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Power To Potatoes!

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The humble potato has a bad rap. It’s too starchy. It’s nutrient poor. It’s  . . . white.

We’ve been told to “eat our colors,” and that you can tell that a food is full of goodness because it calls to you from across the produce section with gorgeous greens, pleasing purples, seductive reds. Those colors mean more nutritional value, we’ve learned. They are better for our bodies. But . . . is white a color?

The nutritional scientists have spoken and the answer is: Yes! White is a color, and a good one, say the authors of a supplement published this month in the journal Advances in Nutrition.  Potatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cauliflower are all nutrient-packed foods that may be overlooked because they are mistakenly thought to be color-less and therefore less nutritious. But Connie Weaver, PhD, a distinguished professor of nutrition science at Purdue University says that such vegetables are rich in fiber, potassium, and magnesium, among other nutrients. “Overall, Americans are not eating enough vegetables,” Weaver says, “and promoting white vegetables, some of which are common and affordable, may be a pathway to increasing vegetable consumption in general.”

There’s no reason to feel bad about serving your kids mashed potatoes. A vegetable is a vegetable, no matter the color. They are all good for you. And they are certainly better than no vegetables at all.

photo credit: istockphoto

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