Have you ever thought about eating potato skins? Potato skin is edible and generally safe to eat. Not just this, but it contributes measurably to the nutritional value of the potato and represents a source of important benefits for health. Just one potato skin at an estimated weight of 34 grams has 2.9% of the daily potassium requirements for the average adult person.
What benefits can you derive from eating potato skins, as in just potato skins? In addition to good amounts of several essential nutrients, including manganese, copper, potassium and vitamin B6, potato skins are low in calories, usually also sugar-free, almost fat-free and contribute to a feeling of satiation.
1- Potato skins are a source of nutrients
Potato skins are not just edible, but also provide dozens of essential nutrients. What nutrients are in potato skin? You can find vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9, vitamin C and some vitamin E and vitamin K in potato skin as well as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and just a little bit of sodium and selenium.
2- Potato skin helps with constipation
Potato skin is a good source of dietary fiber, including insoluble fiber. Insoluble dietary fiber adds bulk to stools which stimulates peristalsis which is the rhythmic contractions of muscles of the digestive tube which push stools out. This regulates bowel movement frequency and prevents constipation.
3- Eating potatoes with skin is good for blood sugar
It’s common knowledge that potatoes are not that good for blood sugar because they are a high glycemic food. However, eating potatoes with skin is actually good for blood sugar. For one, dietary fiber from potato skin lowers the glycemic effects of the potato.
Potato skin is an important source of dietary fiber which impacts the digestion process in a way that favors the more gradual absorption of sugar from digested food, resulting in a more controlled rise in blood sugar and better blood sugar control.
4- Potato skin is good for high blood pressure
What makes potato skins good for blood pressure is the fact that they are virtually sodium-free: 100 grams of potato skin has just 0.4% of all the sodium an adult person needs in a day. Not just this, but potato skins further provide potassium which actively lower blood pressure numbers that are too high.
How much potassium in potato skin? 100 grams of potato skins can get the average adult close to 10% of all the potassium they need in a day. Just one potato skin at an estimated weight of 34 grams has 2.9% of the daily potassium requirements for the average adult person.
5- Potato skin has antioxidants
One of the more important benefits of potato skin is the fact that it is a source of antioxidants. Potatoes, flesh and skin, bring antioxidants to the diet, with research noting that:
‘Potatoes provide 25% of vegetable phenolics in the American diet, the largest contributors among the 27 vegetables commonly consumed in the United States, including flavonoids (quercetin and kaempferol), phenolic acids (chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid), and carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin)’ (source).
6- Potato skin is rich in manganese
A serving of 100 grams of raw potato skin can get the average adult 26% of all their daily manganese values. According to research, manganese ‘plays critically important roles in development, digestion, reproduction, antioxidant defense, energy production, immune response and regulation of neuronal activities’ (source).
Manganese is a primary coenzyme for essential biological processes that include ‘ammonia clearance and neurotransmitter synthesis’ in the brain (source). Manganese is also involved in maintaining bone quality throughout one’s life, and a deficiency can accelerate bone loss in old age (source).
7- Potato skin is virtually fat-free
One of the benefits of eating potato skins is they are virtually fat-free. 100 grams of potato skin has only 0.1 grams of fat. See more nutrition facts of potato skin.
8- Potato skins are high in copper
A serving of 100 grams of potato skin gets the average adult person close to 50% of all the copper they need in a day. Copper is a source of antiaging benefits and needed for good mental health. According to research, low copper intakes are ‘associated with mental disorders’ (source). Copper is needed for the immune system and to properly absorb iron, among many other benefits for health.
9- Potato skins are good for the immune system
Eating potatoes with skin can help the immune system response. Potato skin provide good amounts of vitamin C which is a known anti-inflammatory agent, with antibacterial, antiviral and immuno-modulating properties.
Potato skin has the benefit of being naturally high in copper too. Copper is important for the immune system for several reasons. For one, certain immune system cells such as neutrophils accumulate copper and use it to differentiate and mature which is important for the immune system response.
Just as important, sufficient copper in the diet is needed to support the proliferation of immune system cells as part of the immune system response, and interleukin concentrations. A deficiency can result in lower numbers of certain types of immune system cells (source).
10- Potato skins favor weight loss
One of the benefits of potato skins is they help with weight loss. For one, potato skins are naturally low in calories. A serving of 100 grams, which is more than a person typically eats, is just 58 calories (kcal, kilocalories). This is about the same number of calories as in 100 grams of blueberries.
Not just this, but potato skins are virtually fat-free, and often also sugar-free, or almost which are great parameters for a weight loss food. Eating potatoes with skin comes with important amounts of dietary fiber to promote satiation and curb hunger which is what makes it possible to attain a calorie deficit and achieve weight loss.
Eating potatoes with skin also helps lower the glycemic effects of the potato, contributing to better blood sugar control. Preventing blood sugar spikes helps control hunger and cravings and prevent overeating.
11- Potato skins have cholesterol-lowering effects
One of the benefits of potato skins is they help lower blood cholesterol levels. The good amounts of dietary fiber in potato skin is what helps achieve lower LDL or low-density lipoprotein levels in the blood, as well as lower total cholesterol levels.