BY DR. ANDREA PURCELL
The mighty potato has gotten a bad reputation for causing anything from heart disease and weight gain to diabetes. It is true that potatoes deep fried in oil or grease and then submerged in butter, milk, and sour cream are not good for us…But what about the boiled, baked, steamed or roasted potato? Well, to set the record straight, the potato all by itself is a very important healing food.
Potatoes come in a variety of colors from white to brown to yellow to red and purple. Don’t forget those yummy sweet potatoes too. All are filled with different flavonoids depending on the color. Be sure to eat the skin. There are countless nutrients packed into the skin of a potato.
Potatoes fall into a category called resistant starch. Resistant starch is a type of starch that passes through the digestive tract unchanged – in short, it resists digestion. Resistant starch is a form of fermentable fiber. When it is spending time in your digestive system resisting digestion it ferments in your gut and forms short chain fatty acids.
Short chain fatty acids can supply important energy to your large intestine, which in turn helps provide energy to your entire body.
One of the most important of these fatty acids is known as butyrate
Butyrate is the preferred energy source for the cells lining the colon. Butyrate helps to boost metabolism, and decreases digestive inflammation.
Potatoes are in the nightshade family. Nightshade foods which include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant all have gotten a bad reputation as contributors to inflammation and arthritis. This is completely wrong information. Nightshade foods do not contribute to inflamed joints.
Potatoes are high in magnesium, trace minerals, potassium, vitamin B6, and lysine. Their high lysine content allows them to reduce viral load and inflammation caused by viruses in the body.
Potatoes soothe an inflamed digestive system by calming the nerves that line the inside of the digestive tract. They also provide essential nutrition to the cells that line the digestive tract. They are helpful for loose stools, pain and burning along the digestive tract.
Potatoes provide glucose to the brain which helps in managing stress, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces food cravings.
The most nutritious way to eat potatoes is boiled or steamed with the skin on. The steaming process breaks down the skin and allows it to digest easily.
By stabilizing the nervous system, potatoes can help reduce the effects of (EMF’s) electromagnetic fields. This is especially important if your screen time is excessive and you are surrounded by cellphones and wireless signals.
So, to re-cap, potatoes have the ability to support and heal digestion, reduce inflammation, stabilize blood sugars, balance stress hormone surges, and manage appetite which prevents additional body fat.
I hope this helped clear up some of the misinformation out there. Do not feel guilty about eating potatoes, they are here to support us on our journey.
Wishing You Well,