In these days of low-carb diets, potatoes tend to get lumped in with other carbs such as bread and pasta, but scientists at the University of California revealed that the humble potato is the perfect diet food and contains many of the nutrients our modern diets lack.

Research shows that potatoes are a super food.

Potatoes contain more potassium than a banana, vitamin C, some protein, iron, magnesium, beneficial plant compounds and B vitamins such as B6, thiamin, niacin, folic acid and riboflavin. Also the more colourful the potato is the greater the amount of antioxidants.

Potatoes are low in calories, tick number one. A medium-sized potato has about 130 calories that is only slightly more than a diet, single portion of yogurt.

Secondly, potatoes are also filling. If you eat a portion of potatoes it’s unlikely you’ll still be hungry. According to the University of California, potatoes contain proteinase inhibitors which suppress appetite.

The fact that they are so high in potassium is a major plus.  The U.S. Academy of Sciences has estimated that we need between 1,875 to 5,635 milligrams (mgs) of potassium per day. Most North Americans only get half of that amount. “Potassium is like sex and money, you can’t get too much,” according to Dr David Young, Professor of Physiology at the University of Mississippi.

Potatoes are the perfect answer for North America’s aging population. A large number of people are suffering from hypertension and this means they’re being prescribed diuretics to control the problem. These patients are low in potassium, they’re taking diuretics and have irregular heart rates.

So there you have it in a nutshell if you give up potatoes you’re putting yourself at a risk or obesity and heart attacks. Well at least that the excuse you can give when you order a double portion of mashed potatoes!

*Originally published in July 2014.