We love potatoes and they’re good for us, too

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, but there are many other health benefits, as Coles Group Nutritionist Kim Tikellis explains. 

Mixture of raw in-season potatoes

Nutritionist Kim Tikellis suggests leaving the skin on when cooking potatoes to increase your dietary fibre content.

Potatoes

  • Potatoes are tubers, grown below ground level, that store plant carbohydrates. Potatoes contain around 12% carbohydrate, mainly as starch, which is why potatoes are suitable for roasting, mash (or chips!).
  • It’s best to leave the skin on potatoes when cooking to increase your dietary fibre content.
  • Potatoes are a source of vitamin C and rich in potassium to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Half a medium potato, or 75g, provides 20% of adult daily antioxidant vitamin C needs for immunity.
  • Carisma potatoes are specially grown to contain 25% fewer carbohydrates than regular potatoes and have a medium Glycemic Index (GI) rating of 61. Healthy cooking options include boiled, dry-roasted (no oil) or mashed potato.
  • Potatoes naturally contain the B-vitamin folate for growth and development; one 75g serve provides 14% of daily folate needs for Australian adults.
  • “Baby” chat potatoes are small, sweet, freshly harvested potatoes with white skin and flesh. These all-rounders can be boiled, steamed in the microwave, pan-fried in slices or roasted whole. Top with light sour cream and dill or sumac.
  • Potatoes pair well with egg and asparagus in a frittata, with rosemary as super-thin slices on a pizza, or nutmeg in a gratin or mash.

Sweet Potato

  • Vibrant orange sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, the natural plant form of pre-vitamin A for healthy vision. One 75g serve of baked sweet potato provides 100% of daily vitamin A needs.
  • Sweet potato is naturally rich in starch, so cooked sweet potato puree can be added to savoury scones, pancakes or to thicken soups or sauces.
  • One 75g serve of sweet potato provides over half of daily antioxidant vitamin C needs for immunity.
  • The naturally sweet flavour of this tuber root vegetable is further enhanced by cooking.  Sweet potatoes can be boiled or oven-baked and mashed, microwaved (prick skin with a fork), roasted in wedges with a spray of olive oil, or baked or barbecued whole, wrapped in foil.
  • Sweet potato is a source of dietary fibre for gut health. Cook with the skin on to retain fibre and minimise leaching of water-soluble nutrients beta-carotene and vitamin C.
  • Compared to potato, sweet potato contains plant phyto-nutrients cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene, which contribute to the orange-red colour of the flesh. These natural antioxidants are a plant form of vitamin A, essential for healthy eyesight and immunity.

Did you know? Sweet potatoes, also known by the Maori name kumara, are not botanically related to potatoes.

Check out some of our new ways with potatoes for recipe inspiration.