Potatoes are vegetables that grow underground and thrive in cool, dark places. While they are mainly grown in gardens, they can also be grown in tin trash cans filled with dirt that are kept in cool, dark places such as basements and cellars. For people who do not have a yard or the option of growing a garden for their potatoes, sometimes growing them in a trash can is their only option.
Potatoes originated in the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia. Spanish conquistadors became interested enough in potatoes during their quests that they took some home to their land. The vegetable eventually became a standard on Spanish ships after they discovered that eating potatoes prevented scurvy.
Eating potatoes at every meal has became a staple for many families, making potatoes the number one vegetable crop worldwide. Potatoes provide significant benefits to one's health when eaten properly. They help prevent cancer and control high blood pressure and diabetes.
It is important to remember when preparing potatoes to leave the skin intact. The potato skin contains all the vitamins and nutrients, whereas the inside is basically just starch. Boiling potatoes in water will cause them to lose vital nutrients. If boiling is necessary when preparing potatoes, it is essential to keep the water, reusing it for soups, to preserve the vitamins. It is best to bake a potato with the skin intact when preparing potatoes for a meal.
Potato skins contain an anti-carcinogenic compound called chlorogenic acid. This particular acid helps the fiber in potatoes absorb carcinogens that are found in grilled foods. Eating potatoes with grilled foods is common and important when preserving health and fighting off cancer-causing substances.
Eating potatoes can calm a queasy stomach. The potato skin contains vitamin B6, which is good for eliminating nausea. Potatoes are high in potassium, and foods rich in potassium tend to keep high blood pressure under control. Another added benefit to eating potatoes is feeling fuller longer, helping keep weight under control.
Diabetics can benefit from eating potatoes for several reasons. Potatoes contain vitamin C, a nutrient known for helping regulate sugar levels in the blood. They also contain complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates must be broken down before being absorbed into the bloodstream. Sugar enters the bloodstream steadily rather than all at once, helping keep blood sugar levels stable.
Potatoes can be prepared a number of different ways and are extremely versatile and fun to try in new recipes. They are easy on the taste buds and enjoyed by most people. When eaten moderately at meals and prepared properly, the benefits of eating potatoes can result in a longer, healthier life.