Fruits bear seeds developing from the ovaries of a plant and potatoes are tubers and do not produce seeds which makes it clear that they cannot be classified as fruits. Potatoes are stem vegetables that are grown on stolons found underground. Some experts classify them as a form of starch due to their starchy nature. Besides being a common protein source, they are also very high in carbohydrates and can be used in place of rice and bread. Due to their function as starch, they are nutritionally considered as a starchy carb. Hence, are potatoes a vegetable or fruit is a question asked commonly to which the answer is as simple as this. Now let’s find out more about potatoes and their nutritional value.
How Healthy Are Potatoes?
One of the interesting features of potatoes is that they have many types. They can also be eaten in a variety of ways. A single potato has 110 calories and carries nutrients like potassium, fiber, vitamin C and carbohydrates. They do not contain sodium and are cholesterol-free. See Organic Facts
Common Types of Potatoes
Potatoes are of various types among which 6 of them are found typically. They can not only be distinguished in taste but also how they are cooked.
The other name of russet potatoes is baking potatoes. They have low moisture and high content of starch which is why they are used in baking.
They can be used for baking as well as fried or boiled for eating purposes.
Red Skinned Potatoes
They are much lower in starch than all other types and are known as boiling potatoes. They have a nutrient-filled skin containing iron, fiber, and vitamin B. Besides boiling, they can also be used in roasting or frying.
Being creamy in flavor, they are referred to as Butter Gold potatoes. New in the market with a smooth texture, they are of special interest in many grocery stores. They are quite suitable as mashed potatoes and also for baking purposes.
As the name indicates they are yellowish and serve multi-purposes like boiling and frying along with being used as mashed potatoes.
These are some varieties of potatoes seen commonly, however purple and blue potatoes are also used in some places for baking purposes. Being used in many food items, they are an absolute delight to the eye and one of the most excessively used vegetables. They can also be used as a simple yet delicious refreshment, French Fries made in many varieties and loved by almost everyone. They are by far, one of the most important staple foods on this planet.
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) originated from South America and now cultivated in all parts of the world. The boiled or steamed potatoes are healthy to be eaten. Fried forms of potatoes like chips can make you obese due to high-fat content. They are still very popular though and eaten as chips in a large amount. Can you resist chips of any kind? Of course, not!
There has been a great debate on this issue and some studies have shown them to be an essential nutrient supplier. Speaking in medical terms, they have Kukoamines that are chemicals found to be helpful in lowering the blood pressure. Potatoes as natural sources are vital in body functioning as they provide potassium involved in the regulation of cellular activities and muscle contraction. Some potatoes also contain flavonoids and phytochemicals that improve heart functioning. They are also found to contain around 60 vitamins useful for a variety of functions in improving human health.
Are sweet potatoes a vegetable?
Potatoes are vegetables and talking about sweet potatoes makes it a bit confusing. Sweet potatoes are a root crop and starchy, sweet in taste and a part of morning glory family botanically. Due to its starchy nature, sweet potato is mistaken as a fruit. However, belonging to morning glory family unlike other potatoes of the nightshade family, they are still taken as vegetables and not fruit. So, without any doubt, potatoes of all types are vegetables and almost 100 types of potatoes are found across the world.
Fun Facts About Potatoes
Have a look at some of the interesting facts related to potatoes:
- It is one of the most important non-cereal crops in the world
- In 1995, potatoes were taken and grown at space, isn’t it too interesting to know?
- Well, potatoes have even marked themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records due to the world’s largest potato weighing 18 pounds and 4 ounces.
- The National Potato Day is celebrated on the 19th of August and October 27th.
- It would be unfair to talk about potatoes and not mention French Fries. The first Frech Fries were served by Thomas Jefferson in the US at a presidential dinner.
- In southern Peru, the first potato was originated almost between 3000 BC and 2000 BC.
- The largest production of potatoes takes place in China.
- Germans are most fond of potatoes and consume almost 200 pounds per year.
- Americans eat 120 pounds of potatoes in a year.
- After corn, wheat, and rice, potatoes are the fourth most essential crop in the world.
Do You Know?
- 80% of a potato contains water.
- The Incas utilized potatoes in a variety of ways. They not only used them in food but also healed broken bones with them and prevented indigestion.
- If an acre of potatoes is considered, it can easily feed about 10 people.
- Potatoes have a unique property that they can be grown in different climatic conditions and hence prove to be quite available everywhere.
- The potatoes undergo dormancy for a span of six months.
- Besides being used in different forms, they also have around 1000 varieties.
- Who does not know about Lays? It takes four to five potatoes to make a delightful bag of Lays.
- Do you remember Mr. Potato Head? It was the first toy commercial to be aired on television.
Hence, potatoes are everywhere and loved as a major vegetable all across the globe. They are cooked in a variety of forms and loved by many!