The Powerful Benefits of Colored Potatoes

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM; Carrie Lam, MD

Colored potatoes for your healthPotatoes are one the most commonly consumed foods due to their versatility. They can be prepared in an endless variety of ways such as baked, mashed, in salads, and as chips, to mention a few. They grow easily all around the world and have many different types. Yellow potatoes may be the most popular. Nevertheless, colored potatoes, such as red and purples, have many different benefits that the most commonly consumed types lack, and some may even help recovery from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).

Nutrients in Colored Potatoes

It has been proven that red and purple colored potatoes have particular components with positive effects for your health, but every type of potato is packed with good minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that are in high demand by your metabolism:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C in colored potatoes can help your skin and tissues to have good resistance, as it increases collagen production. It prevents scurvy, and it is also vital for the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands.


Some of the minerals in potatoes include iron, zinc, and potassium. Iron is an important mineral for red blood cells as it allows for proper absorption of oxygen which then is used by your tissues. Zinc contributes to the proper functioning of the immune, reproductive, and nervous systems. Potassium is important in regulating the cardiovascular system.


Potatoes are very well-known for their high carbohydrates content, which makes them perfect for those who need to gain weight. The carbohydrates in potatoes are in the form of starch, which once consumed is transformed into glucose by your metabolism. Be careful if you are on a low sugar diet, as these carbohydrates can raise your blood sugar level.


Anthocyanin is a natural pigment contained in many different kinds of fruits, vegetables, and plants which gives them a reddish color. It can be found cherries, grapes, berries, peaches, red cabbage, and colorful potatoes. Studies have linked this pigment with beneficial effects on health.

Anthocyanins have the capacity to slow down the development of cancer by stopping the cell division cycle of cancerous cells. It can also stimulate a self-destruction mechanism in even cancerous stem cells, known as apoptosis. This has been studied mainly for colon cancer, but anthocyanins may have an impact on prostate, breast, and some other types of cancer as well.

An anti-inflammatory effect similar to non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs can be produced by anthocyanins, making them useful as a painkiller for people suffering from chronic inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Resistant starch

After the body metabolizes the resistant starch in colorful potatoes, gut bacteria produces beneficial acids such as butyric acids. In combination with the chlorogenic acids contained in purple potatoes, these acids help regulate your immunity function, control chronic inflammation in the gut, and may prevent the formation of cancerous cells.

Potatoes and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

Consuming red and purple potatoes can have a positive effect on those who are suffering from AFS because they contain many nutrients, especially anthocyanins, that have an opposing effect to the symptoms produced by the dysregulation of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response.

Colored potatoes to help with AFSAFS occurs as a consequence of dealing with constant stress for too long a time. Your endocrine system may stop producing adequate amounts of cortisol to deal the with ongoing stress, and AFS is the result.

Anthocyanins are of great help controlling the effects of lowered cortisol levels in those suffering from AFS. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, fruits and vegetables containing anthocyanins, such as colorful potatoes, can help regulate the chronic inflammation that those with AFS commonly suffer. Anthocyanins can be especially effective for those with arthritis as well.

In the early stages of AFS, cortisol levels peak before dramatically dropping in later stages. During later stages, your body may not be able to fight any immune dysfunction or gut inflammation. Red and purple potato consumption is favorable in these situations since they contain a fair amount of anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid which can boost the immune function of your gut and improve the overall immune system.

When to Eat Potatoes With AFS

During the early stages of AFS, blood pressure can be high because of excessive levels of aldosterone and epinephrine, two hormones that regulate vascular function. In advanced stages of AFS though, blood pressure tends to drop because of a reduction of fluid volume and a decrease in sodium levels.

For those who are in the earlier stages of the AFS, it is good to have some potatoes in the diet as the potassium content acts as a vasodilator, reducing high blood pressure levels. The anthocyanins also have this effect. However, one should be careful with the amount of potatoes consumed in the later stages of AFS.

When you have AFS, your blood sugar levels can be variable because of the drop of cortisol level, which also causes a rise in insulin levels in the blood. As a consequence of this, you should eat food with a low glycemic index that slowly releases sugars. Since potatoes have a high amount of starch which is transformed quickly into glucose, it is not recommended to eat large amounts of this vegetable during the advanced stages of AFS.

However, the anthocyanins and nutrients in colorful potatoes can have beneficial health effects for many.

© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

Gut bacteria metabolizes resistant starch found in potatoes producing butyric acid, which in combination with chlorogenic acids and the anthocyanins in colored potatoes helps regulate the immune response, chronic inflammation, and the proliferation of cancerous cells.

Colored potatoes