The Lowly Potato?

Potatoes have been given a bad rap lately. First we figured out that we were putting too many of the wrong toppings on. Companies were also busy turning potatoes into junk food like potato chips and “tater tots.” Then the starch factor scared us away. But there are some health benefits of potatoes you should be aware of – and you might be surprised about the starch!

Potatoes are high in potassium and vitamin B6 and contain mentionable amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and niacin, vitamin C and various B vitamins. Cooking will destroy the C, but most of the other nutrients remain in tact.

The carbohydrate of the potato is mainly starch. A small, but significant, portion of this starch is not digestible. This resistant starch may not always be a bad thing. It has many of the same health benefits of fiber. It provides protection against colon cancer, improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, lowers triglyceride concentrations, lowers plasma cholesterol, and may even reduce fat storage.

This resistant starch also slows digestion. This can be good for those who want to lose weight since it will help you feel full longer.

As for cleansing, it will slow your cleanse. This might be a good thing if you are cleansing too quickly and you are getting healing crisis such as headaches and nausea. So, if you are trying to work and the cleansing or healing crisis gets in your way, eat a small serving of potatoes to slow your cleanse and feel better.

More healthy benefits of potatoes are that they are full of phytochemicals including flavenoids and a compound called kukoamine that seems to help lower blood pressure. In addition, potato skins contain chlorogenic acid, a molecule that absorbs nearly 100% of carcinogens (cancer causing compounds) on contact.

To get the best and safest benefits, use organic potatoes. Then you can eat the skins, have extra fiber and nutrients as well as the cancer protection while not worrying about the chemical pesticides that can be harmful.

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