The Verdict on gold, red, & purple potatoes

Image Credit: orchidgalore/ Flickr

What is the healthiest potato?

What’s the verdict on gold, red & purple potatoes?

Ionestamot / Originally posted in Toxins in Cooked Potatoes?

Answer:

The healthiest potatoes are probably sweet potatoes (see my video about sweet potatoes), but if you are going to eat plain potatoes, the varieties with colored flesh (not just skin) do appear healthier.

new study published this month found that the consumption of 6-8 microwaved purple potatoes a day (they’re pretty small) resulted in a boost in antioxidant capacity of the blood (whereas the plain potato starch control acted as a pro-oxidant) and a drop in blood pressure in overweight individuals. “Thus,” they concluded, “purple potatoes are an effective hypotensive agent and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke in hypertensive subjects without weight gain.”

Last year a study found that purple potatoes appeared to suppress both early and late stage human colon cancer cells in vitro, but only if they were fresh. After being in storage a few months their anti-cancer properties diminished.

Finally, another study published last year (and this one available full-text), found a trend towards lower inflammation in men eating purple potatoes than white, concluding “Pigmented potato consumption reduced inflammation and DNA damage in healthy adult males. This offers consumers an improved nutritional choice in potato consumption.”  See my video Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes.

Purple sweet potatoes may offer the best of both worlds, as suggested in an in vitro study last year on human fat cells that suggested anti-obesity, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Image Credit: orchidgalore / Flickr

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Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


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