As a kid, you must have thought for at least once whether you can have those raw potatoes always lying in front of you in the kitchen. Isn’t it? Potatoes are part of our daily diet and are easily available in most households.
These are mostly used in the cooked form such as roasted, fried, or boiled before being consumed.
However, if you talk about Undercooked potatoes, it is not so healthy. Generally, it is not advised to consume raw potatoes since they harm the digestive system along with many other disadvantages.
But everything has its pros and cons, just like raw potatoes, which are not so good for the digestive system but have their nutritional value, which again makes it a point of debate, whether it should be consumed or not.
So without wasting any more time, let us first examine the harmful effects of having raw or undercooked potatoes followed by some health benefits, which will ultimately help you analyze whether it is a blessing or a curse for your health.
Disadvantages of having raw/undercooked potatoes
1. Damage to the digestive system
Raw potatoes potentially disrupt the digestive system causing several health issues such as indigestion, abdominal cramps, and bloating due to resistant starch.
Besides this, you should avoid raw potatoes with green skin or sprouts since they contain some highly toxic alkaloids, which cause cell disruption and ultimately leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
As a result, it becomes highly dangerous for health and should be avoided, especially in pregnant women. Although rare, in some extreme cases, it may even lead to death.
Undercooked potatoes are better than raw potatoes in this aspect since most of their starch content is broken, so they are not so harmful to the digestive system. Still, cooked potatoes are way healthier and should be preferred over undercooked ones.
2. Bitter taste and starchy texture
We are now coming to the next disadvantage, which is not about nutrition but about the taste and texture, which has equal importance whenever we are talking about any food item.
If the taste is not good, you will don’t want to have it. Right? Raw potatoes are a big “No-No” in taste because they are highly loaded with starch. This starch is broken down in cooked potatoes, which enhances the taste and texture and highly suits our taste buds.
3. Inhibits enzyme activity
Coming to the nutritional aspect, raw potatoes contain many anti-nutrients, which usually leads to the inhibition of various enzymes that somehow hinder the consumption of other food items because these enzymes act as biocatalysts in different digestive reactions of the body. However, these anti-nutrients decrease significantly upon cooking and are primarily concentrated in the potato peel.
Advantages of having raw/undercooked potatoes
1. Perks of resistant starch
Although we already know that it is quite difficult for our body to digest resistant starch, and it is generally not so good for our digestive system, it has some benefits that cannot be neglected.
These health benefits include lowering the blood sugar level, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and a feeling of fullness which helps you lose body weight. This resistant starch gets converted to a form of short-chain fatty acid which helps in improving the digestive system.
Moreover, this short-chain fatty acid also helps prevent the growth of colon cancer cells. It helps in reducing various symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, which gives much relief from bloating and stomach pain.
2. High level of Vitamin C
Raw potatoes contain many micronutrients like vitamin C in much higher amounts than the cooked potatoes.
Vitamin C is highly essential as it is an antioxidant and plays a major role in many biological functions such as collagen production and maintenance of the immune system. Since it enhances immunity, it can be consumed to combat viral diseases; the best example right now will be Covid-19 which is a major threat to human life worldwide.
Since high temperatures potentially destroy vitamin C, eating raw potatoes can considerably increase your intake of crucial vitamins, which is essential for the proper functioning of the human body.
3. Low in calories
Finally, its low-calorie content makes it ideal for people following a strict fitness regimen that includes a low-calorie diet to ensure weight loss.
Besides low calories, it also contains low amounts of carbohydrates, which makes it suitable for a healthy diet. It ultimately helps you achieve good health, especially if you are already facing problems related to obesity.
4. Natural remedy
Raw potatoes act as a natural treatment for several diseases such as arthritis and rheumatism. Besides this, it also helps to fight against cancer which is one of the best parts of its consumption.
It helps to decrease high cholesterol levels and also prevents diseases related to vitamin C deficiency like Scurvy. Furthermore, it regulates blood pressure, keeps your heart healthy, and prevents constipation.
Raw potatoes are also great for skin problems as it helps to eliminate dark circles and provides relief from dry and itchy skin.
Now after knowing about the pros and cons, you can easily decide whether you can have raw/uncooked potatoes or not.
Based on our analysis, we can suggest moderate consumption of raw potatoes after removing the peel to avoid the toxic alkaloids. Also, avoid green potatoes with sprouts as they can cause various health issues and can be dangerous for your digestive system.
You can eat potatoes in any form but make sure that you wash them properly and have good storage arrangements to maintain their nutritional value. Moreover, do not forget to include other nutritious fruits and vegetables in your diet to strike a healthy balance.
That’s it for today! We will be coming soon with another article covering another interesting fact to keep you updated. Hope this article helps. Thank you!