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National health trend is great news for potatoes and Side Delights

As new research confirms that COVID-19 has made people more health-conscious, the potato is trending again with shoppers, scientists and the media. Recent stories in major media outlets remind consumers that potatoes "loaded with nutrients like vitamin C, potassium and B6 and fiber" are "uber-healthy."

Part of the renewed popularity of potatoes may be an increasing focus on health and fresh food. According to World Economic Forum, recent studies showed that 62 percent of Americans believe their health is more important than before the pandemic.  Additionally, shoppers surveyed in a post-COVID trend study by Deloitte showed shoppers are planning to buy more fresh food and cook more than they did before the pandemic.

While potatoes (white potatoes in particular) are known for their high levels of potassium and vitamin C, fiber may be the most compelling reason to stock up on spuds. In addition to the traditional gastrointestinal benefits, fiber can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, reflux and diverticulitis. Potatoes also contain prebiotic fiber, which is crucial for feeding and sustaining beneficial gut bacteria. All of this is good news for the potato, and the potato is good news for consumers.

While the 'healthy gut' discussion is not new, scientists have found that the gut microbiome has a critical role in overall health and wellbeing. Studies by the Unilever Future Health and Wellness team focused on the effects of plant-based diets on the gut microbiome, suggest it can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing, sleep, healthy aging, growth and development, immunity.

Considered mood-boosting comfort foods, healthy carbohydrates such as potatoes can help restore serotonin levels and prevent blood sugar and insulin surges.

"It's good to see potatoes getting the recognition they deserve," said Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. "Whether consumers are embracing a plant-based or whole food diet, or just looking for a healthier way of eating, the potato is a powerful, economical, nutrient-dense, and delicious food."

Side Delights offers a variety of healthy choices, including potato kits, convenience potatoes, gourmet potatoes, fresh-cut potatoes and organic potatoes.

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