can you eat a potato raw ?- Cooked potatoes are often used in side dishes, salads, and main entrees. Raw potatoes, on the other hand, aren’t as popular since they’re thought to be less pleasant and more difficult to digest. While eating raw potatoes may have a number of health benefits, there are some questions about their safety and nutritional worth.
This article investigates the advantages and hazards of raw potatoes, deciding whether they are healthy or hazardous.
can you eat a potato raw ?
Yes, uncooked potatoes are edible. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Raw potatoes have a harsh flavor and a chalky, starchy texture that many people dislike. Although they are not technically harmful, eating raw potatoes may induce digestive issues.
Cooked Potatoes vs. Raw Potatoes
Raw potatoes have a harsh flavor and a starchy texture that many people dislike. As a result, most people prefer to bake, fry, grill, or roast their potatoes before eating them. As a result, there are some noticeable changes in flavor, texture, and color.
When raw potatoes are cooked, they undergo a process known as the Maillard reaction, which is a chemical reaction that happens in the presence of heat between amino acids and a reducing sugar.
This browning action is responsible for the cooked potato’s particular flavor, color, and crispness. Furthermore, research suggests that heating potatoes creates particular molecules that are responsible for the distinct flavor that makes cooked potatoes more appealing than raw ones.
Raw potatoes taste harsh and have a starchy feel. When potatoes are cooked, they undergo the Maillard process, which results in the formation of chemicals that improve their palatability.
Raw potatoes are abundant in resistant starch, which has been related to improved blood sugar control, insulin sensitivity, sensations of fullness, and digestive health.
Raw potatoes have fewer calories, protein, carbohydrates, and micronutrients. Nonetheless, they have double the vitamin C content of roasted potatoes, gram for gram.
Antinutrients found in potatoes can hinder nutrient digestion and absorption. Cooking your potatoes is a good way to lower the antinutrient content.
Potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, which are generated by sunlight exposure and can be hazardous to the body in large quantities. Cooking, peeling, and storing potatoes properly can help reduce glycoalkaloid concentration.
Consuming large levels of resistant starch from foods such as raw potatoes may result in digestive difficulties such as stomach pain, gas, and bloating.
Content of Resistant Starch
Raw potatoes are high in resistant starch, which your body does not digest or absorb. It is instead utilised to supply energy to your helpful gut flora.
Including resistant starch in your diet has been linked to a slew of possible health advantages. In fact, research suggest that it can aid with weight reduction by lowering blood sugar levels, improving insulin sensitivity, and keeping you feeling full.
Resistant starch is also turned into butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that has been shown to benefit digestive health.
Butyrate has been shown in animal experiments to reduce inflammation in the colon and to inhibit the development of colon cancer cells. Furthermore, according to one review, butyrate medication may help reduce various symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as bloating and stomach pain.
Vitamin C content is higher.
Cooking potatoes may make them taste better, but it may also result in nutritional loss.
Raw potatoes have less calories and carbohydrates, but also less protein, than roasted potatoes. Furthermore, they provide significantly less potassium and vitamin B6.
They are, however, substantially richer in other important micronutrients, with twice as much vitamin C per gram as baked potatoes.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that functions as an antioxidant and helps with everything from collagen formation to immunological function.
Because high temperatures destroy vitamin C, eating your potatoes raw rather than cooked is a simple method to improve your intake of this important vitamin.
Nutrient Absorption May Be Inhibited by Antinutrients
Potatoes include antinutrients such as protein trypsin inhibitors and lectins, which can interfere with nutrient digestion and absorption.
Cooking potatoes has been demonstrated to lower antinutrient content, which aids in nutrient absorption and the prevention of deficits.
For example, one test-tube investigation discovered that boiling potatoes entirely inactivated one kind of trypsin inhibitor but only partially inactivating another.
Meanwhile, another test-tube investigation found that boiling potatoes removed 50–60% of the lectin concentration.
Antinutrients are unlikely to be a concern for persons who consume a well-balanced and diverse diet.
Cooking your potatoes, on the other hand, may be an excellent alternative if you have a limited diet and build your food around grains, legumes, or tubers to aid increase nutrient absorption.
Toxic Compounds Could Exist
Potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, a kind of chemical substance found in nightshade family members that can be harmful if taken in large quantities.
Green potatoes, in particular, contain two forms of glycoalkaloids: solanine and chaconine.
When potatoes are exposed to sunlight, chlorophyll, a type of plant pigment that causes the potatoes to turn green, is produced.
Not to add that exposure to sunlight can enhance the creation of glycoalkaloids, which is why it’s typically suggested to restrict your consumption of green potatoes to help reduce your intake of these hazardous substances.
