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Five Reasons why Potatoes are not All Bad for You

Update Date: Aug 19, 2014 03:06 PM EDT

Potatoes have earned quite a reputation for being an unhealthy food since they are packed with carbohydrates. Oftentimes, it is the way that they are prepared, whether it is deep-fried or stuffed with cheese that makes them such fatty foods. However, potatoes without all the extra added calories and fat could actually provide some healthy benefits.

Here are five healthy things about potatoes:

1. Potassium

One large potato can contain up to 1,600 milligrams of potassium, which is around one half of the daily-recommended value for adults. To put this into perspective, one large spud has about the same amount of potassium as four medium bananas. Potassium is an important mineral that helps conduct electrical charges in the body, which are key to hydration, athletic performance and blood pressure.

2. Fiber

Eating the entire potato with the skin on can be a rich source of fiber. The skin itself contains about seven grams of dietary fiber, which is one fourth of the recommended daily value. Without the skin, the potato only has about one dietary gram of fiber. Fiber is beneficial for the digestive system and can also prevent obesity. Other studies have linked fiber to lowering heart attack risk, reducing cholesterol levels and preventing diabetes.

3. Vitamin C

The skin of a large potato also contains nearly 29 milligrams of vitamin C, which means that one potato can fulfill half of the daily-recommended value for this vitamin. The vitamin C content in a large potato is also equivalent to about three oranges. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for normal growth and development, which includes healing and repairing wounds in order to maintain the health of one's cartilage, bones and teeth.

4. Manganese

Even though manganese might be a lesser-known nutrient, it is still a very important one. Manganese helps with the body process protein, carbohydrates and cholesterol. Healthy levels of manganese have also been tied to bone formation. One large spud with the skin on contains a healthy source of manganese.

5. Vitamin B6

An entire large potato has 46 percent of the daily-recommended value for vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 contributes to the functions of the cardiovascular, digestive, immune, muscular and nervous systems. It also provides brain hormones that are essential for good health.

Even though the potato has been shunned by many healthy diet plans, it is not a bad food to eat, granted that it is consumed without being dressed up in sour cream and butter or smothered in chili.

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