1. Health & Lifestyle

Is It Safe to Eat Sprouted Potatoes and How to Prevent It from Sprouting?

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

If we leave potatoes in storage for too long, then it starts sprouting, creating a doubt in mind whether eating them is safe or not.

But there are many people who believe that sprouted potatoes are perfectly safe to eat, as long as you remove the sprouts. On the other hand, some people warn that sprouted potatoes are poisonous and can lead to food poisoning and potentially even death.

Why you should not eat sprouted potatoes?

As many of you may already know that potatoes are a natural source of chaconine and solanine - two glycoalkaloid compounds naturally found in many other foods like tomatoes and eggplants.  In small amounts, glycoalkaloids can offer numerous health benefits that include antibiotic properties & blood-sugar- and cholesterol-lowering effects. But, they can become poisonous when eaten in excess.

As potatoes sprouts, its glycoalkaloid content also starts to rise. Thus, eating potatoes that have sprouted may cause you to ingest excessive amounts of these compounds. Its symptoms generally appear within a few hours to up to one day after eating the sprouted potatoes.

At lower doses, consumption of excess glycoalkaloid typically leads to nausea, diarrhea & abdominal pain. And when a person consumes it in larger amounts then it can cause low blood pressure, fast pulse, headaches, fever and in some cases, even death.

sprouted potatoes

In addition, a few small studies say that consuming sprouted potatoes during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects. So, pregnant women should avoid eating sprouted potatoes.

How to Prevent Potatoes from Sprouting?

Below we have given many ways in which you can prevent potatoes from sprouting;

1. One of the best ways to prevent potatoes from sprouting is to avoid storing or stockpiling them and only purchase them when you actually want to use it.

2. Additionally, throwing away damaged potatoes & ensuring that the remaining ones are completely dry before storing them in a dry, cool, dark place can also reduce the chances of sprouting.

3. Avoid keeping potatoes near onions, bananas, apples, pears & other fruits.

4. You may also consider keeping a few herbs with the potatoes.

Conclusion - sprouted potatoes contain high levels of glycoalkaloids that can be toxic to human beings if consumed in excess.

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