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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Potatoes Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 83.3 g
Calories: 58 kcal
Protein: 2.6 g
Carbohydrate: 12.4 g
Dietary fiber: 2.5 g
Sugars: 0.8 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 11.4 mg
Vitamin B3: 1 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B9: 17 μg
Calcium: 30 mg
Iron: 3.2 mg
Magnesium: 23 mg
Phosphorus: 38 mg
Potassium: 413 mg
Sodium: 10 mg
Zinc: 0.4 mg

The potato is a tuber that is a staple food source across the world. Perhaps made most famous due to the Irish potato famine, the potato is now a widely produced staple crop, with only maize, rice, and wheat being produced in larger quantities worldwide. The potato is not usually considered a health food, and it’s easy to see why: we most often consume it in the form of French fries, and even when we don’t, mashed or baked potato is often covered in butter and cream. However, take away the frying and the saturated fat, and the potato is a great carbohydrate source: high in certain essential nutrients, and with potential benefits for cardiovascular disease.

Nutritionally, the potato is a fantastic low calorie source of 3 essential nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium. 1 medium potato (213g), contains just 163 kcal, but for that you get 70% of your Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C, 30% DV of vitamin B6, and 25% DV of potassium. Making sure you avoid being deficient in these will help to ensure cardiovascular health, iron absorption and cognitive function, so potato is a real help here. In addition, a medium potato contains 8% DV of fibre, making it excellent for digestion.

Beyond this, however, the potato has a number of more long-term health benefits, thanks in part to the presence of something called kukoamines. Kukoamines are compounds previously only found in the bark of a plant called Lycium chinense; but recent research has revealed the presence of kukoamines in potatoes.

Kukoamines have been associated with lowering blood pressure, in addition to protecting the brain from free radical damage. With high blood pressure being such an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and strokes, and neurological disorders being so prevalent, potato may be a surprising route to long term health.

In addition, potatoes have been shown to have remarkable antioxidant potential. In the study just referenced, the potato showed better antioxidant potential than onion, carrot and peppers. Not only that, but potato peel has been shown to contain quercetin, a flavonoid proven to lower blood pressure, in addition to reducing platelet aggregation, a major contributing factor to atherosclerosis. Quercetin may also have some athletic performance benefits. All in all, the potato certainly has a lot of benefits for the health of your heart.