The Health Benefits and Uses of Potato Skins

One vegetable that’s available in almost every household across the world is the humble potato. This vegetable is adored all over the world for its versatility and taste. The number of dishes that can be prepared with a potato is endless! However, while preparing anything with potatoes, what is the first thing we do? We peel them and toss the peels into the bin. What good are they, after all... Right? But what if we told you that the skin is the most nutritious part of a potato? Not only that. Potato peels can also be beneficial for your skin and hair in a variety of ways!
Today, we will show you some surprising and little-known benefits of potato skins. Considering that potato peels are discarded as waste and not effectively utilized, you are likely to be shocked by the information below.

1. They are quite nutritious!

Health & Beauty Benefits of Potato Peels, nutritious
For starters, the potato peel has a very impressive nutritional profile. By adding it to your diet, you will get a variety of vitamins and minerals. According to the USDA, 100 g of raw potato peels contains 83.3 g of water and gives 243 kJ of energy. Apart from that, the skins also include:
Protein: 2.57 g
Dietary fiber: 2.5 g
Calcium: 30 mg
Iron: 3.24 mg
Magnesium: 23 mg
Phosphorus: 38 mg
Potassium: 413 mg
Sodium: 10 mg
Zinc: 0.35 mg
Copper: 0.42 mg
Manganese: 0.6 mg
Selenium: 0.3 mcg
Vitamin C: 11.4 mg
Vitamin B3: 1.03 mg
Folate: 17 mcg.

2. Good for heart health

Since potato peels are rich in potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining and regulating blood pressure, they are considered good for heart health. They are also loaded with magnesium and calcium, which, according to Harvard Medical School, also help control blood pressure.

Furthermore, studies indicate that these peels have powerful radical scavenging, or antioxidant, activity because of chlorogenic and gallic acids – two dominant compounds that help maintain the health of your heart by reducing damage caused by free radicals. Recent research has shown that free radical damage may cause many chronic health problems, such as cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Antioxidants can prevent that damage, as they eradicate free radicals by neutralizing them.

Related: You Should Eat the Peels of These Fruit and Vegetables

3. They can help heal wounds

Health & Beauty Benefits of Potato Peels, dressing
Potato peels contain terpenes and flavonoid organic compounds, both of which have been proven to prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Moreover, studies show the skins of this amazing vegetable can also be used for healing wounds and preventing bacterial growth. They do so by encouraging skin growth and supplying tensile strength to the wounded skin.
In addition, potato peels can be used as an alternative for wound dressing because they moisturize the skin, not to mention that they are readily available, inexpensive, and easy to apply.

4. They act as a natural hair coloring agent

A little-known benefit of potato skins is that they can color grey hair. The peels contain several vital nutrients, such as iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, niacin, and magnesium that help provide a natural look and color to your hair. So, if you're looking for a natural and eco-friendly way to dye your hair, just use potato peels.

Our post titled Darken Graying Hair Using Potato Peels will tell you everything you need to prepare the treatment at home.

5. Help lighten dark spots

Apart from antioxidant and antibacterial compounds, potato skins also contain phenolic compounds. Together, these compounds have a brightening effect on the skin. Meaning, they can help lighten dark spots on the skin or help reduce dark circles that appear under the eyes.

All you need to do is collect some fresh potato skins and rub them over the dark spots for a few minutes. Alternatively, you can make a fine paste of the peels and rub them on the problem area every day. You should start seeing results in about three weeks!

6. Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy effects

Health & Beauty Benefits of Potato Peels, Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy effects 
Potato skins are a natural source of a flavonoid called quercetin. Flavonoids are a group of natural substances found in fruits, vegetables, plants, and trees that are believed to protect against disease. The flavonoid quercetin has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect that protects the body against disease and infection.
A 2016 study published in the journal Molecules showed that quercetin can be effective for treating bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, and peanut-induced anaphylactic reactions. The authors of the study also stated that quercetin is the main ingredient in several potential anti-allergy drugs.

7. Can reduce glucose levels

A study that analyzed the anti-diabetic effects of potato peels found that the dietary fiber and polyphenols in potato peel powder can help lower glucose levels when added to the diet for at least four weeks. Furthermore, the vegetable’s skin also helps limit free radical damage to the liver and kidneys and enhances their functions in people with diabetes.

Ways to Use Potato Skins

Health & Beauty Benefits of Potato Peels, recipes

Now that we have established that potato peels are good for your health, how should we add them to our diet? Well, there are numerous recipes out there for making dishes with potato skins. But, you must first make sure that you are eating them in a healthy way. Otherwise, you won’t get their nutritious benefits.

If you are looking for interesting ways to add potato skins to your diet, here are a few unique suggestions you might like:

* Add them to your salads for a low-calorie healthy lunch.

* Bake a potato without peeling off its skin and add salt and pepper, and very light simple toppings for a nutritious and delicious snack. For this, first put the potatoes in a 400 °F (204.4 °C) oven for an hour and let them bake until the flesh is very soft. Next, cut the potatoes down the middle and insert your favorite toppings.

* Bake potato skins with sour cream, chives, and bacon for a yummy snack.

* Rub the cleaned skins with olive oil and kosher salt and bake them until crispy.

Related: 7 Great Health Benefits of Potatoes

How to Choose Potato Peels?

While potato skins are safe to eat, just make sure to wash them well before cooking to get rid of all the dirt. However, experts say that we shouldn’t eat a potato peel that’s turned green. Since potatoes grow underground, they start turning green when exposed to light. This green color appears because of chlorophyll pigmentation. When this happens, it leads to the formation of an alkaloid called solanine, which can be toxic to humans when consumed in large amounts. Therefore, it’s better to discard a potato that’s acquired a green tinge.

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