Are you pregnant and craving for potatoes? Potatoes are staple in a lot of households and are added to various vegetables and curries. The good news is potatoes are loaded with nutrients and are safe to consume during pregnancy. However whatever you consume during pregnancy directly affects both your health and the health of the unborn baby so you need to take all precautions about what you eat and drink. You have to eradicate everything unhealthy from your pregnancy diet. So even in case of potatoes, though they are safe to consume but have them in moderation to get maximum benefits. Continue reading to know how this starchy tuberous crop is beneficial during pregnancy?
12 Benefits Of Eating Potatoes During Pregnancy
Some of the benefits of consuming potatoes during pregnancy include:
- Baby’s main source of energy in the womb is glucose which is found in potatoes
- If you are underweight and pregnant, potatoes are one of the healthiest way of gaining weight during pregnancy
- If cooked in the right way, potatoes help pregnant women to deal with digestive issues especially gastric acidity
- Potatoes are low in fat and calories. On the other hand, they are also a rich source of dietary fiber and vitamins B-6 and C
- The half-soluble and soluble fiber in potatoes helps to bring down the cholesterol levels during pregnancy
- Potatoes contain flavonoids that control the blood pressure levels and thus are highly beneficial during pregnancy
- Raw potatoes are rich sources of vitamin C and help to boost immunity during pregnancy
- Potatoes are rich in iron, calcium, and potassium. These minerals are essential for the growth and development of the fetus
- Potatoes are high in folate. Folate is important during pregnancy because it reduces the risk of the baby developing problems related to brain and spine
- Potatoes are rich source of energy and pregnancy is the period that demands high energy levels
- Digestion of potatoes happen slowly so they help in keeping the expecting moms full for a longer time
- Pregnant women suffering from under eye bags can use raw grated potatoes to get rid of the same. Potatoes are also known for its smoothing, bleaching and relaxing effects on the skin
What Are Green Potatoes?Can They Be Consumed During Pregnancy?
Potatoes are grown underground. However, sometimes they may get exposed over the ground. As a result of exposure to sunlight, the metabolic activity on the skin of the potatoes rises due to which chlorophyll is formed. This provides the potatoes the green color. Another product formed due to this phenomenon is, solanine, which is a glycol-alkaloid toxin. Therefore, green potatoes are not supposed to be consumed, especially during pregnancy.
Side Effects Of Eating Potatoes During Pregnancy
Here are some side effects of consuming potatoes during pregnancy:
- Green potatoes (green tinted potatoes) contain alpha-chaconine and alpha-solanine. These type of glycol-alkaloid toxin usually irritate the gastrointestinal tract, causing diarrhea and vomiting and can also adversely affect the fetal development
- Green potatoes can cause potential defects like spina bifidia in the newborn
- Potato rich diet during pregnancy is known to trigger gestational diabetes in pregnant women
- Australian researchers have discovered that the chances of type 1 diabetes in those children whose mothers ate potato rich diet and other tuberous vegetables during pregnancy
- Rotten potatoes can cause food poisoning in expecting mothers
- If a pregnant woman is a potato lover and consumes potatoes in abundance then it can lead to fetal anomaly as potatoes contain high amounts of alkaloids. The alkaloids can get trapped inside the bodies
- Finally, but most importantly, pregnant women, who are over-weight, are more prone to become obese if they consume of potatoes in excess during pregnancy
Is It Healthy To Eat Potatoes During Pregnancy?
Potatoes are healthy to consume during pregnancy as long as they are cooked properly and consumed in limited quantities. Speaking about cooking methods, during pregnancy, you should avoid:
- French fries: French fries are deep fried in oil and speckled with lots of salt so they are unhealthy for the pregnant women
- Baked potato with cheese: This mouthwatering potato dish is not recommended during pregnancy as it can trigger overweight and issues associated with it like gestational diabetes
- Fried potato chips: Even though fried potato chips have been processed at high temperature, it comprises too much oily fat and salt, which can induce high gestational hypertension and increase the risk of obesity that can, in turn, give rise to other pregnancy complications. Therefore, fried potato chips are also not suitable for pregnant women
Healthy Ways To Include Potatoes In Your Pregnancy Diet
Here are some of the healthy ways to cook and consume potatoes during pregnancy
- Steamed potato
- Baked potato (without cheese)
- Stewed potato
- Potato soup
- Mashed potato
- Potato salad
How To Select And Buy Good Potatoes?
- Always select fresh potatoes. If possible, buy potatoes from organic farms or shops that sell organic vegetables
- Thoroughly wash potatoes before cooking
- Select firm, well-shaped and blemish free potatoes
- Select potatoes without black spots
- Never use green sprouted potatoes
- Don’t use potatoes if they start to get rotten even from a small area
Therefore, whether potatoes are safe during pregnancy or not totally depends on the way you cook and consume it and also very importantly the quantity of potato you consume. Be careful and avoid overeating potatoes during pregnancy to reap maximum benefits . Actually, potatoes, particularly organically farmed ones, are good substitutes to rice and cereal when it comes to satisfying the dietary requirements during pregnancy.
Did you crave for potatoes during pregnancy? How did you consume them? Do share some healthy potato recipes that can be enjoyed during pregnancy in the comments section below.