Potatoes are one of the most popular and appreciated vegetables. However, despite having many beneficial properties, in some cases they could prove dangerous for our health.
Originating on the American continent, potatoes are one of the best known and appreciated tubers , thanks also to their versatility. Much appreciated for their taste, potatoes also have many beneficial properties. Being rich in vitamin C and potassium , they are excellent against inflammation and help fight diabetes. Moreover, thanks to the large amount of carbohydrates contained in them, they are able to confer a high energy intake.
However, despite its beneficial properties, there are cases in which this tuber could prove dangerous for our health .
Raw potatoes : the risks
Potatoes arrived in Europe from America as far back as the 16th century . At the time, it was not yet known that potatoes, like other plants belonging to the Solanaceae family, if consumed raw, could prove toxic .
Initially this tuber did not spread, due to the deaths caused by its use. Despite a difficult start, the potato is today one of the most consumed vegetables .
The risks of potatoes: solanine
Solanine is glycoalkaloid contained in some vegetables, particularly in solanaceae. Let’s talk about potatoes, tomatoes (if still green) and aubergines. The peculiarity of this glycoalkaloid is its toxicity . In fact, he is accused of causing fever , vomiting , nausea and other symptoms related to the digestive system. Furthermore, if the quantities taken were large, it could lead to greater damage , including brain, heart or respiratory.
In potatoes the amount of solanine can vary. Usually, its presence increases when these tubers are green (this also applies to tomatoes and eggplants) and when they are rich in sprouts . It would therefore be preferable to avoid consuming solanaceae that have not yet reached maturity or germination.
However, even overripe potatoes should be avoided: when we notice that they are becoming more wrinkled and spongy, it means that the level of solanine contained in them is increasing, and with it the risks related to their intake.
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