Potatoes are a universal food that can be baked or boiled for salad.  They often get a bad rap for being a fatty food but it’s not the spud but the selected toppings that have them shunned by health conscious eaters.  One large white potato contains around 275 calories by itself but holds a slew of vitamins and minerals packed inside. 

They are high in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin C.  Potassium helps prevent strokes by keeping the working in a normal state.  It plays a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain and affects the brain function.  Potassium also plays an important role in regular muscle contraction because the right concentration of potassium is required for the regular contraction and relaxation of the muscle.  It also helps regulate blood pressure, prevents heart and kidney disorders, helps with anxiety and stress, metabolism, plays a role in water balance and electrolytic functions, and keeps our nervous system running smoothly.

Phosphorus benefits include healthy bone formation, improved digestion, excretion, protein formation, improved energy extraction, cell repair and nutrient utilization.  It’s also important in maintaining proper brain function and lends a helping hand in proper utilization of various nutrients entering the body. Phosphorus helps with hormone balance as well.  Certain hormones are required for you to achieve good reproductive health and phosphorus helps in making these hormones available.

Magnesium impacts nearly all of systems of the body due to its cellular and molecular function. As a fundamental ion in the body effect on the body it can be as intense as that of many prescription drugs, because magnesium functions as a regulator of electrolyte balance, metabolism, and other biochemical reactions.  It’s an important factor in muscle relaxation and heart health, allows nerves to send messages in the brain and nervous system, aids and regulates the body’s use of calcium and other minerals, assists in bone and teeth formation, regulates the metabolism of nutrients such as protein, nucleic acids, fats and carbohydrates.  It also helps regulate cholesterol production.

Vitamin C is an important and powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the oxidative stress of free radicals.  It’s a well-known immune system booster, prevents heart disease, helps lower blood pressure, and helps fight cancer at every stage.  Studies have shown that people with asthma have had lower levels of Vitamin C than others.  Those taking Vitamin C supplements had fewer asthma symptoms from exercising and from environmental triggers. Other studies show that those taking Vitamin C supplements needed less medicine for their asthma.

If you need more convincing that potatoes are the good guys, they also contain dietary fiber, protein, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, copper and iron.  Just remember that it’s all about how they are prepared, baked is best, boiled is good and fried anything destroys the nutritional content while adding unhealthy fats.

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