Potatoes are potentially the latest superfood, according to a small study that showed that two servings of potatoes daily helps reduce high blood pressure.
18 predominately obese men and women with high blood pressure were chosen for the study. They were then asked to eat six to eight purple potatoes (with the skins) twice daily for the time period of a month.
By the end of the study, the average diastolic blood pressure reading between the participants had fallen 4.3%. The average systolic blood pressure, on the other hand, had fallen by an average of 3.5%.
Purple-skinned potatoes are highly beneficial due to the fact that they contain high amounts of antioxidants.
Surprisingly, none of the participants of the study gained weight as a result of their potato consumption.
Microwaved potatoes, free of butter, oil or ketchup, are best for health, scientists say. Baked, boiled, and mashed potatoes are also acceptable. Microwaving is preferred because it preserves more nutrients than fried and roasted potatoes, due to a lower cooking temperature.
“The potato, more than perhaps any other vegetable, has an undeserved bad reputation that has led many health-conscious people to ban them from their diet,” states study author Dr. Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. “In reality, when prepared without frying and served without butter, margarine or sour cream, one potato has only 110 calories and dozens of healthful phytochemicals and vitamins.”
The golf-ball-sized potatoes that were used in the study are widely available in supermarkets nationwide.
“The skin is key,” states Londa Sandon, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwester Medical Center in Dallas. “That’s where the nutrients are.”