be in the medium range depending on the variety and cooking method.
Potatoes are low in protein, ranging from 1-1.5% when fresh and 8-9% when dry. Compared to other common food crops such as wheat, rice and corn, potatoes have the lowest amount of protein. The protein quality of potatoes is higher than that of soybeans and other legumes. The main protein in potatoes is called patatin.
Even though potatoes are not a high-fiber food, they may provide a significant source of fiber for those who eat them regularly. The level of fiber is highest in the skin, which makes up 1–2% of the potato. In fact, dried skins are about 50% fiber. Potato fibers such as pectin, cellulose and hemicellulose are mainly insoluble. They also contain varying amounts of resistant starch, a type of fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut and improves digestive health.
Vitamins and Minerals.
Potatoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium and vitamin C. The levels of some vitamins and minerals drop during cooking, but this reduction can be minimized by baking or boiling them with the skin on.
- Potassium. The predominant mineral in potatoes, potassium is concentrated in the skin and may benefit heart health.
- Vitamin C. The main vitamin found in potatoes, vitamin C is significantly reduced with cooking , but leaving the skin on appears to reduce this loss
- Folate. Concentrated in the peel, folate is found in potatoes with coloured flesh.
- Vitamin B6.A class of B vitamins involved in red blood cell formation, B6 is found in most foods.