Diet and Nutrition

Stressed? Don't Reach for Junk Food - Eat a Purple Potato

Stressed? Eat a Purple Potato

A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that two servings of purple potatoes in a diet, can help to reduce blood pressure and control weight gain. 

The participants of the study were divided into two groups. In one group, the participants were assigned a diet that required them to eat the skin and flesh of eight small purple potatoes, two times a day, for four weeks. The other group had a normal diet that did not include potatoes in their meals. During the second month of the study, the two groups switched their diets.

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Each participant's blood pressure was recorded regularly. In the analysis of the changes in blood pressure, the two groups that had purple potatoes demonstrated a reduction of 4% in the diastolic pressure and a drop of 3% in the systolic reading.

3/4 of the participants, had high blood pressure and were on medications to regulate their blood pressure. Even a small drop in blood pressure helps to control cardiovascular diseases. Although the group that was required to consume potatoes had a higher caloric intake than the other group, the body weight of the individuals in that group did not show any changes. This was notable because 1/2 of the participants were obese with several categorized as overweight.

Including purple potatoes can lower blood pressure, the risk of heart diseases, and the risk of stroke without weight gain.

Purple potatoes have an abundance of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, carotenoids, and phenolic acids, that are helpful in reducing chronic inflammatory diseases like heart diseases and stroke. Purple potatoes are also rich in cholorogenic acid, a chemical that has been linked with reducing blood pressure.  Get the best of these pigments and antioxidants by microwaving the purple potatoes and eating the skin. 

All potatoes (no, french fries do not count!) are rich in vitamin C and potassium, and consuming the skin of the potato adds more fiber content to your diet. However, unlike purple potatoes, they do not have similar effects in reducing blood pressure.