The Exercise Space

I recently had a conversation with a client about how she always thought white potatoes were “bad’ just as white bread was ‘bad’. Not the case.potatoes.jpg Where as sweet potatoes have more fiber in them, the good old white potato shouldn’t be shunned…unless their in the form of french fries! ;) Within its red, yellow, white or brown protective exterior, a potato can provide much of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of a number of vitamins and minerals. For example, potatoes have about 620 mg of potassium-that’s more than a banana. Potassium is essential to the body because of its role in attaining optimal muscle performance and improving the nerves’ response to stimulation. Iron, essential in helping the body convert food to energy as well as resist infection, is also present.

One would expect potatoes to have minerals, as they spend their life underground. But potatoes are also a great source of vitamins, even supplying vitamin C which is essential to help maintain healthy connective tissue and heal wounds. They are a first-rate provider of vitamin A and beta carotene (a compound your body converts into vitamin A), both of which promote healthy skin, hair and eyesight. In fact, a serving of Sweet Potatoes has four times the recommended daily allowance for beta carotene. The many varieties of Washington potatoes are also good sources of B vitamins, helping the body make healthy red blood cells and amino acids.

Potatoes contain no fat or cholesterol and minimal sodium. What they do have is natural fiber in the skins, all those vitamins and minerals and great flavor. And a six-ounce potato contains 2 grams of highly digestible protein, almost as much as half a glass of milk, making it a great foundation for a whole meal. When eaten with the skin, sweet potatoes offer more fiber than oatmeal! A medium potato (about 2.5 inches in diameter) has approx. 160 calories.

Because of the variety of potato colors, shapes, sizes and textures and their versatility as recipe ingredients, you can have potatoes for breakfast, lunch or dinner…or all three!

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