Ever heard of Solanum Tuberosum? The fancy word is a botanical name for the most popular vegetable on the planet that we popularly call potato or 'aloo.'

A well-known easy-to-grow crop is a starchy underground tuber that comes into existence at the root of the plant. Potatoes belong to the nightshade plant family and are indeed a distant cousin to the tomatoes. A native to America where its roots are originally from, potato is being cultivated for many centuries in most parts of South America by Peruvians. While in India, we eat only a few varieties of potato, there are over 100 types of edible ones relished across the globe. Brought to Europe at the beginning of the 16th century by Americans, who would have imagined that potato will become the third-largest crop on the planet?

At present, China is the world's largest potato producer while India, Germany, Russia, Poland, and United States also are top producers of this vegetable. Easy to harvest, procure, less expensive, and easier to preserve, a potato has been an inevitable food item on the plate of maybe almost every single soul on earth. Laden with every kind of nutrition, the health-promoting properties of potatoes are numerous.

It contains several vitamins, carotenoids and powerful phenylpropanoids-the largest group of metabolites produced by plants. This 99.9% fat-free vegetable contains Vitamins B6, C, and E, and essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and whopping amounts of potassium as well. Potato varieties that have purple or red skin also contain high amounts of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that may help to reduce the risk of many diseases, improve lipid profiles, and decrease mild to severe inflammation.

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The word potato has been derived from the Spanish word ‘Patata’ which later got metamorphosed into the name potato. Laden with robust wellness incentives that are beneficial for human health, potato is consumed in abundance all over the world. Super easy to cook, one can boil, bake, fry, roast or just steam and relish it as a side dish, as the main course or can simply snack it up. A bowl of French fries or a bag of potato chips, no one says no to a humble, super delicious potato or a delicacy made from this starchy vegetable.

Also Read: Also Read: Potato Milk: Discover Benefits, Nutrition And How To Make This Non-dairy Alternative At Home

Nutritional Content

The nutrients found in potatoes that are cooked with the skin will have the following nutrients:

  • Carbohydrates: Potatoes are mainly composed of carbohydrates which are found in the form of starch and are the predominant part of this tuber. The carbohydrates found in potatoes are complex healthy ones that the body can easily digest
  • Sugars: Potatoes are laden with three kinds of sugar that is sucrose, glucose, and fructose in significant amounts. This is a prime reason that this vegetable falls in the category of high glycaemic index vegetable
  • Fibre: Not a very high-fibre food, but a medium-sized potato may provide a significant source of fibre. However, its content is highest in its skin followed by the flesh
  • Starch: These tubers contain different amounts of resistant starch which helps to feed the friendly bacteria of the gut and aids digestive health
  • Vitamin C: Not many know that potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C. A medium baked potato contains more Vitamin C content than 4 big tomatoes can provide
  • Potassium: The predominant mineral in potatoes, potassium content in one big potato can be a little more than in a medium-sized banana. But just like the fibre, it is concentrated on the skin of this veggie
  • Folate: Concentrated in the peel part yet again, folate is found in potatoes that have coloured flesh and skin such as the red and purple ones
  • Magnesium: High in this mineral, one big, boiled potato with skins provides a whopping 45 mg of magnesium which makes up for almost about 15 per cent of recommended daily value

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Numerous Health Benefits Of Potatoes

There are many antioxidative capacities and health benefits of potatoes, more so when their skin is kept intact. Some of them are as follows:

Promotes Heart Health

Potato consumption has been associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease as it is loaded with fibre, and B6 content and does not contain any cholesterol. All this is a great boon to keep the heart healthy and free of any ailments.

Augments Vision

Ample amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein carotenoids are found in potatoes specifically with yellow flesh ones. Carotenoids contain anti-inflammatory properties and have several beneficial effects on eye health. Lutein is known to prevent age-related macular degeneration that may lead to partial vision loss, blindness, or impairment. These carotenoids may thus help boost eye health.

Balances Abnormal BP Levels

Hypertension has been one of the main risk factors for heart disease. Potatoes contain chlorogenic acid and several minerals and compounds that may help lower blood pressure. The high potassium content of potatoes in particular helps to reduce the risk of elevated blood pressure and reduce several cardiac anomalies.

