The potato is often portrayed as the bad guy when we speak about it in the context of health and weight loss. It seems like everywhere we turn, we hear that it is a food that will make people fat, cause heart disease and diabetes. Yikes, ain't nobody want that!
It is true that too many potatoes, although great for the soul are not as good for the body. So, it might then come as a surprise to know that potatoes can be healthy when consumed the right way. Yes, you heard right, I said healthy!
In this article, we talk about the benefits of the potato juice, as in the juice derived from a raw potato. Before you write it off as gross, allow me make the case on why you want a glass of this on your table in the coming future.
Science-Backed Health Benefits of Drinking Potato Juice
1. It's a Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals
Potato juice is rich in vitamin C. This is the vitamin that you should be consuming more if you want your skin to be young for the longest time possible. Vitamin C is responsible for stimulating endogenous collagen production in our body. Collagen plays many important roles in our body, including the anti-aging effect, helping in wound healing, maintaining our joints and bones, and helping in the clotting mechanism of our body.
Apart from vitamin C, it also contains vitamin A and vitamin B complex. Vitamin A is essential for the maintenance of good eye health, and vitamin B complex has many functions including maintenance of the nervous system.
They are also a rich source of iron and potassium, which is an important component that maintains our body at the cellular level.
2. It's an Antioxidant
The vitamin C and vitamin A present in potato makes it a good source of antioxidant as well.
Antioxidants are essential to neutralize the harmful free-radicals that are produced in our bodies. These free-radicals cause inflammation and are quite frequently associated with various cancers in our bodies.
Potato juice thus helps prevent cancer and other inflammatory diseases in our body. It is not a cure, but it might help prevent cancer to some extent.
The antioxidant properties are higher in purple potatoes when compared to white potatoes.
3. Improves Gut Health
Potatoes also contain a fair amount of both fermentable and non-fermentable fibers. Fermentable fibers are great for improving the healthy gut-flora levels in our GI system and even provides protection from the high-fat diet. Thus potato juice helps in maintaining good gut health.
Vitamin C is proven to help with gastritis, thus making potato good for your gut as well. It increases the effectiveness of H.pylori eradication therapy given in peptic ulcers, and also reduces bleeding from the ulcer. Vitamin C is not produced in our body and it should be derived from our diet. Potato juice, being very rich in vitamin C, can be helpful.
Also, potato juice being alkaline in nature helps relieve gastric reflux or heartburn.
4. It Helps Lower the Bad Cholesterols
Did you know potatoes can actually help you lower your bad cholesterol?
Studies have found that soluble fibers, at a dosage as low as 2 g/day (100g potato on an average contain 2.1gm of fibers) helps reduce the bad LDL cholesterol from our body. Although the entire mechanism behind this is not known yet, it is believed that these soluble fibers bind with the LDL cholesterol, which is then excreted.
You cannot replace a good diet and exercise with potato juice, but you can for sure use it to support your lifestyle.
5. Rich Source of Energy
Potato is a simple carbohydrate, which means that it is very easily broken down into glucose to provide energy.
Glucose is our main source of energy, and so potato juice can be a good alternative to plain water or glucose water when you work out.
In addition to providing you hydration, it will supplement simple carbohydrates along with healthy fibers, and essential vitamins and minerals
6. Might Help With Arthritis Pain
Drinking raw potato juice has been used for the management of arthritis pain in alternative medicine for a long time. There are some studies that back this claim.
Potato is proven to reduce inflammatory pain, i.e. any kind of pain that is a result of inflammation. Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are inflammatory conditions, and so potato juice might be helpful if you suffer from any kind of arthritis.
Topical Use of Potato Juice
Potato juice is well known to the beauty industry too, and it is quite popularly used in face and hair masks. There is anecdotal evidence showing that potato juice helps with blemishes, dark circles, acne, and skin hyperpigmentation. However, these claims are not proven scientifically yet.
They do have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin though. This indicates that it might be helpful in inflammatory conditions of the skin, like eczema. However, more studies are needed to conclude anything.
Topical use vs oral consumption of potato juice? The anti-inflammatory effect of potato juice is the only proven effect on the skin, but on the other hand oral intake of potato juice has a wide range of proven benefits. Therefore, the consumption of potato juice is superior, even for its anti-aging effects.
Though, putting a little bit of potato juice in your face mask might provide you some anti-inflammatory benefits to your skin.
How to Prepare Potato Juice
You can very easily prepare potato juice at home. Start by washing the potatoes thoroughly and cut it into smaller chunks. Chopping the potato will make the whole process easy.
You can obtain the juice by two methods.
- You can always extract the juice using a juicer. Simply cut the potato in smaller pieces and put it in the juicer, and the juicer will do the job.
- If you don't have a juicer, you can blend the potato to make a paste of it. Then add some water in the paste and then blend it a bit more. Take out the mixture and pour it into a strainer and remove the pulp that gets collected.
Potato juice is not the most delicious juice out there. It has a very bland taste, and you may not like it in the first go. So, you can always add a little honey with it or flavor the juice with other fruit juices to make it a bit more palatable.
Side-Effects of Potato Juice
Overall the potato is quite safe. It's safe in pregnancy and so far there is no evidence of any kind of drug interactions either.
However, the only downside of consuming too much potato juice can be that it can cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar levels if you consume a very high amount of potato juice.
Potato is composed of simple carbohydrates and these carbs are easily broken down in our system causing a sudden rise in blood sugar levels. Persistent high levels of sugar in the system can be very detrimental to both diabetic and healthy individuals. It can cause many long-term complications in diabetics, and cause obesity and type 2 diabetes in healthy individuals, along with causing inflammation in the system.
Apart from that, too much consumption of potato juice might upset your stomach.
Therefore, moderation is the name of the game. People with diabetes can consume it in moderation as well.
The studies backing the health benefits of potato proves that how we cook and consume our food matters a lot. Potato in the form of chips will bring many diseases, but on the other hand, if you consume raw potato juice you will prevent all those diseases that are caused by fried potato.
Potato juice is a quite healthy drink, with extremely low risk of side-effects. It's a perfect drink to maintain hydration without loading your system with unnecessary sugars.