Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Traditional Irish cuisine is rustic, hearty, and simple. Subtle seasoning is used helping natural flavors to be fully appreciated. Beef and lamb is often roasted or stewed along with carrots, turnips, and potatoes. While a steady Irish diet is designed to put meat on your bones, those weight conscious can still benefit from the iconic potato and its health benefits.

One medium potato has 165 calories (less than 1 cup of rice) and is packed with 4.7g fiber, 4.3g protein, and 20% of your recommended daily potassium. Very few people meet the 4700 mg daily potassium recommendation.

Potassium builds muscles, synthesizes protein, controls electrical activity of the heart, and maintains acid-base balance in the body. Increasing potassium, magnesium, and calcium intake can help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease; all of which are found in potatoes.

Surprisingly potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 51% of your recommended daily amount.

Quercetin, a flavonoid found in potato skin, has anti-inflammatory properties and can protect from free radical damage.

Potatoes also contain alpha-lipoic acid which can help regulate blood glucose, improve vasodilation, and protect against retinopathy.

Potatoes should not be fried or loaded with butter, sour cream, or cheese. Boiled or roasted with the skin on is the healthiest way to enjoy them. Aim for potatoes the size of a computer mouse or cut large potatoes in half. In the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day try our lightened up
version of classic pub fare; fish and chips the heart healthy way.