Glycoalkaloid poisoning symptoms include sleepiness, itching, heightened sensitivity, and digestive difficulties when eaten in large dosages.
According to one test-tube investigation, boiling, baking, and microwaving potatoes can significantly lower their total glycoalkaloids content.
Peeling your potatoes, avoiding green potatoes, and storing them properly to limit sunlight exposure can all help to lower your chance of negative effects.
Can Lead to Digestive Problems
Though resistant starch has been linked to a variety of health advantages, excessive levels, such as those found in raw potatoes, may lead to stomach issues.
As a prebiotic, resistant starch is fermented by the beneficial bacteria in your gut, resulting in gas generation in your colon.
Stomach pain, gas, and bloating are some of the most prevalent negative effects of prebiotics and resistant starch use.
Raw potatoes may also be more likely to contain pollutants and germs from the soil that boiling would normally eliminate, raising your risk of foodborne sickness and infection.
The easiest method to avoid bad symptoms is to gradually increase your intake over several days or weeks and then reduce if you detect any unwanted side effects.
Additionally, be careful to properly wash potatoes to eliminate harmful germs, and consider peeling your potatoes before eating to help minimize the chance of infection even further.
The Advantages of Eating Raw Potatoes
A 3.5-ounce portion of raw potato, including the skin, includes 2.5 grams of fiber, which is a component of plant foods that the body can only digest to a limited extent.
It typically passes through your digestive system undamaged, pushing food forward and improving regularity.
According to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, fiber can also help minimize the absorption of cholesterol into your system, which can lower your total cholesterol levels for improved heart health.
Americans consume just approximately 15 grams of fiber per day, but they should strive for 20 to 30 grams.
According to the National Institutes of Health, potatoes also contain vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system and wound healing (NIH). A 3.5-ounce serving of skin-on raw potatoes contains 11.4 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 15% of the dietary value (DV) for women and about 13 percent of the DV for men.
According to a December 2018 study published in Food Science and Biotechnology, vitamin C is water-soluble and temperature-sensitive, and boiling and blanching can remove virtually all vitamin C content. Microwaving and steaming had a less impact on vitamin C content.
According to the National Institutes of Health, raw potatoes provide 18% of the DV of vitamin B6, which aids in brain function, hemoglobin synthesis, and immunological function.
According to the NIH, raw potatoes are also a rich source of some minerals, with each serving supplying around 18% of the DV of iron, which promotes muscular and brain function.
Raw Potatoes Contain Resistant Starch
According to a July 2020 study published in the American Journal of Plant Sciences, potato starch contains 70 to 80 percent of the resistant starch amylopectin. Resistant starch is a form of carbohydrate that, as the name implies, resists digestion, similar to fiber.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, instead of passing through the small intestine, resistant starch ferments in the large intestine, where it works as a prebiotic, feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Furthermore, because starch is not digested, it does not degrade into glucose. According to a February 2017 research published in Nutrition Journal, this helps reduce post-meal blood sugar levels, which can help control diabetes and prevent fatigue and mood changes caused by post-meal blood sugar rises.
The study published in the American Journal of Plant Sciences examined the starch content of eight different types of potatoes and discovered that total starch, including resistant starch, reduced across all varieties when the potatoes were cooked. A research published in Nutrients in November 2018 revealed that boiling changes starch concentration, however data is restricted because tubers are almost always prepared before eating.
The ultimate quantity of resistant starch is affected by both the temperature at which the potato is cooked and the duration of cooking time, with baking favored over microwaving or boiling.
The Dangers of Eating Raw Potatoes
Although raw potatoes have a high concentration of vitamins and resistant starch, this does not imply you should eat them raw.
Raw Potatoes Contain Lectins
The anti-nutrient lectin, a protein that binds to carbs, is found in all raw vegetables, including raw potatoes.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, lectins can cause severe symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach distress, and diarrhea, as well as interfere with mineral absorption.
However, because lectins are water-soluble, heating the lectin-containing vegetables totally denatures them, according to the Mayo Clinic. As a result, whereas lectins in raw potatoes can be poisonous, especially in high quantities, eating cooked potatoes is harmless.
Green Potatoes Contain Solanine
Potatoes and other nightshade vegetables can develop the alkaloid chemical solanine if they are exposed to light, particularly fluorescent light, or very hot or cold temperatures for an extended length of time.
If your potatoes have generated solanine, they will take on a green color.
According to Colorado State University, solanine is hazardous even in tiny amounts and can induce headaches, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and central nervous system paralysis, as well as death in rare circumstances.
According to the National Capital Poison Center, while removing the skin of a green potato can reduce its solanine concentration, heating the potato does not eliminate the danger. When in doubt, it’s best to throw out the potato.