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Plant Spotlight: Potatoes

  • 2 min read

We love, love, love a good spud here at Urban Revolution! These versatile veggies are easy to grow in Perth and a staple food in many households.

Potatoes are an underground tuber that grow on the roots of the Solanum Tuberosum plant. Originating in the South American Andes, they are now cultivated worldwide and there are up to 2000 different varieties!

potatoes with fork

Learn more about how to grow potatoes in our potato growing guide

Spuds are sustainable, with a low carbon and water footprint, and less land is required for their production compared to other crops, according to a 2021 study in the journal Potato Research. 

potato plant

The nutrient content of potatoes varies depending on the variety and how they are prepared - frying adds more calories for example. Potatoes provide many essential nutrients, like potassium, vitamin C and fibre. The skin of potatoes contains a significant amount of vitamins and minerals which are reduced by peeling. Leaving the skin on also increases the fibre content.

Potatoes are rich in antioxidants

Potatoes are rich in compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids which act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants are important because they neutralise potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals which can otherwise increase the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Studies have found that coloured potatoes like purple potatoes may have three to four times more anitoxidants than white potatoes.

roast potatoes and carrots

Red potatoes contain fewer calories and fibre than white potatoes.

Potatoes may improve blood sugar control

Potatoes contain a specific type of starch known as resistant starch, which is not broken down and fully absorbed by the body. Resistant starch ends up in the large intestine where it acts as a source of nutrients for beneficial bacteria in your gut. Researchers have found that resistant starch can offer many health benefits such as reducing insulin resistance which in turn improves blood sugar control.

Naturally gluten free and filling

Potatoes are an excellent choice of carbohydrate for anyone following a gluten free diet. They may also improve gut health by providing a food source for beneficial gut bacteria when it reaches the large intestine. Potatoes are also known to be incredibly filling, and may help in a weight loss diet as they have been found to curb hunger pains.

 potato salad

Deliciously Versatile

Potatoes are delicious and versatile! They can be prepared in many different ways including boiled, baked and fried. Leaving the skins on when baking or frying will increase the nutrient content and add more flavour.

We'd love to know how you enjoy potatoes? Share your favourite potato preparation tips and recipes here in the comments or via our social media.

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