Potatoes are a nutrient rich food. One medium baked potato contains 110 calories and is an excellent source (providing more than 20% of the DV) of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6, and a good source (providing more than 10% of the DV) of fiber, folate, manganese, niacin and phosphorus.
Potatoes rank highest for potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and fruits. Potassium is a part of every body cell. It helps regulate fluids and mineral balance of cells, which helps maintain normal blood pressure. It is also vital for transmitting nerve impulses or signals, and in helping muscles contract.
Potassium is a powerful dietary factor that may help lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, few Americans are getting the recommended 4700 milligrams per day of potassium they need.
One serving of a baked potato has as much fiber as a serving of broccoli and 13% of the Daily Value. Soluble fiber may help with weight loss as it makes you feel full longer, and research has shown it also may help lower blood cholesterol.
Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C—more vitamin C than one medium tomato or sweet potato. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant stabilizing free radicals, thus helping prevent cellular damage. It aids in collagen production; assists with iron absorption; and helps heal wounds and keep your gums healthy. Vitamin C may help support the body’s immune system.
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6 with one medium potato providing 10% of the recommended daily value. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays important roles in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It helps the body make nonessential amino acids needed to make various body proteins.
One medium potato provides 6% of the recommended daily value of iron. Iron is a major component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Iron also has a critical role within cells assisting in oxygen utilization, enzymatic systems, especially for neural development, and overall cell function everywhere in the body.