Can you imagine your vegetable basket without potatoes? We bet you can’t. One of the most popular vegetables across the world, it is easily accessible, affordable and versatile to the core. In fact, it is one of those very few kitchen ingredients that can be used to make a quick meal for any kind of hunger. On one hand, it can help you put together a full-fledged meal for lunch or dinner, on the other, you can use a potato or two to prepare French fries, cheese balls and other such snacks. Then there are other usages including being a binding agent for tikkis, cleaning agent for utensils and more. This is why, you will find people buying and storing potastoes in bulk for whenever they need. If you have been doing the same, then surely you have seen potatoes sprouting after a certain time. In other words, you will find small white-coloured shoots growing on the potato skin. What do you do then? Most of you will surely say, we peel the shoot and the skin and use the potato as is. Right? But have you ever wondered if it is a safe practice or not. In this article, we will delve in deep to find out if sprouted potatoes are safe for consumption. Read on.

Is It Okay To Eat Sprouted Potatoes?

We all know that sprouting helps enhance the nutrient profile of any food ingredient. But what we often ignore is the fact that too much of anything can be bad for health. It stands true for potatoes as well.

According to a study, published in the journal Advances in Potato Chemistry and Technology, potato contains solanine and chaconine, two glycoalkaloid compounds that offer health benefits like managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, when taken in small quantities. But, when taken in excessive amounts, such as sprouted potatoes, the compounds may negatively affect your health.

Ayurvedic expert Dr. Varalakshmi Yanamandra states in an Instagram post, “Eating sprouted potatoes can pose health risks due to the presence of toxic compounds glycoalkaloids. Although glycoalkaloids are present throughout the plant, levels of these toxins are really high in green parts, sprouts and eyes of the potatoes.”

Also Read: How To Keep Potatoes From Sprouting – Pro Tips And Tricks

Photo Credit: iStock

What Are The Major Side Effects Of Consuming Sprouted Potatoes?

Dr Varalakshmi also shared some of the major side effects of having potatoes that are sprouted. Find them here.

1. It turns toxic:

Glycoalkaloids are toxic to human beings and can lead to gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. Symptoms of glycoalkaloid poisoning might include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, headache, and in more severe cases, even coma and death. Although such extreme reactions are rare.

2. Taste turns bitter:

Increased levels of glycoalkaloids can give potatoes a bitter taste, making them unpleasant to eat.

3. Recudes nutritional value:

The sprouting process uses the nutrients stored in potatoes, potentially reducing their nutritional value.

Can You Remove Toxicity From Sprouted Potatoes?

Usually, glycoalkaloids get concentrated in the leaves, eyes and sprouts of potatoes. Discarding those parts and peeling the skin may help reduce the risks of toxicity. However, Dr Varalakshmi states that she “wouldn’t personally advise this”. Instead, one should discard sprouted potatoes altogether and get fresh ones for consumption.

Also Read: 5 Unique Ways You Can Use Humble Potato In Daily Life. No. 3 Will Surprise You

How To Keep Potatoes Fresh And Sprout-Free For Long?

We agree that buying potatoes in bulk is always a good option for any type of kitchen. Hence, it is important to take special care while storing the vegetable to avoid sprouting. The best way to do so is by keeping it in a cool, dark and dry place. But always remember, to avoid keeping potatoes in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature may increase the sugar levels in the vegetable, affecting its taste and texture when cooked. Click here for more tips on how to store potatoes properly.

Bonus Tip: We also got you some hacks to follow everytime to go out to buy potatoes. Find here.

By Alex Benjamin

Alex Benjamin, historian, quizmaster, and author, passionately explores history's depths. Renowned for unearthing forgotten facts, he's a quiz expert captivating audiences worldwide.

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