Today’s promised land overflows not with milk and honey, but with mountains of French fries and chips made from fried oils and the potato, the largest vegetable crop on Earth. Thus, our modern tastes and food choices have turned an otherwise health foods dynamo into a leading contributor to high levels of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. This is a good time to make a society-wide breakout from the prison of poor health while liberating the potato from its irresistible but villainous role.
What does it do?
Suffering so much bad press for so long, it is hard to perceive the potato as a nutritional super hero. And yet, upon closer scrutiny, this humble tuber comes out on top if we consume it wisely, as it provides unusually high levels of vitamin C (sailors once ate potatoes to prevent scurvy on the high seas) along with several important B vitamins. One cup of baked potato satisfies 21% of your daily need for vitamin B6, the important nutrient that protects the heart, keeps the brain and nervous system operating smoothly and plays a key role in endurance and athletic performance. Research conducted at Manchester University shows that potato juice provides an effective treatment for stomach ulcers. Along with the goji berry (wolfberries)—the highly touted super fruit long used in Traditional Chinese Medicine—the potato offers kukoamines, which are molecules that lower blood pressure. Fresh potato slices can be applied directly to minor burns.
About the herb
Native to Peru, the potato has been cultivated for 10,000 years. The most popular member of the nightshade family, the potato is cousin to the tomato, peppers, and eggplant. There are over 100 varieties of edible potatoes that come in many shapes, textures and a rainbow of colors, the purple potato being the most nutritious and effective in lowering blood pressure.
For a tasty and healthful treat add a pat of extra virgin cocoanut oil to several golf ball-sized purple baked potatoes and enjoy with any meal!