Irish potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are a type of potato that is native to Ireland. They are usually small, round, and have a really thin skin. The flesh of an Irish potato can be white, yellow or red in colour.
Irish potatoes are native to the Andes Mountains of South America. They are called Irish potatoes because the potato was first brought back to Europe in the 1500s and developed as a crop there.
Irish potatoes contain important nutrients that can benefit human health in various ways like preventing osteoporosis, maintaining blood pressure, aiding digestion, maintaining heart health, boosting immunity and reducing the risk of infections.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, below are the various health benefits of Irish potatoes.
1. It helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
The presence of potassium, calcium, and magnesium in Irish potatoes has been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.
This is because an increase in potassium intake helps maintain healthy blood pressure since potassium encourages vasodilation or the widening of the blood vessels.
2. It helps maintain a healthy heart
The potassium and dietary fibre in Irish potatoes can help to improve heart health.
Irish potatoes are a good source of soluble fibre, which helps to reduce cholesterol levels thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.
Also, the potato’s fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health.
3. It aids digestion
Irish potatoes are a good source of dietary fibre, which helps to promote a healthy digestive system and prevent constipation.
4. It helps maintain bone health
The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and zinc in potatoes all help the body to build and maintain bone structure and strength.
Iron and zinc play crucial roles in the production and maturation of collagen.
Phosphorus and calcium are both important in bone structure.
It is important to know that too much phosphorus and too little calcium result in bone loss and contribute to osteoporosis.
5. It helps prevent inflammation
Choline, an important and versatile nutrient that is present in potatoes helps with muscle movement, mood, learning, and memory.
It also assists in:
1. maintaining the structure of cellular membranes
2. transmitting nerve impulses
3. the absorption of fat
4. early brain development
One large potato contains 57 mg of choline. Adult males need 550 mg, and females 425 mg a day.
6. It promotes healthy skin
The vitamin C in Irish potatoes helps to promote healthy skin.
Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, which helps to keep the skin looking young and healthy.
Collagen is the skin’s support system.
Vitamin C works as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution, and smoke. Vitamin C also helps collagen smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.
7. It helps prevent cancer
Potatoes contain folate. Folate plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair, and so it prevents many types of cancer cells from forming due to mutations in the DNA.
Fibre intake from fruits and vegetables like potatoes are associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer. Vitamin C and quercetin also function as antioxidants, protecting cells against damage from free radicals.
8. It boosts immunity
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C. The vitamin C in Irish potatoes helps to boost the immune system. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps to protect the body from damage.
Research has also found that vitamin C may help reduce the severity and duration of a cold.
9. It helps with weight management and satiety
Dietary fibres are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and weight loss.
Irish potatoes are a low-calorie food, making them a good choice for those looking to lose weight.
The dietary fibres in Irish potatoes act as “bulking agents” in the digestive system. They increase satiety and reduce appetite, so a person feels fuller for longer and is less likely to consume more calories.
10. It boosts energy level
Potatoes are a great source of vitamin B6. This plays a vital role in energy metabolism, by breaking down carbohydrates and proteins into glucose and amino acids. These smaller compounds are more easily utilized for energy within the body. Eating Irish potatoes helps boost your energy levels.
Irish potatoes are a great source of nutrients and health benefits. Make them a part of your meal and enjoy the loads of goodness they have to offer.