Want to do something good for your heart? Find new ways to increase your intake of potassium. This nutrient may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and promote heart health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that diets containing foods that are a good source of potassium and that are low in sodium may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Did you know potatoes are a good source of potassium and contain no sodium? In fact, one medium potato (5.3 ounces) with the skin on contains 620 mg of potassium. That’s 18 percent of your daily requirement and more than a banana. Need more reasons to love potatoes? Read on.
1. Did you grow up listening to your mother tell you to eat your vegetables? Well, potatoes are vegetables, so eat away.
2. This one’s simple: one medium-sized potato (5.3 oz.) has 110 calories and is fat- and cholesterol- free.
3. Potatoes (with the skin) are a good source of potassium. Research shows that potassium may help lower blood pressure, contributing to a heart-healthy diet.
4. Hit by a cold? What you eat can help fight it off. A medium-sized spud has nearly half the recommended daily value of vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin B6.
5. Potatoes are also a source of dietary fiber, a complex carbohydrate, which is known to increase satiety and help with weight loss.
6. Russets, reds, fingerlings, blues, purples, yellows and whites – with six common fresh potato varieties, there’s always a new color or texture to experiment with.
7. No time to boil or bake? That’s a good thing. The quickest methods for cooking potatoes, microwaving and steaming, are also the healthiest because they allow the potato to retain the most nutritional value.
8. Potato casserole, potato salad, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, roasted potatoes – what do these dishes have in common? They can all be made in less than 20 minutes and without turning on the oven or boiling water.
9. Potatoes with skin rank highest for potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and the top 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits. That means they have more potassium than a banana, more than broccoli, more than an orange, more than spinach … you get the idea.
10. For a potato dish that’s packed with potassium, try Quick and Healthy Microwave Mashed Potatoes or visit www.potatogoodness.com for more ideas.
Quick and Healthy Microwave Potatoes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost per serving: $.37
Makes four servings
1 1/4 pounds Russet potatoes (Red, white or yellow-fleshed potatoes can be substituted)
1/2 cup each: nonfat plain yogurt and fat-free milk
1 1/2 tablespoons healthy butter spread
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic or seasoned salt)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Place whole potatoes (do not poke) into microwave-safe dish. Cover dish. (If covering dish with plastic wrap, poke small hole in plastic.) Microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes depending on strength of microwave. Use oven mitts to remove dish from microwave; carefully remove cover and mash well. Stir in yogurt, milk, butter spread and seasonings. Cook for a minute or two more to heat if necessary.
Nutritional analysis per serving with skins: