Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
27 Nov 2020
1:32 pm

Three reasons to choose potatoes this festive season

Citizen Reporter

From their nutrient-rich profile to how filling they are, there are a number of reasons to choose potatoes.

When one thinks about healthy eating, potatoes aren’t always on the list of foods that come to mind. However, Potatoes South Africa (PSA) aims to change this with a new, informative campaign.

In future, consider these reasons when adding potatoes to your shopping list.

1. Potatoes help you reach a better micronutrient profile

According to PSA, potatoes are a good source of vitamins C and B6, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and pantothenic acid.

According to food influencer and dietician Ashleigh Solomon, all vegetables are nutritionally beneficial.

“It is important to consume a variety of vegetables to reach a better micronutrient profile, one of these vegetables, being potatoes and while they are commonly found in dinner plates across the country, South Africans can easily increase the nutrients they consume by adding potatoes,” explained Solomon.

Healthline advised trying other types of potatoes, like sweet potatoes (red potatoes) as they contained fewer calories, fewer carbs and slightly more vitamin K and niacin.

Picture: iStock

2. Potatoes help to neutralise potential free radicals

According to the National Library of Medicine, potatoes are rich in compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids.

These compounds act as antioxidants in the body by neutralising potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals.

Live Science explained free radicals as molecules with unpaired electrons that rob other cells of electrons, causing damage and contributing to many diseases.

When free radicals accumulate, they can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

3. Potatoes help with weight loss

This is because potatoes are also incredibly filling.

According to Solomon, “this may help you lose weight by curbing hunger pains and cravings”.

Potatoes are also naturally gluten-free.

“Perhaps one of the potatoes most winning attributes is how versatile they are,” added Solomon.

Solomon, who goes by the moniker “Ashthedietitian”, was brought on board by PSA to educate South Africans on how they could better their eating habits through a campaign called #OurPotatoesYourWay.

This after research done by Nielsen indicated that only 31% of participants ate as healthily.

The Nielsen research further showed that the average South African plate consisted of 41% starch, 24% meat and 13% vegetables if you considered beans, tomatoes, cabbage, and onions.

“We often think eating healthy is akin to breaking the bank, but this is not true. Potatoes South Africa has partnered up with dietitian Ashleigh Solomon to show South Africans how through the versatility of potatoes, everyday meals can not only be affordable but healthy as well,” explained Immaculate Zinde, marketing manager at PSA.

Another aim of the partnership was to show people that the notion that healthy-looking food was not tasty, was a thing of the past while alerting them to newer, healthier preparation methods.

“Through hosting a series of weekly challenges called #OurPotatoesYourWay, Potatoes South Africa will invite various industry experts to highlight the multiple elements potatoes possess and how ordinary South Africans can benefit from them,” said PSA in a statement.

“By challenging more South Africans to partake in our challenge, we hope to educate them on the health and versatility of this beloved staple that is often overlooked in so many households. We also aim to cast a light on how South Africans take control of their health by choosing a more balanced lifestyle every time they eat,” concluded Zinde.

Compiled by Kaunda Selisho

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