Which Is Healthier: A Potato or Matcha?

Erin Jahns

ICYMI, potatoes (really any kind of carbohydrates, for that matter) have fallen subject to cryptic debate over the years. Some experts and celebrities love them (including Kim K. of late), and others are staunchly against them. On the opposite side of the spectrum falls matcha—a super-potent powder form of green tea that absolutely brims with beautifying antioxidants. Oh, and it's unanimously beloved by nutritionists. So when we stumbled upon an article stating that a certain type of potato might be just as or—cue gasp—even healthier than the green stuff? Well, you could say we were more than intrigued. The key, it turns out, is in its super-high concentration of antioxidants.

PHOTO:

@matchaful

According to multiple sources across the internet, ube potatoes (pronounced "oo-bae") are the next It superfood. We even came across one source touting them as the next avocado, to which we say bold. However, since they're in the sweet potato family (which is widely considered more friend than foe where carbs are concerned), this finding shouldn't be all that surprising. Characterized by their super-striking color (a deep purple), ube potatoes are loaded with insoluble fiber and have more vitamins (A, C, and E) and minerals than your standard sweet potatoes. In other words, these aren't Grandma's Thanksgiving yams.

The striking purple hue isn't just a pretty façade, either. According to Isabel Smith MS RD CDN, Registered Dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition, it's what indicates ube potatoes' high concentration of good-for-you antioxidants, most notably anthocyanin, which is found in other nutritional powerhouses like blueberries and pomegranates and is extremely anti-inflammatory. Smith also tells us that they're rich in phenolic compounds which could protect against cancer.

And just like many superfoods before them, ube potatoes (which taste a little nutty and similar to vanilla or hazelnut) are making their way into basically every kind of dish, from pale purple soft serve to decadent doughnuts and desserts. Love your late-night green tea ice cream habit? If the internet has anything to say about it, "potato purple" might become your new favorite flavor. Just be sure to keep your portion size in check. According to Smith, a good rule of thumb is to keep 25% (or less!) of your meal starch. She adds that she prefers her clients to have starch at breakfast or lunch and skip at dinner.

Our suggestion? Mash them, roast them, toss them into smoothies, or maybe even add some honey and make a DIY face mask. After all, some of our favorite healthy foods are best put to use on our face.

Addicted to superfoods? Ditch the coffee and try these trendy alternatives instead.

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