- Potatoes are cost-effective and rich in nutrients
- They are a time-tested food which is versatile in nature
- Potatoes are naturally gluten-free
Potatoes, which is undoubtedly one of the most delicious vegetables, has always been in a bad light. However, if the findings of a recently-conducted study are to be believed, then consuming potato puree during prolonged exercise can sustain blood glucose level and boost performance in trained athletes, just like commercial carbohydrate gel. Potatoes are cost-effective, rich in nutrients and a whole food source of carbohydrates. Results of the study were published in Journal of Applied Physiology. 12 fit, healthy sports lovers participated in the study. They bicycled for 265 km on an average every week.
Potatoes can boost exercise performance: Here's how
In order to qualify for the trials, athletes were required to reach a specific level of aerobic fitness and complete 120-minute cycling challenge followed by a time trial. All of the participants were wither made to consume water alone, or commercially available carbohydrate gel, or an equivalent amount of carbs from potatoes. Throughout the study, blood glucose levels, core body temperature, exercise intensity, gastric emptying and gastrointestinal symptoms of the participants were checked.
Performance level of cyclists who got carbohydrates by ingesting potatoes or recommended about of gels was found to be same. There was a significant boost in performance of two groups apart from the one which only consumed water.
All in all, it has to be understood that potatoes are not so bad after all! It is in fact, a time-tested food which is versatile in nature and can be included in a weight loss diet too. Not all carbs are bad and consuming potatoes while practicing portion control can fill you up and also provide you with Vitamin C and B6, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and folate.
Potatoes health benefits that can't go missed
1. Potatoes contain beneficial antioxidants that can reduce damage caused by free radicals.
2. Potatoes can be good for your digestion and gut health. Fibre content in potatoes can keep constipation at bay. Resistant starch from potatoes is mostly converted in short-chain fatty acid butyrate, which provides good bacteria to the gut. A healthy gut is an essential prerequisite for good overall health.
3. Potatoes are naturally gluten-free, which makes it a favourable food for people with celiac disease of gluten intolerance.
4. Potatoes are filling in nature. They can increase levels of fullness hormones such as cholecystokinin.
5. Resistant starch in potatoes can help in reducing insulin resistance and this can help in blood sugar control. Potatoes are thus beneficial for people with diabetes (keeping portion control in mind).
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