Potato: 8 benefits and recipes

Gratin, stuffed, fried or pureed. In addition to being versatile in recipes, the English potato is still quite popular.

But also all this fame is not surprising, since the tuber is cheap and provides a series of benefits that range from the  prevention of cramps to skin care.

According to nutritionist Letícia Rocha, the beneficial effects do not stop there! That’s because potato chips still contribute to heart and brain health.

Therefore, we invite the nutrition professional to explain a little about the nutritional value of this tuber. And as it is an important food in Brazilian cuisine, Chef Lucas Martins teaches with exclusivity how to make the main dishes with this food.

Potato Benefits

It is a source of vitamin C , potassium , calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, zinc and iodine. In smaller amounts, we can still count on vitamin E, iron, copper and some of the B-complex vitamins, such as B1, B2 and B6.

“Some benefits that we can obtain with these nutrients are: the proper functioning of our brain capacity, antioxidant activity and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases ”, explains Rocha.

1. Improves brain function

Potassium (K) is largely responsible for this benefit, as it works by improving nerve transmission . In the case of potatoes, it represents one of the main sources of the mineral, as in 100 g of food there is 370 mg of K. ( 2 , 3 )

In addition, Letícia explains that the tubercle acts by blocking the oxidative action of free radicals. Therefore, it protects brain cells against wear, preventing the formation of diseases in that organ.

2. Prevents cardiovascular disease

Researches also show that a low potassium consumption may be related to the increase in blood pressure and the hypertension picture itself . Therefore, consuming food sources of this nutrient helps control blood pressure .

In addition, it is also responsible for helping to prevent stroke. A study carried out in Sweden in 2010 observed a relationship between increased consumption of this mineral and an 11% decrease in the risk of stroke . ( 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 )

3. Strengthens the immune system

As a source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), the potato can be an immunostimulant. This means that it can increase the performance of the immune system , protecting the body against diseases, especially infectious ones.

One of the problems that can be avoided is scurvy , a condition resulting from inadequate intake of ascorbic acid. Although rare, this disease can cause worrying symptoms such as fatigue, bruises, weakness, skin irritation and bleeding gums. ( 6 )

4. Provides power

The rich composition of carbohydrates in this food makes it an excellent supplier of energy for the body’s cells. In other words, to increase the tubercle in different meals is to increase the disposition for daily activities. ( 7 )

5. Improves sleep

While increasing energy, carbohydrates can promote sleep as they result in lower sleep latencies, periods between bedtime and sleep . However, for this effect to work, it is necessary to consume the potato more than an hour before bedtime. ( 8 )

6. Take care of the skin

In addition to taking care of the immune system, the vitamin C present in this food is also important for the health of the skin. This is because the acid is essential for the formation of collagen , a protein that supports the epidermis.

This same substance promotes elasticity and hydration in the skin . Therefore, it helps to prevent wrinkles and expression marks. ( 6 )

7. Favors bone health

As a source of vitamin C and potassium, potato potatoes can contribute to improved bone health in children, adults and the elderly. First, collagen formation is important for all connective tissues, including cartilage and bones.

The mineral acts on both density and bone mass , improving calcium retention, creating a positive balance between this nutrient. As a result, it can help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis . ( 6 , 9 )

8. Prevents cramps

The muscle contractions are also benefited by the consumption of foods rich in potassium, such as that tuber. The nutrient is released during cell contraction and acts to facilitate the continuation of this process.

But after all, how does he manage to prevent the cramps? For those who don’t know, they can result from the loss of nutrients, such as potassium itself. As a result, muscle cells become disordered and can contract without relaxing, developing the famous stab. ( 2 )

Potato nutritional table

100 gram servingAmount per serving
Energetic value52 Kcal
Protein1,2 g
Cholesterol –
Carbohydrate11,9 g
Fiber1,3 g
Calcium4 mg
Match24 mg
Ferro0,2 mg
Sodium2 mg
Potassium161 mg
C vitamin3,8 mg
Magnesium5 mg

* Daily reference values ​​based on a 2000kcal or 8400kj diet. Your daily values ​​can be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. Data taken from TACO, revised and expanded edition.

Does consuming potato make you fat or slim?

Ever wonder how many calories are in 100 grams of potatoes? According to nutritionist Letícia Rocha, there are 51.59 Kcal. For this reason, it ” may gain weight if consumed in excess.”


According to chef Lucas Martins, the English potato is a versatile ingredient and can be present in any meal of the day. “It can be made up from a nice reinforced breakfast in the form of a Spanish tortilla , through a super complete lunch when we think about their stuffed versions, and even a delicious and light dinner when transformed into creams and broths ”, quotes the professional.

Also according to Martins, it is a good choice for salads, from the classic barbecue mayonnaise to other lighter versions for everyday life, not to mention the delicious snacks made with this tuber!

Then, the professional teaches how to make some of the main dishes made with this food.

Mashed potatoes

The chef recommends adding fresh ground herbs in this recipe, as they add more flavor to the dish. And if you prefer, ingredients such as cream and butter can be replaced by light versions.


  • 500g of English potato
  • 1 cup cream milk fresh
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Salt to taste.

Preparation mode

  1. wash and peel potatoes
  2. Cut into cubes and cook in boiling water with a spoon (dessert) of salt until they are soft (the fork goes in without resistance)
  3. Drain potatoes and put in a juicer
  4. Return the potatoes to the pan over low heat, squeezed with the cream and mixing well with the aid of a fouet
  5. Add the freshly ground nutmeg and correct the salt
  6. Turn off the heat and add the butter, incorporating it.


