At this time of year, one thing many of us like to indulge in is comfort eating. Hearty potatoes are great for keeping us warm and they’re packed full of goodness too, so you don’t have to feel guilty for indulging.
Here’s why the spud is so good for you:
- It is packed full of starch (also known as complex carbohydrates), which is a main source of energy
- Potatoes are full of vitamin C, which gives you healthy skin, teeth, hair, muscles and bones. It also helps you to absorb iron
- B Vitamins help carbohydrates work, to provide energy and maintain a healthy skin and nervous system
- Dietary Fibre helps aid your digestion
- They help produce red blood cells that are good for healthy blood
- Potatoes contain protein for growth and the repair of tissues. It can also supply energy
- Potatoes also contain potassium, which is needed to help cells and nerves
- Iron from potatoes is used to produce haemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood
- You can get a third of your daily vitamin C from a portion of chips made with fresh potatoes. Even a 100g helping of oven chips contains 12mg of vitamin C – double the amount of vitamin C in an apple weighing the same.
- Oven chips contain less fat and fewer calories than low fat chocolate. A 100g portion of oven chips has just 4.2g of fat and 162 calories compared with 11.7g of fat and 297 calories in a 100g bar of low-fat chocolate.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins A and C. Both are powerful antioxidants that work in the body to remove free radicals, which are chemicals that damage cells.
They are said to have many other health benefits too including being good for people with stomach ulcers and inflamed conditions of the colon and for diabetics because they help stabilise blood sugar levels. Also, they are great roasted and in soups.
During these uncertain times, it’s ok to indulge in a little bit of comfort food, but you should ensure you are getting all the other nutrients you need as well, as part of a healthy diet. Read our advice on healthy eating here.