Eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables every day!

Thursday, July 09, 2020


Potatoes were introduced to North America in the 18th century via Irish immigrants, however their native home is South America. Potatoes were first cultivated in the Andes Mountains over 7,000 years ago. 

Many kinds of potatoes are seen in restaurants, grocery stores, and even homes today, but the most common of these are the russet, round white, and the red potato. Potatoes are tough and durable, store well, and have an impressive nutritional content including being a rich source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C. Like other fruits and vegetables, potatoes are a low calorie food and are free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Keep in mind, however, that the leaves and stems of a potato plant are poisonous and may cause illness when ingested.

Health benefits:
  • very good source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.
  • Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity against free radicals.
  1. Nutrition Facts
    Amount Per 1 Potato medium (2-1/4" to 3-1/4" dia) (213 g)
    Calories 163
  2.                                        % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 0.2 g0%
    Saturated fat 0.1 g0%
    Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
    Monounsaturated fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg0%
    Sodium 13 mg0%
    Potassium 897 mg25%
    Total Carbohydrate 37 g12%
    Dietary fiber 4.7 g18%
    Sugar 1.7 g
    Protein 4.3 g8%
    Vitamin A0%Vitamin C70%
    Vitamin D0%Vitamin B-630%
    Vitamin B-120%Magnesium12%

Russet Potato
Serving Size: 1 med. potato, baked (173g)

Amounts Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories 160
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g0%
 Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 15mg1%
Total Carbohydrate 37g12%
  Dietary Fiber 4g14%
  Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Potatoes have been a staple in the diets of Americans for over 300 years, but they have been sustaining populations worldwide for much longer. Read on for more potato information and tasty potato recipes!

Availability, Selection, and Storage
Potatoes are grown across the United States and are available year round. Store potatoes in a cool, dry place. Sunlight can cause the skin to turn green; if this occurs the skin must then be peeled off before consuming. Most of the nutrients are contained right below the skin, so avoid peeling when possible. Besides fresh potatoes, other forms are often available as well, including
  • Refrigerated pre-cut fresh potatoes
  • Frozen potatoes
  • Canned potatoes
  • Dehydrated potatoes
When choosing potatoes, be sure they are firm, smooth, and the color they are supposed to be. Softness, a green tinge, or wrinkly skin may indicate a potato that is past its prime.

Red Potato
Serving Size: 1/2 cup, cooked (85g)

Amounts Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories 70
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g0%
 Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 5mg0%
Total Carbohydrate 15g5%
  Dietary Fiber 1g4%
  Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Potatoes should be thoroughly washed with clean tap water and scrubbed lightly before preparation. Any sprouts or eyes growing from the potato should be cut out. The skin can be removed or left on depending on use. Common methods of preparation include boiling, baking, microwaving, mashing, frying and grilling. Consuming baked and grilled potatoes with the skin left on provides the most nutrients.
Potato Varieties
  • Russet Round White
  • Long White Fingerling
  • Red skinned New
  • Blue/Purple skinned Yellow flesh


Broccoli Baked Potatoes Makes 6 servings (serving size 1 potato)
Each serving equals 1 1/4 cups of fruit or vegetables
Source: Produce for Better Health
6 medium Idaho potatoes
3 stalks broccoli
¼ cup skim milk
1 cup shredded low fat Cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp pepper
Scrub potatoes. Make shallow slits around the middle as if you were cutting the potatoes in half lengthwise. Bake until done, 30 to 60 minutes, depending on size. Peel broccoli stems. Steam whole stalks just until tender and chop finely. Carefully slice the potatoes in half and scoop the insides into a bowl with the broccoli. Add the milk, 3/4 cup cheese and pepper. Mash together until the mixture is pale green with dark green flecks. Heap into the potato jackets and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return in oven to heat through (about 15 minutes). Oven: 350°F. Time: 30 to 60 minutes; 15 minutes to melt cheese or to reheat.
Nutritional analysis per serving (1 potato): Calories 346, Protein 24g, Fat 7g, Calories From Fat 17%, Cholesterol 20mg, Carbohydrates 44g, Fiber 14g, Sodium 327mg.

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