Everyone knows potatoes for their sweet and unique taste but there is more to potatoes than their sweet taste and yellowish color. There are things about the potato that is not general news and I would be sharing quite a number of them in this post.

Don’t be surprised! Follow me closely as I reveal hidden facts about potato            

Potatoes were the first vegetables grown in space. They turn green because sunshine causes photosynthesis to occur in potatoes.

Did you also know that potato poisoning causes coma, paralysis, and even hallucinations and may also cause death if not treated?

Interesting right?

Now down to more interesting facts.

 Potatoes are underground tubers that grow on the roots of the potato plant, Solanum tuberosum. Potato came from the Spanish word “Patata” in the 1950s, it is made up of 80% water, 20% solid, 12% carbs, 2% protein. There are about 100 of the edible variety of potatoes. This plant is from the nightshade family and related to tomatoes and tobacco. Native to South America, potatoes were brought to Europe in the 16th century and are now grown in countless varieties worldwide. Today the potato is the fourth most important crop worldwide after rice, wheat, and maize, and the world’s most largely grown tuber crop.  They’re generally eaten boiled, baked, or fried and frequently served as a side dish or snack.

Potato is also called Spud, the plant produces small fruits that are green in color. They resemble cherry tomatoes, each fruit has around 300 seeds. The potato was cultivated heavily by European farmers from Europe, it spread to Asian countries. The top producers of potatoes are Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. The United Nations declared 2008 as “the Year of the potato”.

The potato plants are perennials (a plant that lives for more than two years). They grow nearly about 60 centimeters or 24 inches in length. They grow at the height of 4,000 meters above sea level.

Potatoes are one of the rare foods that can be placed on two different food groups (they’re vegetables and starches). As starch potatoes are great for people with Celiac disease (Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that’s triggered when a person eats gluten). They are 99% fat-free and contain vitamins B6, C, K and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and phosphorous, dietary fiber, and sugars. A medium-sized potato contains 110 calories.

One of the famous paintings to feature a Potato Eaters of Van Gough. The picture shows farmers in potato-colored clothes and skin and eating potatoes.

Potatoes are known to be good for the stomach, spleen, and intestines. They could also boost heart health, improve digestion, strengthen the immune system and maintain fluid balance, they are also used to brew alcoholic beverages like vodka. Potatoes skin dipped in honey are used to soothe.

Potatoes are used for a variety of purposes, and not only as a vegetable for cooking at home. In fact, it is likely that less than 50% of potatoes grown worldwide are consumed fresh. The rest are processed into potato food products, food ingredients and fed to cattle. As they’re naturally gluten-free and serve as a great baking alternative for flour. Cooked potatoes with skin are a good source of many vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and vitamin C. Potatoes may also help reduce constipation and inflammation. Potassium the predominant mineral found in potatoes especially the skin helps in heart health also vitamin C the main vitamin present in potatoes also serves many benefits to the body.

Potatoes should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. The higher temperature could cause sprouting and shriveling of the supply which shortens the life span. When placed in a place that is too cold, it could darken the potato when cooking. When cooking potatoes it’s important you boil them with their skin because their nutrients lie very close to the skin, do not soak peeled potatoes in water as their nutrients could dissolve in the water.

Resistant starch a fiber found in potatoes known as resistant starch helps to feed the bacteria found in the gut and can also improve blood sugar control. To some people, potatoes are best eaten when hot and some when cold, when cold it contains a higher amount of resistant starch.

Potatoes are rich in compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids. These compounds act as antioxidants in the body by neutralizing potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. When free radicals accumulate, they can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

There is a hybrid plant called “tomato” that produces both tomatoes and potatoes.

Now you’ve known some hidden facts about potatoes don’t forget to get some potatoes when you go shopping for groceries.