Spotlight on Nutrition – Potatoes
DID YOU KNOW…
Potatoes have more Vitamin C than a tomato and more Potassium than a banana? That’s good news for helping build immunity and controlling blood pressure!
Many people believe that potatoes are not healthy, because they are a carbohydrate-rich vegetable. But they are complex carbohydrates and full of fiber which aids digestion. We need to eat carbohydrates every day because they support optimal physical performance and mental wellbeing. Potatoes contain important nutrients needed in the body, like Vitamins C & B6, Potassium, and Iron. They are also fat, sodium and gluten free naturally.
Check out this video from Potatoes USA to hear more about the valuable nutrients in potatoes and their benefits throughout the body. I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Spotlight on Vitamin D!
- Found in cells throughout the entire body
- Needed for health and to maintain strong bones (combined with calcium, it protects older adults from osteoporosis)
- Helps the body absorb calcium (main building block of bones)
- Deficiency could cause soft, thin, and brittle bones (known as Rickets in children and Osteomalacia in adults)
- Muscles need it for movement, which is triggered by nerve impulses between brain and every body part
- Immune system needs it to fight off invading bacteria and viruses
- Few foods are natural sources, so the major source in food is typically fortified
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are among the best natural sources
- Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks provide small amounts, naturally
- Mushrooms provide some vitamin D, but more are available due to growers exposing mushrooms to UV light to boost this nutrient
- Dairy milk, soy milks, almond milk, and oat milk are often fortified with Vitamin D, though products made from these milks typically are not
- The skin can make Vitamin D from direct exposure to the sun’s UV rays – windows and sunscreen interfere
- Supplements (high dose prescription or over-the-counter daily pills) are also available to increase body stores
Why is Vitamin D of concern? It is an essential nutrient needed to sustain human health. It is a steroid hormone with an important role in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. That is why deficiency can contribute to bone-related disorders. Recent studies have also found that Vitamin D is closely associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Neuropsychiatric disorders include a wide variety of conditions affecting the nervous system:
- Attention deficit disorders
- Cognitive deficit disorders
- Migraine headaches
- Eating disorders
- Anger control issues
For overall wellness, or to help manage a chronic condition, it is a good idea to have your physician check your Vitamin D levels and treat any deficiency. Having adequate levels of Vitamin D within your diet, safely exposing yourself to sun, and supplementation could help you feel your best.