In 2013, potato farmers in the U.S. combined to produce more than 40 billion pounds of potatoes for consumers across the world. The average American, who eats potatoes in forms such as baked, fried and mashed, gets a hefty dose of vitamins with every serving of this starchy vegetable. Although potatoes contain a number of vitamins, they're most notable for being a source of a few select vitamins.
White potatoes are a valuable source of vitamin C, which provides health benefits such as improving your immune system and protecting your cells from free radical damage. The amount of vitamin C in a medium-sized, white potato equates to 26 percent of the daily recommendation for women and 22 percent for men. White potatoes are also a source of niacin, which supports digestion and nerve function. One medium-sized potato provides 16 percent of the daily recommendation for women and 14 percent for men.
A medium-sized red potato provides 24 percent of the daily recommendation of vitamin C for women and 20 percent for men. Red potatoes are also a source of niacin. A medium-sized potato gives women about 18 percent of their recommended daily amount of this vitamin and gives men about 16 percent. Red potatoes contain more vitamin K, which helps your blood clot, than white potatoes. Still, a medium-sized red potato provides less than 10 percent of the daily recommendation of this vitamin.
Russet potatoes, which have brown skin, also contribute vitamin C and niacin to your diet. A medium-sized russet potato provides 16 percent of the daily recommendation of vitamin C for women and 13 percent of the daily recommendation for men. A medium-sized russet potato also provides 16 percent and 14 percent of the daily recommendation of niacin for men, and women, respectively.
Other Valuable Nutrients
In addition to their valuable vitamin content, white, red and russet potatoes are also a significant source of potassium, which your body uses to build muscle. Each type of medium-sized potato provides at least 18 percent of the daily recommendation of this mineral. Potatoes are also a useful source of dietary fiber, which provides wide-ranging benefits such as helping your bowels keep regular and regulating your blood glucose.