The potato is a root vegetable that is part of the plant Solanum tuberosum. This perennial is part of the family Solanaceae or the nightshades. In many contexts, the word potato refers to the edible starchy tuber portion of the plant, but it can also refer to the plant itself, which is native to the Americas.

The importance of the potato as a food source and culinary ingredient varies by region and is still changing. It remains an essential crop in Europe, especially Northern and Eastern Europe, where per capita production is still the highest in the world, while the most rapid expansion in production over the past few decades has occurred in southern and eastern Asia, with China and India leading the world in overall production as of 2014.

Being a nightshade similar to tomatoes, the vegetative and fruiting parts of the potato contain the toxin solanine and are not fit for human consumption. Normal potato tubers that have been grown and stored properly produce glycoalkaloids in amounts small enough to be negligible to human health, but if green sections of the plant (namely sprouts and skins) are exposed to light, the tuber can accumulate a high enough concentration of glycoalkaloids to affect human health.

Potato Nutrition Facts: Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits

Potato is about 79.25% water, 17.49% carbohydrates (including 0.82% sugar and 2.1% dietary fiber), 2.05% protein, and 0.09% fat. One medium potato will give you with 37.254 grams of carbohydrates. It is equal to 28.66 percent of the 130 grams of carbohydrates you need on a daily basis, according to the Institute of Medicine (US). That same in a 100 gram amount, potato supplies 77 calories and contains several nutrients in rich amounts (20% or more of the DV), including Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). So if you have potatoes in your diet, it helps your body to absorb iron from food and defend itself more naturally since vitamin C is an antioxidant, reduce probability of heart disease by fighting cholesterol, improve the efficiency of lymphocytes (or white blood cells) to heal wounds and it is effective against gout (a type of arthritis) attacks by reducing blood uric acid levelsdementia since vitamin C impacts memory positivelythe occurrence of cancer. In addition it contains a moderate amount of Copper (12.22% DV).