Potatoes are a vegetable used in many kitchens around the world as a staple food. They’re harvested year-round in areas across the globe and belong to the same family as peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. If left to flower and fruit, the potato plant features a fruit similar to a tomato; however, this fruit is inedible. The part of the potato plant eaten resides underground. It’s a swollen part of the stem called a tuber.1 It’s this portion that’s referred to as a “potato” and is sold in stores world wide.
There are about 100 varieties of potatoes, including white, red, and yellow.1 They can be baked into a variety of dishes, including soups, casseroles, mashed potatoes, potato chips, and French fries. Potatoes pair well with seasoning herbs like garlic or rosemary.
Potato Uses and Health Benefits
Potatoes are used as
Potato benefits also include blood pressure-lowering properties thanks to compounds in them called
Among potato uses, they can also be used topically to treat the following conditions:
Potato Side Effects and Precautions
Potatoes are considered safe to eat and to use topically. However, it’s important to prepare them correctly. Be sure to wash and scrub potatoes before cooking them to remove dirt. Also make sure that the sprouts, or “eyes,” of the potato are removed before eating or cooking them. The sprouts contain a poisonous ingredient called solanine that is toxic even in small amounts. This poison can also be found in green potatoes, which occur after the plant has been sunburnt.2,3 Do not eat green
If you or a loved one eats a part of potato containing solanine, seek medical attention immediately. Potato side effects may include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, headache, and more. These symptoms can be delayed for up to 8 to 10 hours.3 While this sounds scary, potatoes with their sprouts removed are safe to eat.
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