Calling potato lovers!

What’s not to love when you consider this highly economical vegetable as a great source of potassium, vitamin C & B6, fiber and iron?

Potassium, vitamins C and B6, fiber and iron can all be found in one medium size potato. Packing only 110 calories this fat, cholesterol and sodium free vegetable is often touted as the most economical vegetable on the market. According the United States Potato Board’s consumer website, one medium sized potato can offer 45 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamin C, 620 milligrams or 18 percent DV of potassium, two grams or eight percent DV of fiber, 10 percent DV of B6 and six percent DV of iron. Potato nutrients can help to regulate blood pressure, play a role in nerve impulse transmission, preventing cellular damage, healing wounds, boosting the body’s immune system, help to lower blood cholesterol, help with carbohydrate and protein metabolism and provide a role in oxygen utilization in the body.

Potatoes be used from appetizer to entrée and can be used for any meal throughout the day. The U.S. Potato Board consumer website offers many suggested recipes at this link. Another recipe site that is particularly useful is the USDA recipe finder. Simply enter the ingredient in the search function and nutritious recipes that include that ingredient will pop-up. Also included in the results are the nutrition values and costs associated with the recipe. This site will also assist in creating a shopping list based on the recipe(s) selected.

Michigan State University Extension says that when purchasing potatoes at the store or farmer’s market, look for smooth, firm-textured potatoes without discolorations or cuts. Keep potatoes stored in a cool, dry and well ventilated location that doesn’t receive too much sunlight. Placing the potatoes in a paper bag or perforated plastic bag can extend the shelf life. If the potatoes sprout or have a light green hue to them, cut the sprouts or green areas off before use.

The USDA MyPlate daily recommendation for vegetable consumption depends on a person’s age and gender, with recommendations available here. For more tips on consuming more vegetables, this USDA MyPlate tip sheet is useful.

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