Fries are often thought of as junk food that doesn’t have any health benefits. Most people may be right that french fries are mostly empty calories, but fries do have some redeeming qualities, which might make you think twice about leaving them off your next barbecue menu.
Fries can be a good source of potassium, good for muscle repair, and vitamin B6, which helps balance female hormones. Sweet potato fries are high in fiber, which can help you not overeat, and vitamin A, which is good for eye health. Also, fries can help lower blood pressure.
If you are surprised that fries can be good for you, keep reading to find out why.
1. Homemade Fries Are a Good Source of Potassium.
French fries contain potassium, which is important for bones and muscles and provides energy to the cells for repair and growth. If you don’t have enough potassium in your diet, you could experience fatigue and muscle weakness.
2. Baked Fries Are Healthy in Moderation.
When eaten in moderation, baked french fries can provide a balance of vitamins and minerals. While fries contain more starch than other side dishes, they do add some nutrition to your meal.
French fries are dubbed “junk food” because of the high number of calories compared to the nutrition they offer. But, when homemade, baked french fries can contain all the nutrition of the potatoes without all the bad stuff.
3. Sweet Potato Fries Are High in Fiber.
Many people opt for sweet potato fries because they have more nutrition than fries made from white potatoes. Fries made from sweet potatoes are higher in fiber than white potato fries, which helps prevent high blood pressure, and protects your heart from cardiovascular disease.
Fiber also keeps your blood sugar normal for longer periods, and you stay full longer, without having to eat again an hour (or so) later.
4. Sweet Potato Fries Are a Good Source of Vitamin A.
Sweet potato fries are also a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A prevents blindness and helps keep your eyes healthy. It also aids in cell development and boosts your immune system so you can fight against illness.
5. Vitamin B6 Balances Female Hormones.
6. Vitamin B6 Aids in Brain Function.
B6 also helps brain development in children and maintains brain health in adults. However, there are healthier sources of B6 that you can choose from, or you can take a good B-complex vitamin. But if you’re going to eat french fries, at least you know they help keep your brain sharp.
7. Homemade Fries Aid in Bone Health.
Potatoes contain iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are essential to bone mineralization. Iron and zinc work together to make collagen, which is important for bone and joint health. Phosphorous works together with calcium to build strong bones.
If you have too much phosphorus and too little calcium, you are at risk for osteoporosis. Pair a small serving of french fries with some lean protein, and you will cover your bases.
8. Sweet Potato Fries May Help Lower Blood Pressure.
Homemade sweet potato fries that contain little sodium can help lower blood pressure. Potassium helps widen the blood vessels, which allows blood to flow through easier. Still, be sure to eat fries in moderation.
9. Your Heart May Benefit From Fries.
Fiber, vitamins C, B6, and fiber found in bake homemade fries can contribute to heart health. Potassium and fiber reduce the overall amount of cholesterol in arteries, which has been shown to reduce heart disease incidence.
10. Potatoes Can Reduce Inflammation.
Choline is an important nutrient in potatoes (and fries), as it helps reduce inflammation, and assists with fat absorption, long-term memory, and muscle movement.
11. Cancer Risk Can Be Reduced With Homemade Baked Fries.
Folate helps cellular repair and DNA synthesis, which is shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Vitamin C also provides antioxidants against cellular decay and is present in french fries.
12. Homemade Skin Fries Can Prevent Constipation.
Fiber is well-known for keeping your digestion regular, so fries can help prevent constipation and keep things moving.
13. Vitamin B6 Improves Metabolism.
Vitamin B6, an important nutrient in homemade french fries, breaks down protein and carbohydrates for assimilation into amino acids and other nutrients the body can use. It creates a healthier metabolism, which can also help you burn fat.
14. Sweet Potato Fries May Improve Skin Tone.
Vitamin C, one of the vitamins present in sweet potatoes, is an antioxidant that helps collagen smooth out skin tone and elasticity. Vitamin C also works with other antioxidants to block free radicals that can rapidly age your skin.
15. Baked Fries Help Convert Glucose to Energy.
The potassium found in fries helps convert glucose to energy to go through your day without the fatigue and muscle weakness you may have experienced in the past. Homemade baked fries for lunch may help counteract that afternoon fatigue.
16. Potatoes May Boost Immunity.
Potatoes are a healthy source of vitamin C, which is typically known for boosting your immune system and helping you reduce the amount of time you’re sick (if you do get sick). B6 also enhances your immune system and supports your body to counteract any infections.
17. Fries Can Support Digestion.
The fiber in french fries helps with proper digestion of your food. Fiber helps move things through your bowel so that you’re not stuck, so to speak.
18. Sweet Potato Fries Can Help With Arthritis.
Potatoes contain copper, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Copper strengthens the muscular system and helps support the arthritic area. A copper imbalance has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
When combined with iron, it enables the body to form red blood cells.
Copper also plays a role in maintaining collagen production, which keeps skin looking youthful and smooth.
19. Sweet Potato Fries Can Help Reduce Stress.
Pantothenic acid, which is in sweet potato fries, organizes hormones in a way that helps fight off depression and anxiety. It can also reduce stress when you’re having a tough time at work or with your family. There is a reason why fries might be considered comfort food and can be addicting to some people.
20. Sweet Potato Fries Have Antimicrobial Properties.
Different studies have shown that sweet potatoes have an important level of antimicrobial properties. As a result, eating them could help, to a degree, in the prevention of different types of infections.
As much as french fries get vilified in the media and with health gurus, there are some nutritional benefits to eating french fries in moderation. While the carb count is a bit high, the benefits may make them worth eating, at least once in a while.
Homemade french fries are often healthier than fast-food fries because you have more control over the ingredients and the cooking method used. If you choose to make your fries at home, you may want to choose sweet potatoes over white potatoes, because they have even more nutrition. However, not everyone likes sweet potatoes. Go with what works for your family.