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MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Potatoes In contrast to what is commonly believed, they are not very high in calories and have remarkable nutritional qualities.
Full of potassium and low in sodium, they help to fight water retention
by Novella Pranzo
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Potatoes. Photo by Dario Ersetti

Spring vegetable pot

 

   4 servings:

 

- 3 potatoes

- 3 artichokes

- 700 g of fresh fava beans

- 700 g of fresh peas

- 2 spring onions

- parsley

- 50 g of grated pecorino

- 50 cc of extra virgin olive oil

- salt

- pepper

 

 

   Nutrition facts per serving:

 

- energy: 481 Kcal

- protein: 26 g

- lipids: 18 g

- glucides: 56 g

- fiber: 22 g

 

 

They are often shunned as being very high-calorie and mistakenly eliminated or reduced in the daily diet by those wanting to stay slim.

Nothing could be further from the truth because potatoes actually do not have many calories, only 115 Kcal per 100 grams of potato, and they are very rich in starch. Compared to the same amount of pasta or bread, they are more filling. They are also easy to digest and encourage intestinal movement.

From the nutritional point of view, they are an excellent source of nutritive elements, including potassium, phosphorous and vitamin C, the latter in similar quantities to tomatoes. Their high potassium and low sodium content help the organism to combat water retention, draining off excess water. Moreover, potassium is essential in the transmission of nerve impulses and in muscle functions including the working of the heart.

Watch out, however: most of the potato’s nutritive substances are found in the peel, so it is advisable to eat it as well as the flesh. Think of the delicious, and very American, jacket potatoes (potatoes carefully washed and cooked in their skins in the oven in tinfoil then slashed and filled with sour cream and naturally eaten skin and all – very tasty).

Potato juice is very useful in cases of gastritis because it is able to neutralize the gastric juices.

If on the other hand you are looking for a depurative effect on the intestines with the elimination of toxins from the organism, you just have to use potato water.

Dice a well-washed potato, and soak it overnight in 250 mls of salted water. After filtering the water, drink a glass per day on an empty stomach.

It is interesting to notice that boiled potato skins are an effective treatment for healing skin wounds in the Third World where it is impossible to carry out modern skin transplants.

In short, this is a food to use in a very wide range of ways in spite of all the unfounded prejudices. Naturally they must be eaten oven-baked or boiled, not fried, since frying not only gives them a higher calorie count but also alters or annuls their beneficial nutritional qualities.

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