Nutrition and Health
ONION and benefits
The onion is a bulbous cultivated plant attributed to the Liliaceae family.
It is a biennial herbaceous plant whose life cycle, in cultivation, is interrupted at one year in order to allocate it for consumption.
Its main use is that of food and condiment, but it is also used for therapeutic purposes for properties attributed to it by the science and traditions of folk medicine. Onions are rich in vitamins and minerals.
They are grown for their green stems, called brackets, and for their bulbs. They need a rich and humid soil but never too drenched with water.
Different types of onions require different weather conditions and different hours of sunshine each day. Once the sowing has taken place, we must wait 90 to 120 days before harvest.
In mild climates the onion can also be grown in winter, otherwise the onion is a typically spring plant.
The onion is one of the most used aromas in the cuisine of all countries and enhances the other ingredients used in various national and international dishes.
POTATO and benefits
The potato is an edible tuber obtained from plants of the species Solanum tuberosum, widely used for food purposes. From a nutritional point of view potatoes are known mainly for the high content of carbohydrates (about 26 grams in a potato of 150 g, ie medium size), mainly present in the form of starches. A small but significant part of these potato starches is resistant to the enzymes present in the stomach and small intestine, so as to reach the almost intact large intestine, these starches have physiological effects equal to those of dietary fibers.
Potatoes are a source of important vitamins and minerals. A medium-sized potato (150 g), eaten with peel, provides 27 mg of vitamin C (45% of the recommended daily intake), 620 mg of potassium (18% of the recommended daily dose), 0.2 mg of vitamin B5 (10% of the recommended daily dose), in addition to traces of thiamine, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Furthermore, the fiber content of a peeled potato (2g) is equal to the fiber content of wholemeal bread, pasta and cereals. In addition to vitamins, minerals and fibers, potatoes contain various phytochemicals, such as icarotenoids and polyphenols. Not all the nutrients of the potatoes are found in the peel; this contains about half of the fibers, but more than half of the nutrients are contained in the pulp. Cooking can alter them considerably.
New potatoes and elongated varieties contain less toxic substances and are an excellent source of nutrients. Peeled and long-stored potatoes lose some of their nutritional properties, although they retain their own potassium and vitamin B content. Potatoes are often excluded from low-glycemic diets, as they are believed to have a high quantity of carbohydrates. In reality, the glycemic index of potatoes varies considerably depending on their variety (red-skin potato, white-flesh, etc.), their origin (cultivation area), the preparation (cooking method, if consumed cold or hot, pureed, chopped or whole etc.), and other foods with which it is served (sauces high in fat or high in protein).
The various types of potatoes
The four types of most traded potato:
Yellow-fleshed potatoes, with a compact pulp, derive their color from the presence of carotenes. They are used for industrial and household chips, but they are also suitable for salads and oven cooking.
White-fleshed potatoes, with floury pulp that is pulped during cooking.
They are suitable for being crushed, for example in mashed potatoes, croquettes or gnocchi.
New potatoes, characteristic for the thin skin, are harvested when the maturation is not complete. They are short-term and should be boiled with peel.
Potatoes with red skin and yellow paste, characterized by the firm pulp that makes them suitable for intense cooking such as paper, oven and fry.
Various types of onions
There are many varieties of onions, which generally take the name from the cultivation area, the shape, the color, the size of the bulb, the precocity or, more generally, the color of the outer tunics (ie the peel covering the inner globe ).
This skin can be white, yellow-golden or red.
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