The potato is a crop that is cultivated and harvested from the shoots off of the potato plant. Commonly used in french fries, soups, or baked whole, the potato is a versatile food item. A baked potato is one of the healthiest ways to prepare it, allowing for consumption of healthy amounts of vitamin C, potassium, as well as ample amounts of dietary fiber from the potato’s skin.
Both vitamin C and potassium make up part of the nutritional value of a baked potato. This particular vitamin has been noted to help ward off immune system deficiencies, prenatal health complications, and cardiovascular ailments. The vitamin C contained in a potato makes it a beneficial food item for individuals with otherwise compromised immune systems. Potassium, a type of mineral, is also commonly found in baked potatoes, which is beneficial for people with brittle bones and helps to regulate critical fluid balance.
Magnesium is an abundant mineral found in a baked potato. The mineral promotes healthy nerve function, facilitates a steady heart rhythm, and helps to build a healthy skeletal system. Regular consumption of a baked potato can potentially nullify heart palpitations, slow down the onset of osteoporosis, and ward off fatigue.
Potato skins make up an important part of the nutritional value of a baked potato, containing a large amount of fiber, vitamin B6, and niacin. Dietary fiber adds bulk to the stomach when consumed, allowing the person to feel fuller for longer periods of time. Vitamin B6 can also help treat nausea, as well as calm an upset stomach. Niacin, a type of vitamin B, is an integral part of the nutritional value of a baked potato and tends to be concentrated in the skin. The vitamin compound helps the body metabolize cholesterol in the body, allowing the potato to be a power food for individuals who are at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidents that add to the health benefits of a baked potato. They comprehensively protect the retina of the eyes, promoting healthy vision, and are also known to help ward off the onset of muscle degeneration when regularly consumed. Carbohydrates also make up part of the nutritional value of a baked potato. When the body is in an aerobic state, the organs and cells break down carbohydrates for energy. Ample carbohydrate reserves in the body can help athletes endure the physical demands of strenuous aerobic activities.