Solanine potatoes and not only that, because this substance is also found in other plants and vegetables. Ingesting too much can create some unpleasant side effects, for this reason it is best to understand which potatoes contain abundant quantities and how to avoid overdosing on solanine potatoes.
The potato solanine is usually concentrated in the leaves and stems, initially there is none in the tubers, but as they are exposed to sunlight, it forms and accumulates hour after hour.
Since it is difficult to know how long a potato has been in sunlight, we can understand if it is already rich in solanine by carefully observing its appearance. There is an unwritten rule that works very well: the concentration of solanine in potatoes is proportional to the number of shoots and the extension of the green parts.
Solanine sprouted potatoes
Following the potato solanine rule, the more sprouts there are the more tuber it can lead us to intoxication. As time passes, in addition to the sprouts, the potato can also present wrinkles. It will have happened to many of forget the potatoes in the kitchen cabinet and then find them with a now old and spongy appearance.
Here, it is better to know that the solanine contained will be even greater than that of sprouted potatoes.
In part, this is also influenced by the methods of conservation: to make a tuber age well, we must keep it in a dark, dry and cool place.
When we talk about potatoes with high solanine content, they do not mean severely toxic levels, but it is still better to remove the green parts and peel decisively by removing a thick layer of peel since it is on the surface that the solanine. Although cooking can improve the situation, if we have some potatoes with a deteriorated appearance, better let it go.
Solanine: side effects
There solanine taken in large quantities it can have side effects that are not lethal but that can ruin our day. A high dose of solanine in potatoes is not digestible and can create nerve damage. But no one forces us to ban potatoes from the diet, we can find a balanced way to eat them, as recommended in the book "Solanine. Eat potatoes without a stomach ache”By Linda E. Sacchetti.
Purple potatoes and solanine
The potato varieties deserve a special mention, which in addition to shape and size, also have different colors. To learn more about the characteristics of the purple and blue potato, There is the our dedicated article.
As mentioned the solanine potatoes it is not the only one running on our tables. For example, tomatoes and aubergines also contain it, as frequently present in our diets. In this case, contrary to what happens with the tubers, the solanine content is inversely proportional to the degree of ripeness. Better then to eat ripe tomatoes and aubergines, of abundant size, where possible, and of colors that testify that it is the right time to enjoy them.
As for the potato solanine, even in these two cases, the presence of the substance must not lead us to avoid two foods that are very precious, as well as protagonists of numerous Mediterranean recipes.
Solanine is considered a toxic glycoalkaloid. Present in potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines, as well as in other less known solanaceae, if ingested in high quantities it can cause nerve changes, for example moments of severe sleepiness. Other symptoms of solanine poisoning are hemolysis and irritation of the gastric mucosa.
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