Are potatoes vegetables? This is the most common question that people ask when balancing their diets because, supposedly, all vegetables are suitable for the body. Is a potato a vegetable? If so, then can eating larger quantities of potatoes be right for you? We delve into the answers to “is a potato a vegetable?” in today’s blog.
Do Potatoes Count as A Vegetable? Are potatoes a vegetable?
Regular potatoes, blue potatoes, and all other variants in the United States are undeniable that Americans and other nationalities consume large quantities of potatoes, especially French fries.
The reason why there is a question as to whether they are genuinely vegetables is that they are often excluded from the normal portioning of vegetables in recommended diets. This is simple: potatoes and other root crops contribute a large quantity of starch or carbohydrates to every meal.
Therefore, they cannot be included in vegetables that generally provide more essential nutrients per serving than potatoes. It’s important to realize that kids’ and adults’ recommended portions are based on macronutrients’ actual ratios vs. micronutrients.
This ensures that you will arrive at good results regarding your nutrition when you follow the diet plan. When there are too many carbohydrates in any diet, you can be sure that what will follow is weight gain, and this can be a hindrance to any existing weight loss efforts you may have.
What Kind of Vegetable Is a Potato?
To settle the question, potatoes are and will forever be vegetables. Potatoes are classified as root crops, and they are native to both Southern and Northern America. It is believed that the wild ancestors of potatoes were first domesticated and then cultivated by ancient peoples of the Americas before they naturally spread as they were an easy source of energy. Scientific research has found that potatoes originated in Bolivia, and it is also believed that the domestication of this crop took place some seven or ten thousand years ago.
Are Potatoes Legumes or Vegetables?
Potatoes are most certainly not legumes as they are a member of the nightshade family. Potatoes share lineage with tomato plants and other root vegetables. There are also different kinds of potato variants, each with their unique attributes.
Russet potatoes are the variant that people think of when they think of the word potatoes. This is a starchy variant and is used most frequently for baking recipes. You can also mash it well or use it for friend recipes. Russet potatoes are the most common type of potatoes in the market.
Jewel yam potatoes is not precisely a potato in the strictest sense but is instead a sweet potato/root coop. Find the jewel yam with the common trade name “sweet potato.” Jewel yam potatoes are often roasted for that extra kick of sweetness and smokiness, or baked with different ingredients.
The Japanese sweet potato is a pink potato variant that presents us with nutty notes and a white flesh. The flavor profile is most balanced, and it can either lean toward being sweet or being nutty. You can bake the Japanese sweet potato or steam it as it can easily be tenderized. For those who love grilling root crops, this is also the right choice.
The Rose Finn Apple potato, on the other hand, is not starchy but mostly waxy. This variant is classified as an heirloom fingerling variant and is often knobby with either yellowish or pinking skin. The flavor profile is earthier, and it can be cooked in various ways: as part of a salad, fried, sautéed, grilled, or boiled.
Do potatoes have health benefits?
If any vegetable is consumed in moderation, it can offer a wide range of health benefits. Potatoes are often dismissed as a health food because of how they are generally prepared: deep-fried with lots of oil or smothered in gravy and salt. It’s the additional ingredients that pose a problem to people who want to continue eating healthy. However, if your cooking method and preparation can remove the oil and salt, potatoes can be relatively healthy. Below are some benefits of potatoes:
- Potatoes are naturally rich in phytonutrients, and these natural compounds serve the body in more ways than one. They help maintain cellular integrity and improve the impulse of nerve cells, and so much more. Getting a sufficient amount of phytonutrients through your diet is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Potatoes naturally contain flavonoids, carotenoids, and caffeic acid, too.
- Potatoes deliver a quantity of vitamin C to the body. Vitamin C is required for the natural functioning of so many organs, including the lungs. With sufficient vitamin C in your diet, you can prevent cardiovascular issues and even cancer.
- The natural dietary fiber in potatoes can help deflect cholesterol and improve a person’s cardiovascular status. Over time, the impact of a fiber-rich diet becomes more apparent. If you start early, you can protect yourself from blood pressure spikes when you get old. Dietary fiber captures low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol in the body and helps expel them.
This reduces the overall LDL levels in the body, which is essential for heart health, especially to those who already have heart health issues. The compounds in potatoes have also been shown to dilate the blood vessels, which is useful if you want to avoid coronary blockages and clots from taking place. The vasodilation of the blood vessels is essential to keeping the blood pressure down.
- Potatoes are also known for improving the CNS (central nervous system) because of the B-family of vitamins. The B-family of vitamins is essential for synthesizing neurological chemicals that regulate activity in the brain and the CNS. These compounds include dopamine and serotonin, and they help reduce the incidence of clinical depression and ADHD.