The potato: Nothing better than a good ol tattie!

The potato

The potato came to Europe around 1600 and has been both loved and feared. It was the staple diet of the Irish  a before causing the death of thousands . In later years it was associated as the staple diet of the poor as the rich were still very wary as to it's safety.

As years have come and gone the potato has gone through many challenges as to whether it is a good thing or bad thing to have around, but there is no doubt that this little browny red thing has survived alot more turmoil than most and really does deserve alot more credit than it often gets.

In modern day times it has been loved by millions of people, curling up on their sofas watching films and munching into them in  the form of greasy,tasty potato chips.This habit has gotten the potato the unfortunate association with comfort eating . It is known as the loveable calorie bomb which most try to avoid.

When did the potato last get it’s rightful place on the healthy eating list ? and why is it not given more priority in calorie controlled diets?

It would be really great if some of you who read this would leave comments and ideas to support the tattie and help bring back a vegetable worth fighting for!

The Potato needs a new lease of life.

It has been said that, a diet of potatoes and milk contains all of the nutrients the human body needs to function properly in one day.

Potatoes are very rich in carbohydrates some protein, calcium, and niacin, have a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.

Potatoes are antioxidants with important health-promoting compounds such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid.


Potatoes are available all year-round belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family whose other members include tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. Unfortunately, most people eat potatoes prepared in greasy oil and served as French fries. Even though the baked potato is an excellent meal alternative it is often served with dollopings of butter, sour cream, melted cheese and bacon bits. These are all exceptionally tasty but for most of us potential contributors to a heart attack.

Without the extra fat source the baked potato is in fact an exceptionally healthy, low calorie, high fiber food that offers significant protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The potato was discarded from many diets of people wishing to go down in weight because of it’s reputation of being high in carbohydrates.

However, new research shows that this vegetable can actually protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory ailments and some types of cancers

Vitamin B6 in the potato is important for building human cells..

Vitamin B6 is involved in enzymatic reactions that help chemical reactions take place in the body. vitamin B6 is essential for the formation of virtually all new cells in the body it is also important for brain cell and nervous system activity.

Vitamin B6 is necessary for production of serotonin. When there are disturbances of serotonin it is often linked to depression.

Vitamin B6 important for athletic activity

Vitamin B6 is necessary for the breakdown of glycogen, the form in which sugar is stored in our muscle cells and liver, so this vitamin needs to be around in athletic performance and endurance.



Potatoes originated in the Andean mountain region of South America. Potatoes were brought to Europe by Spanish explorers who "discovered" them in South America in the early 16th century. Since potatoes are good sources of vitamin C, they were subsequently used on Spanish ships to prevent scurvy. They were not widely consumed throughout Europe, even though they were actively promoted as nutritious and were relatively inexpensive.

By the early 19th century, potatoes were being grown extensively throughout Northern Europe. Yet, in 1845 and 1846, a blight ruined most of the potato crop in Ireland and caused major devastation: this event is known as the Irish Potato Famine. Almost three-quarters of a million people died, and hundreds of thousands emigrated to other countries due to the blight famine.

When storing potatoes

While potatoes are often packed in a plastic bag, if the plastic bags are not perforated this can cause moisture which can adversely affect the quality of the potato.

Potatoes should be firm, well shaped and relatively smooth, and should be free of black rot. In addition, they should not be sprouting or have green coloration since this indicates that they may contain the toxic alkaloid solanine.

Solanine can cause several types of health problems and therefore green potatoes should be discarded.

Try to avoid buying ready washed potatoes as the washing often removes the potatoes natural protection to different bacterias.

Potatoes should be stored in cool dry places which prevents them from dehydrating and sprouting roots.

Never expose the potatoe to sunlight while storing as this can cause the development of solanine.

If you store them in the fridge the starch turns to sugar.

Tips for using potatoes

Potatoes are also good for you in other ways.


If you or your child has warts rub a cut raw potato onto them. Potatoes are high in potassium which promotes healing.


Fresh berry stains on your hands. Rubbing a slice of raw potato on the stains will get them right out. For stubborn stains, squirt some lemon juice on the potato.

Silverware cleans up superbly in potato water. After you boil some potatoes, save the water and soak silverware for about an hour. Rinse with clean water and polish with a chamois.

Potato skins are very nutritional

The potato skin is a concentrated source of dietary fiber. Why peel it off when there is more good in eating it ?

Salad Nicoise

New potatoes boiled and seved with chunks of tuna fish and steamed green beans dressed lightly with oil and vinegar.

Home made potatoe chips

No need for the deep fryer.

Slice your potatoes thin, toss them with a bit of oil, arrange them on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Bake in preset oven at 220 degrees until golden brown. Put on a rack to cool and crip up.

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Comments 1 comment

frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

Aisla, what a delightful treatise on the wonderful potato! You gave some vital B vitamin tips along with other nutritional info. As a kid, one special snack for me was slices of raw potato lightly salted. Yep! And I'm only a little bit Irish too... You have my vote FOR the potato! Thanks for a great hub!

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