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10 Health Benefits of Potatoes You Didn’t Know About

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10 Health Benefits of Potatoes You Didn’t Know About

Potatoes underwent low popularity for many years, suffering from an unfavorable reputation as food source rich in carbohydrates. More recently, scientific studies have revealed that potatoes should not be shunned. They should be embraced instead for offering a rich source of minerals including phosphorus, calcium and zinc, as well as B6, B, and C vitamins. The glycoprotein patatin is also found in spuds. These lipolytic enzymes can aid in everyday health by decreasing high blood pressure and effectively working as an antioxidant.

Why Potatoes?

Even though potatoes have sustained a somewhat tainted reputation, they are still one of the most-often used ingredients in recipes spanning breakfast through lunch and they have a vast health benefits, which are listed below:

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1. Positive Effect on Diabetes

Those with diabetes are always worried about raising blood glucose levels and so they avoid potatoes’ natural sugar content. In fact, avoidance isn’t necessary, but portion control is. Carbohydrates can be a healthy part of any diabetic meal plan when incorporated in correct portions. Talk to a doctor about managing diabetes through ideal servings.

2. Enhance General Health

The common thought is potatoes cause weight gain yet their caloric value is actually fairly low making them a good choice for meals. Potatoes also provide sustenance so feelings of hunger are averted for longer periods. They also provide a decrease in cholesterol levels because they are half soluble and half insoluble.

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3. Remedy Bruising

For centuries, potatoes have been used for treating sprains, bruises, ulcers, and even burns, aiding in the healing process. They can also reduce the onset of skin ailments and the effects of narcotics. Studies have shown that potatoes are part of a group of cancer-fighting foods used to fight cancer of the uterus and prostate.

4. Relieve Stress

Stress on the body and mind can be eased by ingesting potatoes; cellular renewal is boosted by the rich source of vitamin B6 in potatoes. The creation of adrenaline hormones, which aid in fighting stress, is just one major benefit. They also produce GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid), a hormone that can also reduce stress and help the brain ready itself for relaxation or sleep.

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5. Diminish Inflammation

Those who suffer from chronic internal or external inflammation can reap the benefits potatoes provide for this ailment. The make-up of a soft, baked potato is easily digestible, alleviating the digestive system from irritation. To ease any external inflammation, simply rub a raw potato on the affected area(s) including any ulcers that may be found in the mouth.

6. Improve Brain Functions

Day to day activities and general health can be influenced greatly by adding potatoes into your diet. The high amounts of copper and iron, also known for boosting brain activity, are an added benefit. Preparing a baked potato and eating it, skin and all and without salt, can lead to an improved memory. Manganese, potassium, and vitamin B6 and C are each known to assist in functions of the brain while nerve centers respond positively to the fatty acids and amino acids found in potatoes.

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7. Alleviate Kidney Stones

Raised uric acid levels in the blood is the main contributor of kidney stones. The hard masses of calcium crystals in urine can create painful stones that are excruciating to pass. Those suffering from kidney stones can find many extra benefits from ingesting the entire potato peel, a rich source of such relieving nutrients as alkaline salts and the aforementioned copper, manganese, potassium, and B-vitamins.

8. High Fiber Content

Eating high-fiber foods can be one of the best ways to achieve weight-loss success. Potatoes are a top high-fiber food and one of the best ingredients to use in moderation. While potatoes can be beneficial to your health, preparing them in a healthy way is crucial. Baking them is one of the best ways to reap all the  nutritional benefits.

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9. Keep Diseases at Bay

Decrease the risks of cancer, aid digestion, combat heart disease, and avoid common disorders in the nervous system, all by eating potatoes.

10. Treat Your Skin

Treating skin ailments with potatoes is an inexpensive and natural way to look your best. Try a potato juice facial by topically applying it, or use sliced potatoes on eyelids to reduce the appearance of dark circles and swelling.

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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