This Spud’s For You

Pick any of these potatoes to pack a nutritional punch. And, no, they don’t make you fat!
01. Shutterstock 357941285

Save your pity for the simple spud. Often shunned because it’s thought to be the surest way to blow your waistline, this root veggie is better for you than more traditional superfoods such as bananas, broccoli, nuts and avocados.

Packed with five and half times more fiber than the average banana, a potato is also loaded with more vitamin C than three avocados. Plus it’s rich in vitamin B6, disease-fighting phytochemicals and potassium. While a potato is indeed a carb, it’s also a complete protein, with not only 4 grams of protein but all nine essential amino acids. And unlike their fancier superfood cousins, potatoes are cheap.

SHOP, STORE, COOK

There are varieties aplenty to choose from including the russet (aka Idaho) potato, yellow, purple, white, red, fingerling and petite. Don’t worry about a little dirt because you’ll be scrubbing your potatoes before cooking them. But avoid those with soft brown or green spots or cuts. And if you spy any sprouts coming from the spuds, skip them.

Store the taters in a cool, dark place. Some folks use a brown bag. Avoid any place that’s damp.

There are literally hundreds of recipes for potatoes. They work in soups, stews and salads, and are great baked, riced, mashed and sautéed. Just keep the butter and sour cream to a minimum for maximum health benefits. 

"It’s important to wash your potatoes well and eat the whole potato. The skin contains just as much protein as the meat of the potato does and holds extra vitamins and minerals.” —Angela Langner, RDN, owner, Nutrition Center of Bergen County, Ridgewood.

Did you know? Americans eat about 110 pounds of potatoes per person each year!

FUN FACT Potatoes were the first veggie grown in space. Thus in the movie The Martian, Matt damon’s character growing potatoes to survive is more fact than fiction. Damon won a Golden Globe for his performance and was nominated for an oscar. 

Categories: Bergen Health & Life, Health & Beauty Features, Homepage Features