Health and Nutrition

Potato Health and Nutrition

The humble spud is not quite as humble as you may think when it comes to nutrition.

When carefully cooked, they're also a great natural source of energy. The main mineral found in potatoes is potassium, which has several important functions, including:

  • contributing to normal muscle function
  • contributing to normal functioning of the nervous system
  • contributing to the maintenance of normal blood pressure.

When they are baked, they are also a source of thiamin (vitamin B1).

National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) data shows that on average potatoes currently make significant contributions to the nation’s daily intake of many vital nutrients, namely: 

  • 14% of Vitamin B6 
  • 15% of potassium
  • 14% of Vitamin C 
  • 12% of thiamin (Vitamin B1)
  • 10% of folate

Children get more Vitamin C, B1, B6, folate, iron, magnesium and potassium from the contribution potatoes make to their diet than from so called superfoods like beetroot, bananas, nuts, broccoli and avocado.

There is a common misconception that potatoes take a long time to prepare and cook, resulting in people switching to other starchy carbohydrates such as pasta or rice. This is especially true amongst the younger generation so they, and their children, are missing out on many of the vital nutrients contained in potatoes. 

For example a medium jacket potato provides one third of the NRV of Vitamin C compared with 180g of easy cook white rice, boiled, or a 220g portion of white spaghetti, which don't contain any.  

There are plenty of recipe ideas for tasty, quick meals for all the family on the site, which are sure to provide inspiration.

Having a wide variety of foods in the diet is important, as no single food can provide us with all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Good nutrition is essential for normal growth and development, maintaining health and reducing the risk of developing certain diseases, now and in the future.

Who said healthy eating is hard?

Potatoes can be part of your healthful diet plan, especially when eaten with the skin on. They’re a source of fibre and potassium, and are naturally fat free. Indulge guilt-free with these delicious, simple and modern potato recipes featuring important nutrients for a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy eating is all about enjoying your food and eating the right amounts to maintain a healthy weight.

It means eating some food more often than others, such as fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, but having other things as a weekly treat. Find out more in our 'Eat Well' section.

Campaign Financed with Aid from the European Union and British and Irish farmers
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