The Power of the Potato



    By Jayne MacDonald, RD

    FLORENCEVILLE, NB, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - The United Nations General Assembly
has named 2008 the International Year of the Potato to draw attention to the
role potatoes can play in improving diets and reducing poverty. The potato is
low in fat and rich in nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium. Below is one
in a series of articles highlighting the potato and its many health benefits.

    A Nutritional Powerhouse

    The potato is an ideal vegetable to include in your diet to increase your
intake of many important vitamins and minerals. Potatoes contain vitamins B1,
B3, B6, niacin, riboflavin, folate and thiamine, and are an excellent source
of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Vitamin C
also helps in the production of collagen which helps hold bone tissue
together. A 150 g raw potato contains about half the daily amount of vitamin C
required by an adult.
    Potatoes also contain a number of essential minerals including calcium,
phosphorus, iron and magnesium, and are an excellent source of potassium,
which helps control blood pressure. Potassium also helps regulate the water
balance in the body's cells.
    The potato has zero saturated fat and trans fat, and is cholesterol-free.
It is low in sodium and its skin is a source of dietary fibre. You can
increase your intake of many important nutrients by eating potatoes.

    
    Potatoes Fan-Tastic

    Servings: 4
    Source: Potatoes New Brunswick web site

    2 tsp. (10 ml)      Dried parsley
    4                   Unpeeled potatoes
    Dash                salt
    1/2 Cup (125 ml)    Sliced onion or 2 Tbsp onion flakes
    2 Tbsp (25 ml)      Melted non-hydrogenated margarine
    1/4 tsp. (1 ml)     Pepper
    1/2 tsp (2 ml)      Garlic powder

    Method:
    -------

      1) Spray baking dish with a non-hydrogenated cooking spray
      2) Cut slits crosswise at 1/4" intervals for each potato (slits should
         go almost all the way through) and place in baking dish
      3) Place sliced onion in each slit
      4) Brush melted margarine over potatoes
      5) Sprinkle remaining ingredients (including onion flakes, if using)
         over the potatoes
      6) Bake 1 hour at 375 degrees F or until potatoes are tender
    

    The potato is a versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of
ways. Whether you bake, roast, fry, boil or mash them, keep in mind proper
portioning.

    For more information on the International Year of the Potato or to learn
about the importance of the potato as a staple in diets around the world,
visit: www.potato2008.org.

    Jayne MacDonald is a registered dietitian with McCain Foods (Canada)


    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: Photos accompanying this release are available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Calla Farn, Director, Corporate Affairs,
Government and Public Relations, McCain Foods (Canada), (506) 392-3277,
calla.farn@mccain.ca


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