Some research suggests that eating purple potatoes can help lower blood pressure in people who are overweight or suffering from obesity, according to a study that was unveiled at the American Chemical Society in Denver.
The study focused on 18 people who were overweight and had high blood pressure. The purple potatoes were chosen because of their rich content of plant compounds such as beta-carotene and folic acid. The participants were monitored for one month.
During the period, the participants were given two servings a day of the purple potatoes with skins. By the end of the study, the average diastolic blood pressure reading had fallen 4.3 percent on average, while the systolic pressure had fallen an average of 3.5 percent. This occurred even though most of the participants were already taking blood-pressure medication.
In addition, none of the participants gained any weight.
“The potato, more than perhaps any other vegetable, has an undeserved bad reputation that has led many health-conscious people to ban them from their diet,” study author Dr. Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, said in a written statement.
“Mention ‘potato’ and people think ‘fattening, high-carbs, empty calories.’ In reality, when prepared without frying and served without butter, margarine or sour cream, one potato has only 110 calories and dozens of healthful phytochemicals and vitamins.”
Though purple potatoes were used in this study, Dr. Vinson believes future studies using white potatoes will yield similar results. “The skin is the key,” Londa Sandon, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, told USA Today. “That’s where the nutrients are.” And if it lowers blood pressure, it might be the new medicine to treat obese people.