NEW-YORK, APRIL, 1849.
Few are aware of the great value of the potato as an article of diet. It may astonish some of our readers when we assert that potatoes alone are sufficient to sustain the human body in a state of firm and vigorous health. Prisoners in the old country have in numbers been kept upon the potato diet for months, and what may appear singular, the majority of such have gained in flesh during the experiment. Lean men grow fat, and fat men become lean—lean as they ought to be. And so all grow better in health.
Strange enough is it that the potato diet cures almost all who are subjected to its influence a few months; and what is yet more strange, after two or three months of this regimen, prisoners regret being put back upon their ordinary or mixed diet.
Let those who have dyspepsia—and that means a multitude of ills which the American people in their luxurious habits are fast bringing upon themselves—try for a time the potato diet. We have tried it not for months, but a few days at a time—long enough to satisfy us of its good effects; long enough, too, to teach us well how good bread and apples and peaches are. We are far from believing that God created wheat, rye, corn, barley, buckwheat, etc.; chestnuts, beechnuts, butternuts, walnuts, etc., etc.; apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, and ten thousand other delicious things, not to be eaten by man.
And yet, as before said, we advise our dyspeptic friends to make a trial of the potato diet. Eat, of course, no salt, no butter, or condiments of any kind. Our word for it, the experiment will prove a good one; and the prescription costs no money, but, what is incomparably better, an amount of self-denial which is possessed only by a few. And making this experiment for one week will greatly increase the self-denial and perseverance of those who go through with it. We do not, of course, recommend this prescription to those who have to labor very hard, for a sudden change, of whatever kind, does not answer well with such.