Spud lovers can now rejoice because National Potato Day is Saturday, Aug. 19. Potatoes have been a popular food item for centuries, which were originally cultivated by Inca Indians in Peru around 8,000 B.C. to 5,000 B.C., according to PotatoGoodness.com. When Spanish Conquistadors defeated Peru in 1536, they discovered the potato and brought its flavors to Europe. Potatoes are now grown across the United States in all 50 states, according to the Idaho Potato Museum.

Mashed, smashed, baked, roasted, chipped or served in the form of a french fry, the potato can be eaten in several different ways. Other than preparation style and its history, there is still plenty to learn about the starchy vegetable and the health benefits that come with it. Here is a list of 7 surprising health facts about potatoes:

French Fries Are Technically Vegetables

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared that french fries qualify as a fresh vegetable in 2004, according to NPR. However, consumers shouldn't rush to their local McDonalds or Five Guys to fill up on its "healthy" fries because the vegetable association only applies to commerce, not nutrition.

Potatoes Are Fairly Healthy

Despite containing large amounts of carbohydrates, potatoes are still a fairly nutritious food option to consume. According to WHFoods.com, potatoes are a very good source of vitamin B6, which is a nutrient often found within starchy veggies. Consuming potatoes for its vitamin B6 will help with adrenal function and the nervous system, among other functions. It's also a promising source of potassium, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus and more. 

Potatoes Are Mostly Water

Potatoes contain a very high water content. According to Organic Facts, the starchy vegetable is roughly 70 to 80 percent water, which makes up most of its weight. It's also consisted of 20 percent solid.

Potatoes Are (Mostly) Low On Calories 

Have you ever wondered how many calories are in a potato? The calorie count for the starchy favorite is surprising low. Aside from french fries (365 calories) and potato chips (152 calories), the calorie count for potatoes doesn't exceed over the low 100s. Raw potatoes are 70 calories, boiled hit 80 calories, baked are 86 calories and mashed potatoes are 108,  according to WeightLossForAll.com.  

Potatoes May Help To Lower Blood Pressure

There are a couple of indicators that have led researchers to believe that potatoes are beneficial to lowering blood pressure. According to Live Science, fiber is found in potatoes, which can help to decrease blood pressure. Potatoes also contain a higher amount of potassium than bananas, which is an excellent method to lowering blood pressure. 

The Digestive System Benefits From Potatoes

Potatoes most beneficial health factor is its ability to help with digestion because it contains high amounts of fiber and carbohydrates, according to Live Science. The fiber levels in the veggie's peel help to maintain regularity, whereas its carbohydrate levels make it easy to breakdown within the body.  

Potatoes Can Help Prevent Cancer

According to The Huffington Post, a 2015 study showed that potatoes reportedly reduced the risk of cancer by 33 percent. Other vegetables like asparagus, celery and cauliflower contain the same preventive elements.  

Potatoes Potatoes, pictured June 16, 2017, can reduce the risk of cancer. Photo: Reuters

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