Could the potato be mankind’s original brain food?

This newspaper article makes for an interesting read, claiming the potato could be the original brain food, it is a great vegetable that has many great qualities and is so versatile. Here at Cheshire Farm Chips we have 5 very different products and these are only a few of the many different uses for potatoes.

Potatoes are great for you and an important part of a healthy diet. They are 100% fat free, full of vital nutrients and vitamins. Potatoes are a great source of vitamin C and potassium, believe it or not they also contain more potassium than a banana. Potassium is important to help prevent high blood pressure so always remember to eat your spuds!

The potato is being credited with fuelling the extraordinary expansion of the brain in human evolution.

The move towards eating meat was previously suggested as the main cause of the increase but a new study suggests it was driven by carbohydrate consumption, particularly in the form of starch.

It says starches would have been readily available to ancestral populations in the form of potatoes as well as seeds and some fruits and nuts.

Discovering how to control fire meant potatoes could be cooked, while the evolution of extra saliva proteins known as amylase genes meant humans could break down the calorie-rich starches into sugars that fed the brain.

Lead researcher Dr Karen Hardy, of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, said the brain uses up to 60 per cent of our blood glucose and this demand is unlikely to have been met on a low-carb diet.

The extra amylase genes, combined with the knowledge of cooking, increased the availability of dietary glucose to the brain.

This in turn allowed the acceleration in brain size which occurred from around 800,000 years ago onwards.

“Eating meat may have kick-started the evolution of bigger brains, but cooked starchy foods together with more salivary amylase genes made us smarter still,” said Dr Hardy in the study, which was published in The Quarterly Review of Biology.

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