“For traditional potato fries or chips, playing with the sauces that accompany makes all the difference, both in taste as in calories. Various mayonnaise, yogurt-based sauces and homemade ketchups (which can even be made with watermelon) make the experience even more delicious”, recommends Martins.


  • 500g of English potato
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 shallow dessert spoon of paprika
  • Black pepper freshly ground to taste
  • Salt to taste.

Preparation mode

  1. wash and peel potatoes
  2. With the aid of a mandolin, cut the potatoes into thin slices
  3. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, paprika and oil
  4. Spread in a mold and bake in a medium oven until golden.

Potato gratin


  • 1 liter of milk
  • 75 g of wheat flour
  • 75 g of butter
  • 1 kg of English potato
  • 100 g of parmesan
  • Salt and nutmeg to taste.

How to prepare Béchamel

  1. Over low heat, mix the butter and wheat flour, stirring for approximately two minutes
  2. Add all the milk and stir until it thickens (about 20 minutes)
  3. Add salt and nutmeg.

Method of preparation of potatoes

  1. wash and peel potatoes
  2. Cut into medium thickness slices
  3. In a pan with boiling water and salt, cook the potatoes until they are tender, but do not let them fall apart.
  4. On a platter, organize the potatoes and sauce in layers
  5. Finish with grated Parmesan all over the surface
  6. Place in medium oven until browned.

vegan version

This is a vegan, less caloric version of potato au gratin. The tip is from the Tá channel on the vegg table and substitutes cow’s milk for rice vegetable milk. Follow up!

Stuffed potato


  • 4 medium english potatoes
  • 200 g of shredded chicken
  • 1 leek stalk
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 75 g de cream cheese light
  • 100 g of grated parmesan
  • Coarse salt.

Method of preparation of the filling

  1. Remove the leaves and the tip of the leek and divide it in half to sanitize, removing all soil. Then cut in half moon
  2. cut red onion into strips
  3. In a skillet, add the butter and oil, saute first the onion and then add the leeks, saute until it is tender
  4. Add the shredded chicken and light cream cheese
  5. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Method of preparation of potatoes

  1. Wash potatoes and wrap in foil individually with coarse salt underneath
  2. Bake in medium oven until tender (approximately 45 minutes)
  3. Remove the potatoes from the foil and make a cross cut on the surface
  4. Press the cut region making a boat with the potatoes
  5. Add the filling and sprinkle the Parmesan on top
  6. Return to oven to brown.


Who doesn’t like a potato chip? Consciously consuming, you can even enjoy this delight even on a diet. But one of the main questions regarding this dish is: how to make it crunchy?

According to Chef Lucas Martins, there are several techniques to contribute to the crispness of this recipe and one of them must be taken into account when purchasing the main ingredient.

“Always give preference to smooth , healthy-looking skins ,  ‘old’ potatoes are more difficult to ‘crunch’. Other processes such as: soaking in water with vinegar, immersing in ice, frying them in two steps and passing them on wheat are valid. But, even so, I prefer the cold oil technique , there’s no mistake!”


Preparation mode

  1. Wash and peel potatoes well
  2. Cut them into toothpicks and dry with paper towels
  3. In a high pot with the cold oil, add the rosemary, garlic and potatoes, and turn on the heat.
  4. Remove when potatoes are browned
  5. Pour into a container with a paper towel and then add salt to taste.

What is and how to make rustic potatoes?

Martins explains that, for this version, the potatoes are cut into wedges, in a more “rough” way and preserving the skins . After that, everyone can choose to follow a different recipe.

“I cook quickly (around 5 minutes) and they go to medium oven until golden (about 40 minutes), smeared in olive oil with black pepper and coarse salt, whole garlic cloves and Mediterranean herbs that go well. with roasts (I always use rosemary, thyme and sometimes sage). The aroma that this recipe spreads through the kitchen is incredible”, reveals the chef.

Curiosities and questions about the food

Even though it is known in Brazil as English potato, this food has its origins in the Andes region , in America. However, when introduced to Europe in the 16th century, it became one of the main food sources in England, hence the name.

It is a tuber belonging to the Solanaceae family , scientifically called Solanum tuberosum L . For this reason, it is “related” to tomatoes, eggplants, jiló and peppers. ( 1 )

Types: what are the differences between english, candy and yacon?

For Letícia Rocha, the English potato is the most common type , a source of phosphorus, group B vitamins and vitamin C. However, compared to the others, it is the one with the least amount of dietary fiber.

The sweet type is the favorite of those who do physical activity , because “it has a low glycemic index, it also increases the body’s defenses and helps prevent injuries.” In addition, it is rich in fiber, beneficial to the intestine, is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and has vitamins A and C.

Yacon potato, on the other hand, has a sweet taste and a smooth texture. The nutritionist also highlights other properties such as low calorie value and richness in minerals, carbohydrates and fiber.

“It has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels, helps with weight loss , reduces bad cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, improves liver health, improves digestive health and strengthens the immune system,” adds the professional.

Can Diabetic Eat Potatoes?

The nutritionist explains that the English potato is not among the best options for diabetics, even promoting as many benefits as those already mentioned.

“She is considered a villain for her relatively high glycemic index and glycemic load. In other words, when consumed, the potato promotes an increase in blood sugar levels (glycemia)”, concludes Rocha.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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