Also Read: Cardiac Arrest: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Aids Weight Management

Potatoes due to their starchy nature are very filling and curb hunger pangs. That is the reason that this vegetable is known to support weight management. High starch content also prolongs the feeling of fullness thus reducing an unwanted calorie intake.

Protects Against Pathogen Borne Illnesses

Glycoalkaloids are a class of phytonutrients produced by potatoes that are also responsible to give a strong nice flavour to this starchy tuber. Moreover, glycoalkaloids can lower cholesterol and they also become a natural defence against food-borne pathogens that help the body keep illnesses induced by them at bay.  

Supports Healthy Brain Function

Chlorogenic acid and other compounds in potatoes have proved to support healthy cognitive function. Not only it aids memory but also protects the brain from getting affected by Alzheimer’s and memory loss.

Combats Harmful Radicals

Mostly concentrated in its skin, one of the compounds called polyphenols is found in purple potatoes. Most red and purple-fleshed potatoes also have an ample number of flavonoids called catechin and epicatechin. Both these are potent antioxidants that help the body to fight off free radicals and prevent the occurrence of many ailments.

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Cooking With The Potatoes

When it comes to cooking this famous tuber veggie, there are super endless explorations that one can do with them. A simple mish-mashing or a boil, or you can go for a baked or steamed recipe, there is no dearth of ideas when experimenting with a potato. And the best part!  it can be eaten any time of the day, though the best time to eat potatoes is for breakfast to fill up your energy and nutrient requirement for the day. Always eat potatoes with their skin, to get the best of nutrients. Peeling them before cooking will lead to the loss of many essential vitamins and minerals.

Replete with almost every little nutrient that a human body needs to survive and enormous cooking ideas, there is no reason that a potato should not be on your plate. Thus, we bring two super delicious recipes to make this humble veggie a part of your meal plan.

Gorkhali Chutney
Gorkhali chutney


4 medium potatoes (boiled and cubed)

4 to 5 green chillies

2 onions finely chopped

1 cup vegetables - cucumber, radish, tomato, peas

1/2 tsp crushed Sichuan pepper or Himalayan pink salt

3 tsp sesame seeds

Black salt as per taste

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp oil

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

2 dry red chillies

1 tbsp coriander seeds

A small bunch of freshly chopped coriander leaves to garnish


Dry roast sesame seeds, coriander seeds and the dry red chillies

Let the sesame change its colour

Grind well into a coarse powder and keep it aside

Take potatoes, green chillies, onions, and other fresh vegetables in a pan and mix them well

Mix them up with Sichuan pepper, sesame powder, lemon juice and salt

Saute fenugreek seeds in another pan and let them crackle

Temper the mixture with hot oil and sautéed fenugreek seeds

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves

Serve gorkhali chutney with a gravy-based dish


A traditional Nepali side dish, this delicacy has become an all-time favourite nowadays. Gorkhali chutney contains potato and green veggies as its key ingredients that contain all essentials vitamin and minerals. Sesame seeds also are an important component that contains manganese and calcium which can augment bone health.

Aaloo Ka Halwa
Aaloo ka halwa

6 small potatoes

1 cup clarified butter or ghee

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp saffron food colour (optional)

¼ tsp cardamom powder

To roast dry fruits:

1 tbsp ghee/ clarified butter

2 tbsp raisins

3 tbsp chopped cashews

3 tbsp finely cut almonds


In a pressure cooker, pressure cook the potatoes for about 4 whistles

Peel the potato skin, grate, and keep it aside

In a large skillet heat the ghee and add the potatoes

Saute for about 5 minutes or so

Add the sugar and saffron colour

Keep stirring until the sugar starts to melt

Keep cooking on medium flame until the ghee separates itself

Soon the halwa starts to hold shape, releasing the ghee

In another pan heat, the ghee kept for dry fruit roasting

Add raisins, cashew, and almonds to it

Roast the nuts until they become crispy and appear golden brown

Spread the roasted nuts over the halwa

Add cardamom powder and mix well

Enjoy hot aloo ka halwa topped with some extra dry fruits


Potato and dry fruits are the key ingredients of this sumptuous, sweet dessert. Potatoes have potassium, magnesium and starch and dry fruits are a great source of calcium, zinc, and vitamins like vitamins A, D, B6, K1 and E. All these make this delicacy super nutrient dense and of course delicious!