The potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tuber follows only rice and wheat in world importance as a food crop for human consumption. Cultivated potatoes have spread from the Andes of South America where they originated to 160 countries around the world. Consumption of fresh potatoes has declined while processed products have increased in popularity. As the potato becomes a staple in the diets of an increasing number of humans, small differences in potato nutritional composition will have major impacts on population health. The potato is a carbohydrate-rich, energy-providing food with little fat. Potato protein content is fairly low but has an excellent biological value of 90-100. Potatoes are particularly high in vitamin C and are a good source of several B vitamins and potassium. The skins provide substantial dietary fiber. Many compounds in potatoes contribute to antioxidant activity and interest in cultivars with pigmented flesh is growing. This review will examine the nutrient and bioactive compounds in potatoes and their impact on human health.