Did you know that potato juice is one of the healthiest elixirs around? Yet few indulge in this radical drink? Juicing has been the buzzword in the health and fitness world for quite a while. Maybe you’ve discovered the benefits of drinking fresh juice from fruit, vegetables, and herbs.
If you’ve ever grown these vegetables, you know that they grow from smaller versions planted in mounds or hills. The “eyes” on the seeded spuds sprout and send up a small bush of green foliage with delicate flowers.
Although these greens are toxic, the underground tubers are dug up for our consumption. Did you know that you can also grow impressive spuds in large plastic tubs filled with rich soil? It’s okay if you don’t grow your own. Just be sure to choose the freshest ones in the grocery store or farmer’s market, organic, if possible.
Have you ever wondered about the origins of potatoes? They show up in every culinary way possible, and even in our literature and art. Do you remember the cute Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toys with the removable faces?
Where would global cuisines be without the humble spud? Whether you eat it boiled, fried, mashed, or baked, potatoes are a beloved staple. Statistics say that Americans consume 110 pounds of the tasty tuber each year, and Europeans consume even more. The passion for potatoes is so great that The Potato Museum in Washington, D.C., is a popular tourist destination.
The Incas: World’s First Spud Farmers
The next time you dig into a mound of mashed spuds or bite a crunchy chip, thank the Incas of ancient Peru. Food historians believe that these native South American people cultivated potatoes as early as the 8th century BCE.
After Spain invaded and conquered Peru in the early 1500s, the Spanish conquerors brought some spuds back to Spain, and the tuber’s popularity spread throughout Europe.
From Europe to America
Perhaps no European nation is more synonymous with potatoes than the Emerald Isle, thanks to Sir Walter Raleigh. He saw profit in the delicious vegetable and planted a 40,000- acre plot of them in County Cork in 1539. Soon the abundant spud carried into Africa and Asia and all over the world.
The British brought potatoes to the American colonies, and soon it became a legendary crop in the New World because they are easy to grow and provided satiety. Did you know that Idaho and Washington’s states produce almost half of the potatoes grown in America today? No wonder spuds are number four on the chart of America’s largest crops.
The Vast Benefits of Juicing Potatoes
While you’ve eaten them fried and mashed, what about juicing them? Here are some health benefits to drinking the juice of a spud.
1. High in Potassium
You probably eat bananas because you know they are loaded with potassium. Did you know that taters are also a treasure trove of this electrolyte? This essential electrolyte that your body uses for several functions, such as:
- Regulating blood pressure
- Balancing water in the body
- Controlling nerve impulses
- Maintaining a proper pH balance
- Supporting digestion
- Maintaining heart rhythm
- Supporting muscle functions
If you drink just one glass of tater juice, it will provide a little over 30 percent of your daily potassium requirements.
2. High in Iron
When you think of foods abundant in iron, meat, and other proteins, probably come to mind. However, vegetarians and vegans will be happy to point out that many vegetables, like the spud, are excellent iron sources, and they provide just as much satiety. If you need more energy, iron helps oxygen flow throughout your body to battle exhaustion.
When you juice a large spud and drink it, you’ll be ingesting almost 20 percent of your daily protein needs. Having a glass of potato water is an ideal way of starting your morning or preparing for a workout. Let this terrific tuber help you pump the iron.
3. High in Vitamin C
Remember how your mother always encouraged you to drink your orange juice so you’ll have enough Vitamin C? Mom knew what she was talking about and would be pleased to know that her famous tater casserole was also a valuable vitamin source. Keep your immune system in prime condition with extra Vitamin C from potato juice.
4. Provides B-Vitamins
Who would have thought that a serving of spuds could boost your mood? These root veggies contain a multitude of B-Vitamins, such as B6, B3, and B2. Multiple studies show a positive correlation between consuming Vitamin-B and reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
If you have one of these common mental conditions, boosting your B-Vitamins may help you. The sun may shine a little brighter in your world when you enjoy a fresh glass of potato juice.
5. Provides Calcium
Dairy products are a prime source of calcium that your body needs to maintain healthy bones and teeth. A lack of calcium can weaken your smile and cause brittle bone disease and osteoporosis. You won’t be short on calcium when you enjoy a refreshing glass of potato juice.
You get about 30 mg. of calcium from just one big potato, which will also help muscle function, circulation, and hormone balance.
6. High in Beta Carotene
Have you ever seen a rabbit with poor eyesight? Perhaps they instinctively know that carrots, high in Vitamin-A, keep their peepers bright and focused. While you munch on healthy organic carrots, don’t forget that spuds and their juice have a healthy beta carotene dose, too.
7. The Link to Zinc
You maintain a keen sense of smell and taste, thanks to getting enough zinc in your diet. This essential mineral is found in many foods, like spuds, and is also necessary for your immune system. Guys, zinc is also required for good prostate health, so you can’t go wrong with having a cold glass of potato juice.
8. Provides a Kick of K
Maybe you don’t think about Vitamin-K as much as its sisters, but your body must have it to absorb calcium better. If you want your blood to clot properly, you also need some K. Let potato juice give you a head start for your daily requirements.
9. Provides Antioxidants
Give your immune system a boost with a yummy glass of potato juice. It has the antioxidants you need to fight free radicals that can damage your cells. Plus, it allows your body to absorb iron better and produce collagen for younger, healthier skin.
10. Kind to Your Skin
For generations, people often rubbed a sliced spud on their skin to relieve irritation and promote healing. Why not try potato juice as a refreshing skin tonic? It may help calm the symptoms of acne or other skin conditions.
An Easy Way to Make Potato Juice
Are you ready to enjoy the bountiful benefits of potato juice? It’s quick and easy to make whenever you want it. All you need is a large organic potato per person, a juicer, or a blender. It doesn’t store well, so only make enough to be consumed immediately.
Place your spud in a cold sink of water with a half-cup of white vinegar. Use a veggie brush to scrub away the sand and dirt on the surface till it’s spotless.
Avoid the temptation to peel the tuber because most of its nutrition is in the skin. If you notice any sprouts or unsightly dark spots, use a paring knife to remove them.
Now, cut the spuds into bite-sized chunks. Add the pieces to your juicer or blender to make the servings of the tater juice you need. If you are fine with a little healthy pulp, a blender will work. If not, most juicers will strain the pulp for you.
You would be surprised at how delicious potato juice is on its own. However, if you want to bump up the flavor factor, you can always add a few other healthy ingredients. Just like in traditional juicing, you are only limited by your tastes and imagination.
Consider These Choices:
•Add a tropical flair with a splash of lemon and lime juice, providing more Vitamin-C.
•Want a sweeter taste? Add a few strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries for a flavor that even your kids will love.
•When you add kale or other dark leafy greens, you will boost the juice’s taste and its nutrients.
•Who said you always must use a white potato? Try different varieties, like Yukon golds, purple, or even sweet potatoes.
Okay, so this beverage might sound strange at first. But now that you have read the reasons why not give it a try? If you want a healthy juicing option, you can’t go wrong with a glass of potato juice. It’s inexpensive, easy to make, and chock full of the nutrients your body needs.