The potato, from the perennial Solanum tuberosum, is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 B.C.
In 1536 Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru, discovered the flavors of the potato, and carried them to Europe. Before the end of the sixteenth century, families of Basque sailors began to cultivate potatoes along the Biscay coast of northern Spain. Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes to Ireland in 1589 on the 40,000 acres of land near Cork. It took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe.
Eventually, agriculturalists in Europe found potatoes easier to grow and cultivate than other staple crops, such as wheat and oats. Most importantly, it became known that potatoes contained most of the vitamins needed for sustenance, and they could be provided to nearly 10 people for each acre of land cultivated.
In the 1840s a major outbreak of potato blight, a plant disease, swept through Europe, wiping out the potato crop in many countries. The Irish working class lived largely on potatoes and when the blight reached Ireland, their main staple food disappeared. This famine left many poverty-stricken families with no choice but to struggle to survive or emigrate out of Ireland. Over the course of the famine, almost one million people died from starvation or disease. Another one million people left Ireland, mostly for Canada and the United States.
Form the above facts we can conclude that we humans consume potatoes since early ages. It goes through the process of discovering, cultivating and drifting by people and more. But actually, potatoes have several thousands of benefits. Here are some of the benefits:
Potatoes are a versatile root vegetable and a staple food in many households. They are an underground tuber that grows on the roots of the Solanum tuberosum plant. Potatoes are relatively cheap, easy to grow and packed with a variety of nutrients.
Potatoes are the good source of vitamins and minerals, they are almost wrapped up with vitamins and minerals. But the nutrition content and can be different depending on the variety and how are they prepared. Peeling potatoes can significantly reduce their nutritional content as the skin of potatoes contains a great number of vitamins and minerals.
Potatoes contain compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids. These compounds take the role of antioxidants in the body by neutralizing potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. If these free radicals decrease, the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer also decreases.
A recent study has found that the antioxidants present in potatoes may suppress the growth of liver and colon cancer cells. It is more good to deal with potatoes like purple potatoes that white potatoes as colored potatoes can have three to four times more antioxidants than white potatoes.
Potatoes are an excellent source of fibers. Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of the plant material that cannot be digested and absorbed in the bloodstream. Soluble fiber may help with weight loss as it makes you feel full longer, and research has shown it also may help lower blood cholesterol.
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays important roles in carbohydrate and protein metabolism.
Source: (Potatoes USA) — POTATO NUTRITION FACTS
(HealthLine) — 7 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Potatoes
Categories: Health, Disease & Medicine