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Potatoes, Yes Potatoes, Are Your New Favorite Superfood

There isn’t a great definition of a superfood. The word is just a marketing term used to describe a food that is supposed to be very healthy. When most people hear ‘superfood,’ they often think of kale and other dark leafy greens. These foods are very nutrient-dense, but is that all it takes to be a superfood? 

The problem with a term like superfoods is it ends up being very subjective. How healthy does food have to be to qualify? And are we only looking at micronutrient density? Does protein content – the essential macronutrient used for maintaining muscle and promoting strong hormonal health – not matter when deciding if a food is super or not? 

A superfood should be a food that can do it all. It should be nutrient-dense, filling, and provide a good amount of the macronutrients we need for energy and recovery. When you look at it through that lens, the list of foods that qualify as superfoods starts to change. 

Don’t get us wrong, dark leafy greens are great, but if that were the only thing you ate, you wouldn’t do very well. On the other hand, high-quality red meat and organ meats have it all. Those foods are packed with nutrients, protein, and healthy fats. They also have key micronutrients plants don’t have, like vitamin A, more bioavailable forms of iron, vitamins B12, and zinc. 

But let’s not turn this into a vegan versus carnivore debate about superfoods. Some people will argue that meats can’t be “super” because of their high saturated fat content. After all, high saturated fat leads to high cholesterol and poor heart health. Right? It’s not that simple, but we will bookmark that discussion for another time. 

There is another superfood that comes in as neutral in this debate. It’s like the Switzerland between vegan and carnivore proponents. Both sides love it, so we can all agree on how super it is. That superfood is the one and only potato. 

Potatoes are a nutrient-rich superfood you need to have on your plate

No, this does not mean that every food product made from potatoes is healthy for you. There is nothing super or even remotely beneficial about potato chips, french fries, or those mashed potatoes you had last night that were made of equal parts potato and butter. 

But a plain potato does it all. In the early 1900s, we already knew humans could live off potatoes alone, thanks to the work of Danish nutritionist Mikkel Hindhede. Of course, there is a difference between what your body needs to survive and what it needs to thrive, but the writing was on the wall early on. Potatoes are special. 

Since then, more research has shown that potatoes are a very nutrient-dense food. They are high in B vitamins, a micronutrient most plant foods lack, and are packed with essential minerals like magnesium and potassium. Potatoes actually have more potassium and a lot less sugar than bananas. 

The best part is how filling a potato is. With most Americans hoping to avoid unwanted weight gain this holiday season, finding satiating foods that will make you feel full sooner is crucial. According to a study from the University of Sydney in Australia, potatoes are the most satiating food, meaning they will satisfy your hunger with the least calories. 

The key takeaway? Potatoes are great, or as some may say, they are super. The problem is how they are usually prepared and served. A baked potato with salt is a fantastic nutrient-dense side to any meal. You’ll get plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and feel full sooner without consuming too many calories.  

Fry those potatoes in copious amounts of cooking oil or serve that same baked potato with a knob of butter and all the fixings, and now you have a calorie-dense food that can easily lead to unwanted weight gain. Stay away from that, but don’t stay away from potatoes. 

Who would have thought? More baked or air-fried potatoes could be the secret to zero weight gain this holiday season. 

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The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even lol on occasion. Click HERE to sign up today!**

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