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For the love of spuds

It saddens me that my favorite starchy carb has a bad rep as being fattening. True, it’s not going to do you any good to inhale a massive plate of French fries every day, but the fact is that potatoes have a plethora of performance-boosting and cancer-fighting properties. Just because they’re white doesn’t mean spuds are nutritionally empty. Mashed, baked or boiled, a potato packs way more nutrients than a cup of pasta.

Carb up

A medium-sized baked potato contains 37 grams of carbohydrates—or about 10 percent of the recommended intake for active people. These carbs readily enter the bloodstream and efficiently replenish glycogen storage.

Boost fiber and trim up

The fiber source in potatoes promotes intestinal-tract health, blocking a small amount of calorie absorption. Research has shown that women who eat fiber from root vegetables like potatoes have less body fat and smaller waistlines. Don’t worry about tossing the skin– although it will decrease your fiber intake by 50 percent, the majority of other key vitamins and minerals are in the inside flesh.

Keep your heart happy

One whole potato provides an abundance of potassium and 35 percent of the Vitamin C you need daily, protecting your arteries from the negative effects of cholesterol and maintaining healthy blood pressure and circulation. One cup of its brightly-colored sister spud offers over 700 percent of your daily Vitamin A needs, 65 percent of daily vitamin C intake, and seven grams of fiber. All types of potatoes are rich sources of antioxidants, and russet potatoes are among the top 20 vegetables containing such powerful disease-fighting compounds.

Boost exercise recovery

Colored potatoes (think outside the box and pick the purple ones!) get their color from powerful antioxidants that stave off cancer and age-related vision deterioration. Training for a race? The antioxidants found in potatoes are similar to those in broccoli and spinach, which may aid in long run recovery.

Power Potatoes Recipe:

The following self-created mashed potato recipe is a 20-minute quickie and a staple side dish in my kitchen.

Cube six washed russet potatoes with skin on. Steam in a pot with one cup salted water for 15 minutes. Remove from heat (don’t drain). Add a cup of Greek yogurt (I love Chobani 0% plain) and mash with two tablespoons of melted butter and a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix. Serve alongside baked salmon or a turkey burger and enjoy.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing lrstewar@gmail.com.