Jan 24, 2013 Posted Under: Other

Potatoes Can Lower Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar

One of my favorite veggies is potatoes. I love French fries, but I eat them baked more than anything else. Potatoes are loaded with carbs that is why moderation and how you prepare them is important when it comes to your health. A baked potato contains 1,137 milligrams of potassium than a banana and that is twice more than what a banana has; and almost a third of the DV of this mineral.

The main nutrients from the potato comes from the peel, which contains an anticarcinogenic compound called photogenic acid, says Mary Ellen Camire, PhD, professor in the department of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine in Orono. In laboratory studies, this particular acid has been proven to help the fiber in potatoes absorb benzo (a) pyrene, a potential carcinogen found in smoked foods such as grilled hamburgers.

Reduces Pressure
Potatoes have a high dose of potassium, which can help lower high blood pressure. Increasing this mineral in your diet could reduce your need for blood pressure medication according to, Earl Mindell, Rph, PhD, professor emeritus of nutrition at Pacific Western University in Los Angeles and author of Earl Mindell’s Food as Medicine. In one study of 54 people with high blood pressures, half added potassium rich foods like potatoes to their diets, while the other half kept their normal diet. At the end of the study, Dr. Mindell says, 81 percent were able to control their blood pressures with less than half of the medication they had used previously.

Potatoes are very valuable in moderation. They also contain Vitamin C, which is known to prevent heart disease; this may be of help to people with diabetes. Vitamin C may also be effective at diminishing the damage to proteins caused by free radical, dangerous molecules that damage tissues in the body. Eating five servings of potatoes, a week can raise the risk of diabetes.

Because they are high in complex carbohydrates, potatoes are good for people who have diabetes. Complex carbohydrates must be broken down into simple sugars before they can absorb into the bloodstream. What this means is, that the sugars enter the bloodstream in a leisurely fashion rather than pouring in all at once. The benefit of this process results in keeping the blood sugar at down, which is a very critical part of controlling the disease.

Potatoes play a key role in keeping the weight down. Being overweight makes it more difficult for the body to produce enough insulin. Potatoes are loaded with fiber; it helps control appetite by making you feel full longer. This vegetable is also low in calories.

Did you know that potatoes have cancer-fighting abilities, which lies in the skin of the potato? This is another great reason to take advantage of it. Most importantly, when eating grilled foods it leaves a small amount of cancer-causing substances on the food and consuming the spud can help block these harmful substances.

Cooking tip: Instead of boiling the potatoes, baking and steaming them are more beneficial. Boiling them takes away most of the nutritients. If you do decide to toss them in hot water, you can recapture the nutrients by using the potato water for other foods such as soups and stews.

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