Irish potato or white potato – as it is referred to in some regions – is a popular variety of vegetables consumed almost everywhere in the world, especially Africa, Europe, and Asia.
This tuberous crop is originally from South America but found its way to Europe in the late 1500s. It was named after Ireland because it was the major food cultivated in the country in the early 1800s, and its also associated with the great Irish famine that rocked the region during that period.
The famine that claimed one million lives was caused by a disease called late blight ( a mould infestation of the crop).
The Irish potato is a nutrition-dense vegetable and a culinary favourite. It’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to human health.
Below is the nutritional value of Irish potato per 100gr
|Thiamine (Vitamin B1)||0.08mg|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||0.03mg|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||1.05mg|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower, depending on your calorie needs.
Incorporating Irish potatoes in your diet is an excellent choice as they possess a lot of health benefits including;
1. Aids digestion
Irish potatoes are packed with dietary fibres that promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movement. Research also shows that the dietary fibre in Irish potato helps protect against colon cancer.
Colon cancer is a deadly disease that springs in the large intestine with symptoms ranging from changes in bowel habits, cramps, stool consistency, and blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss, to mention a few.
2. Relieves inflammation and supports the immune system
There are significant numbers of vitamins and minerals in white potatoes that support and strengthens the immune system.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin B12 as well as potassium help guard against infections and also handle internal and external inflammation. Inflammation occurs when your body reacts to certain irritation, infection, or injury. The nutrients in potatoes help repair the wear and tear in your body cells and relieving the affected area as well.
Plus, the vitamin B6 and potassium content help in relieving inflammation in the intestine and digestive system, making it an excellent food choice for people with inflammatory bowel disease such as an ulcer.
3. Weight loss
Irish potato is packed with dietary fibres, resistant starch, vitamins, and other essential nutrients that play a significant role in weight loss.
Dietary fibres help the body metabolism to function well, making the body to avoid putting on extra weight by burning the already stored fat in the body for energy – a process known as ketosis.
These nutrients also make you feel full and energised for longer, thereby lowering your appetite for junk food and other unnecessary calories during the day that could result in excess weight.
4. Supports weight gain
Apart from being a weight-loss champion, Irish potato is also suitable for those who wish to put on a few extra pounds, thanks to its rich carb content.
The difference between adding weight and losing weight is in the serving size. You .ay need to consult a dietitian or your doctor to know the amount to consume per serving for weight gain.
5. Prevents Rheumatic diseases
Also known as musculoskeletal diseases, rheumatic diseases refer to any medical condition that causes inflammation and pain in particular regions of the body, including the bones, cartilage, joints, muscles, etc.
Common symptoms include stiffness of the joints, joint pain, inflammation of the affected area. Older individuals are most prone to this type of disease.
The good news is, people suffering from various types of this medical condition can smile again, thanks to Irish potato.
It’s rich content of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins work together in providing soothing relief for individuals with various rheumatic diseases.
Studies show that rheumatism symptoms can be reduced by consuming the water used in boiling the potatoes. However, the affected patient should avoid eating the cooked vegetables as it might spark up the symptoms.
6. Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure can result from several factors, including age, anxiety, stress, diabetes, and tension.
The dietary fibre in Irish potato not only aids digestion, but it also helps in lowering cholesterol levels and enhancing the production of insulin in the body, which helps in reducing the blood pressure levels.
Plus, these delicious tubers are an excellent source of potassium which acts against the adverse effects of sodium in the body which could spike the blood pressure levels.
7. Skin treatment
Irish potato is beneficial to the skin due to its antioxidant properties, which helps in reducing wrinkles. Also, the presence of nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and potassium can help in maintaining smooth and healthy skin.
Plus, Irish potato contains an enzyme called ‘catecholase’ which helps in removing dark spots and brightens the skin
8. Boost athletic performance
Irish potato can assist in balancing the body electrolytes, making it suitable for maintaining a steady performance during prolonged exercise.
It’s potassium and sodium content help generate the electrolyte which replaces the sweat. The carbohydrate content of this nutrient-dense to barrel and also improve stamina levels in athletes.
A 2019 study by the University of Illinois found that consuming potato puree during long hours of work out can help in sustaining blood glucose levels and enhancing performance in professional athletes just as well as investing in Commercial carbohydrate gel.
9. Regulating brain function
The presence of vitamin B6 and Irish potato is critical in maintaining neurological health.
This essential vitamin helps create useful frame chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. This implies that consuming Irish potato may help with stress depression or even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The high levels of carbohydrates in Irish potatoes may also help in regulating the blood glucose levels, which is essential for proper brain functioning.
Enough blood also gets to your brain thanks to the presence of potassium, which encourages the widening of blood vessels.
There are no known or established side effects of consuming Irish potatoes. However, persons with a long-standing medical history of allergy may develop some rash when they consume it in excess. But in all, Irish potato is safe to consume and incorporated into your daily diet routine.
Irish potato is a nutrient-dense and super delicious vegetable packed with numerous essential minerals vitamins and antioxidants, which holds countless health benefits to the human body.
A lot of medical research has linked this sweet spud with the health benefits listed above, making it an excellent addition to your diet routine.