Potatoes Are Super Foods
We’re told that potatoes aren’t good for us. It’s true if you’re talking about GMO potatoes, which most people eat these days without ever knowing it. Please don’t ever eat GMO anything. But grown traditionally—unsprayed and certified organic—potatoes can not only be good for you, they can be great. You see, potatoes belong to a very special yet little-known category of food known as safe starches. These safe starches are far removed from the grains and cereals that make us fat and foster degenerative diseases. I’ll tell you more about them in a moment. Meanwhile, it’s time to celebrate the humble potato and its wonderful gifts.
Potatoes come in more than 100 varieties. They can be prepared in almost as many forms—steamed, boiled, baked, sautéed, or what have you. The botanical name for potatoes is Solanum tuberosum. They were introduced to Europeans in 1621, when Spanish Conquistadors brought them back from South America, where they’d been cultivated since 8000 BC. Seafaring men relied heavily on them as a source of Vitamin C to protect sailors from scurvy.
Nutrient Rich Potatoes
Potatoes are now the fourth largest crop grown throughout the world. They’re good for supplying you with important B complex vitamins, especially vitamin B5, B6, niacin, and folate. They’re also full of minerals like phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, copper and iron as well as antioxidants, phytonutrients, carotenoids and flavonoids. In 1995, the heroic potato was the first vegetable to be grown in space, to feed astronauts on long space voyages. Now let’s take a look at where some of the false beliefs, which have undermined our appreciation for organic potatoes, come from. I think you’ll find this interesting.
You may not know that for thousands upon thousands of years, our ancestors lived not in forests as we have been told, but in grasslands. They survived by digging up tubers, roots and corms—all of which are ancestors to today’s potato. Early man relied heavily on these starchy plants which today are known as safe starches. What scientists now call the Paleolithic diet was made up of 15 to 20% of these foods dug from the ground, eaten with 50 to 70% of fatty animal-based foods, including insects, eggs, birds, reptiles, and creatures from the sea.
Then, along came Loren Cordain, who is considered the father of the Paleolithic diet. He made a few inaccurate assumptions. He claimed that our ancestors never ate starchy root vegetables—something we know now to be simply untrue. By the way, Cordain is said to have greased his pots with canola oil—heaven forbid—and washed down his Paleo meals with diet soda. What he apparently didn’t do was delve deep enough into the vast research now available in regard to diets of primitive peoples from experts like Samuel Hearne, Weston Price, Stefansson, and Cabeza de Vaca. Anyway, here’s the truth: Early humans were genetically programmed to thrive on these starches—a group to which our modern potato now belongs. We still are today.
Safe starches include white rice, potatoes, sago, tapioca, and sweet potatoes. Grown organically, all of these foods can help improve digestive health. But they need to be cooked gently, so any natural plant toxins—which all plants contain to some degree—become neutralized. By the way, brown rice is not considered a safe starch since the phytin it contains can interfere with the absorption of certain minerals and provoke an immune response. There are no known autoimmune antibodies generated by white rice protein. When it comes to potatoes, you will want to store them in a cool dark place. The unwanted solanine and chaconine toxins that they contain are activated if you expose them to light and heat. It’s equally important that you throw away any potatoes that may have become discolored or are no longer fresh.
protect your health and your body shape
Any healthy person with a clean digestive tract can eat organically grown potatoes with no problems. Naturally, if you have an autoimmune disorder or are seriously diabetic, you must consult your health practitioner before assuming potatoes are fine for you. As far as the worries many people have of gaining weight when they eat potatoes are concerned—fear not. Eaten occasionally and in moderation, none of the safe starches cause weight gain. The foods you need to cut way down on or even eliminate altogether if you want to protect your health and your body shape are the conventional grains and cereals, as well as legumes, added sugars and vegetable seed oils. Then you’ll be well on your way to a whole new experience of wellbeing. Enjoy.