Can you eat a potato when it sprouts?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question: “Can you eat a potato when it sprouts?” We will also discuss why do potatoes sprout, how a sprouted potato is different from a normal potato, the origin of potatoes and what are the benefits or harm caused by the ingestion of a potato when it sprouts.  

Can you eat a potato when it sprouts?

Yes, you can eat a potato when it sprouts, but you should cut the sprouts out because it is a source of toxins and it can give you headaches and abdominal discomfort. Potatoes are a healthy and high starch content food, being useful in a lot of recipes and highly consumed all over the world due to its low cost.

Why do potatoes sprout?

Potatoes sprout because it is a natural move to continue its cycle. When kept in light and room temperature, a potato begins the process of sprouting, which starts the life of a new potato plant, in that way decreasing the levels of starch and increasing the sugars. The more advanced the sprouting process, the less nutrients the potato has.  

Potatoes are a great source of some alkaloids, like solanine and chaconine. These substances have antibiotic functions and have some healthy benefits like lowering blood sugar and improving heart condition. The higher the process of sprouting, the more the quantity of alkaloids, which can lead to poisoning.     

How is a sprouted potato different from a normal potato?

A sprouted potato is different from a normal potato because it has a lower nutrition rate than a normal potato, because it is feeding a new plant. A normal potato also has a higher starch content, so it can be used as a high carbohydrate source in your diet. The more sprouts a potato has, the lower the starch levels. 

The structure of a normal potato is also usually more solid than a sprouted potato, because a potato with sprouts starts to become softer and softer, to the point you can not even cut the sprouts out because of its lack of structure. You can use the level of softness of a potato to guess if it is edible to eat or not. If you can not cut it, you can not eat it anymore.

What is the origin of potato?

Potatoes have a distinct origin and, although it is a tuber originated from Peru and Bolivia, it is said that these legumes were domesticated several times throughout the history of humans. It has been used since its discovery mainly because it has a high nutritional variation and it can be consumed in different ways.   

In the 17th and 18th century, potatoes were a major food in the diets of Europeans, especially Irish people. However, due to the phytopathogen Phytophtora infestans, a fungus that attacks potatoes and causes the late blight, Ireland passed through terrible times, with a lot of their people dying from hunger.

What are the health benefits of eating a sprouted potato?

There are no health benefits in eating sprouted potatoes. It is actually better for your health to eat a potato without sprouts, since it has a higher nutritional value, being a rich source of potassium, alkaloids that increases your organism defense and rich carbohydrates, while a potato with sprout only has a higher content of sugar.

Is there any harm in eating a potato with sprouts?

No, there is no harm in eating a potato with sprouts. However, as being said, you must cut the sprouts off, because in high quantities in your organism, the sprout can be poisonous because of the presence of alkaloids.

If your potatoes have brown spots and mushy structure, besides having sprouts, it is not a good idea to eat it, since it would likely be a toxic food in that state. There is no nutritional value anymore and it can cause you to vomit, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

It is important to know that even if you cook or put your potatoes in high temperatures in another way, if you do not cut the sprouts correctly, your potato is still toxic and it is still bad for your health.  

Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.

Can you cook jacket potatoes in a slow cooker? 

How to know if a potato is bad

How to keep potatoes from turning brown after cutting

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have discussed the question: “Can you eat a potato when it sprouts?” We also talked about why do potatoes sprout, how a sprouted potato is different from a normal potato, the origin of potatoes and what are the benefits or harm caused by the ingestion of a potato when it sprouts.   

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Citations

https://www.britannica.com/plant/potato

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sprouted-potato#dangers

https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2022/01/17/can-you-eat-green-sprouted-potatoes/

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7951433/is-it-safe-to-eat-sprouted-potatoes/

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/can-you-eat-sprouted-potatoes

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.